Pre-Visit Activity: Art Talk
Please view the two reproductions with your class and lead a discussion using the following questions as guidelines. There are no “right” answers. The questions are meant to guide the group discussion.
Students will revisit and discuss the original works at BAM. The vocabulary in this packet will aid discussion.
Research and experience have shown that students feel more comfortable when they can connect with something familiar once they arrive at the Museum. The students are excited to find “their” works of art while they are at BAM. They enjoy sharing their insights from the classroom discussion with the docent and making valuable comparisons between the textbook-like reproductions and the original works of art.
Larger Than Life: Historical Constructions
Scott Fife was born in 1949 in Moscow, Idaho and lives in Seattle, Washington. He has two degrees, one in architecture and one in art. He constructs sculptures and creates ink wash drawings of people and historical events that helped shape the 20th century. His portrait heads of icons, historical figures and celebrities are influenced by the early classical style of Roman portrait busts. His larger-than-life sculptures are constructed with archival cardboard that is cut and shaped and assembled with nails, screws, staples and construction glue. In commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the historic Steunenberg trial, he has created The Idaho Project, a narrative of the trial and people involved in it. Through his sculpted portrait heads, he tells the story of the trial and the historical events that resulted from the assassination of Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg over labor union disputes. The portrait sculptures he creates are raw and roughly made and have a ghostly quality because of their colorless appearance.
Big Trouble: The Idaho Project, 2001-2003
Archival cardboard, carpenter’s glue, drywall screws
A sculpture is a three-dimensional work of art that is produced by modeling clay, wood, stone, plaster, cardboard and other materials. What type of sculptures do you see in this picture?
- Have you ever seen sculptures like these before? Where? What was the subject matter?
- Why do you think the artist only makes sculptures of heads and doesn’t include anything else?
- Why do you think they are a variety of sizes?
- What do you notice about the way the heads have been placed?
- Why do you think they are displayed as a group?
- The group of portraits is meant to tell the story of an event in history. What type of story do these sculptures tell you?
President Theodore Roosevelt (from The Idaho Project), 2002
Archival cardboard, carpenter’s glue, drywall screws
- What is the first thing you notice when you look at this sculpture?
- Why do you think the head is on its side?
- What type of facial expression is on the face?
- Can you tell how this was made just by looking at this picture?
- What color has the artist used? What type of mood does the color of the materials create?
- What details do you notice?
- What do you know about President Theodore Roosevelt?
- How is the sculpture different from the way Theodore Roosevelt actually looked? How is it the same?
Medium: A specific kind of artistic technique or means of expression as determined by the materials used or the creative methods involved: the medium of lithography. The materials used in a specific artistic technique: oils as a medium.
Media: The plural of medium.
Portrait: A work of art that represents a specific person, a group of people, or an animal. Portraits usually show what a person looks like as well as revealing something about the subject's personality. Portraits can be made of any
sculptural material or in any two-dimensional medium.
Sculpture: Three-dimensional art that can be made by shaping or carving materials such as stone, metal, wood, cardboard, and fabric, or other materials.
Three-Dimensional: Having height, width, and depth.
Social Studies, History
Constructing Curriculum with Larger than Life
- They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Visit the website http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/haywood/HAY_PHO1.HTM to view historical photographs taken of people and key places related to the Steunenberg trial. Come up with a list of questions that will help students analyze what these photographs tell us today about the people and history.
- Learn about how the Idaho Court System works. Look at some of the major laws we have in Idaho. Research the history of the U.S. Supreme Court and how it works.
- Find out what other historic events where happening in U.S. history in 1906 and 1907. How did these historic events help shape history?
- Discuss icons and celebrities of the 20th century. Look at how these historical figures have helped define American and local history.
- Study how sculpture has been used to memorialize the life of historical figures. Use sculptures from various time periods and cultures as tools to learn about the people who made significant contributions to various societies and cultures.
Reading and Writing
- Have students take digital pictures of themselves and import them into a computer program such as Adobe Photoshop. Using different filters and tools, have them create self-portraits that represent their personalities.
- Read the life story of an historical figure. Create a list of interview questions you would ask the person based on important events that happened in his/her life. (Students could focus on U.S. history by studying a president such as Theodore Roosevelt or an Idaho figure or an Idaho governor such as Frank Steunenberg.)
- Have students select a book with illustrations in it and analyze the pictures. Without reading the story, use the illustrations as a guide to understand the narrative. Using only the pictures in the book, re-write the story. When you are finished, read the book and see how closely the illustrations helped you understand the narrative of the story.
- Read the story of Mount Rushmore. Discuss why the monument is an important part of American history.
- Choose a famous/significant sculpture to research (Example: The Statue of Liberty.) Write a short illustrated story about it.
- Have students look at the geometric sculptures of artist George W. Hart. Discuss how he uses balance, symmetry, angles and geometric shapes to create complex sculptures. Have students measure and cut out shapes to create a geometric sculpture.
Visit http://www.georgehart.com/sculpture/sculpture.html to view artwork and learn more about this mathematical sculptor.
- Learn how mathematics is used as a tool to construct artwork. Have students learn about the Golden Mean, Golden Ratio, The Divine Proportion, Phi and Fibonacci Numbers by studying various artworks.
Refer to the website http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/high/Grace-golden.htm for lesson plan ideas and web links for teaching these mathematical concepts.
- Have students learn the difference between forms and shapes. Have them construct their own two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms and shapes. Begin by having students cut out and measure different angles in order to construct a shape. Use these shapes as tracing templates in order to construct a 3-D form.
Visit http://mathforum.org/sum95/math_and/poly/polyhedra.html as a reference.
Science and Physics
- Create or find examples of three-dimensional geometric objects. Make your own story problems using different measurements.
- Learn about archival materials and how they are made.
- Discuss the psychology behind reading facial expressions. Discuss what we can learn about a person through body language and facial expressions.
Visit http://www.gladwell.com/2002/2002_08_05_a_face.htm to read about how law enforcement agencies use this science to help fight crime.
Related Web Sites
http://www.ket.org/artonair/artists/morenoguide.htm (Lesson plan on making geometric mat board sculptures.)
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/high/Cindi-bust.htm (Lesson plan on self-portrait clay busts.)
http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=255 (Lesson plan that analyzes what portraits say about a person. Focuses on history and social studies by studying historical portraits.)
http://www.artcyclopedia.com/media/Sculptor.html (Explores artists working in sculpture by type of medium, time period and location.)
http://www.sculptor.org/category.html (Good teacher website for finding different genres and images of sculptures to use in the classroom.)
http://www.aolatschool.com/search?query=sculpture&s=1&l=10&tab=websites&gr=&sort= (Lists a number of links to sculpture-related lesson plans.)
http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab21 (History of sculpture.)
For Teachers and Kids
http://puffin.creighton.edu/museums/archive/7_abarnett/page2.htm (Shows examples of celebrity portraits done by Andy Warhol.)
http://www.artfaces.com/artkids/sculpture.htm (Website for students to learn about the history of sculpture.)
http://www.sanford-artedventures.com/create/tech_forms.html (Art site that demonstrates step-by-step instructions on how to make 3-d forms for sculptures or architectural models.)
http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~sequin/SCULPTS/sculpts.html (Shows a wide range of abstract sculptures made from a variety of materials and focuses on the close relationship between math and art.)
http://www.npg.si.edu/ (Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, contains an extensive database of portraits of famous and historical figures.)
http://42explore.com/sculpture.htm (Link to a wide variety of sculpture websites for kids.)
http://www.biography.com/bio4kids/index.jsp (Interactive website that introduces children to famous people and interesting facts about them.)
http://www.biography.com/search/ (Resource for researching information about your favorite celebrity or historical figures.)
http://www.museumnetwork.com/learning/resources/canda-001/canda_mn.asp#IN (Introduces a variety of activities to learn about portraits and uses Pablo Picasso as an example.)
http://www.museumnetworkuk.org/portraits/artworks/viewAll.html (Website that includes a variety of portraits from museums and an interactive section for children to learn about historical portraits.)
Post-Visit Activity: MAKE IT!
extend the museum experience and connect the tour to your curriculum,
please consider using or adapting this suggested lesson
Idaho Celebrity Portraits
This activity focuses on familiarizing students with portrait drawing. Students will choose a portrait of a famous or important Idahoan and learn about the person by studying and drawing the facial features and characteristics of that person. The lesson can be easily adapted for younger students and can involve more complex artistic skills for older students. Students will become more familiar with the individuals that have made significant contributions to the state of Idaho.
8 ½ by 11 color or black and white copy of famous or important Idahoan (Joe Albertson, Picabo Street, Helen Chenoweth, Jake Plummer, Dirk Kempthorne).
For a list of names visit http://www.50states.com/bio/idaho.htm and use Google to search for images.
- 8 ½ by 11 drawing paper
- Glue sticks
Make black and white or color copies (approximately 8 ½ by 11 inches) of portraits of famous celebrities or important historical figures from Idaho. As a class, look at the portrait images and discuss who the people are and their significance to Idaho history. Let each student choose one portrait image. Have them look closely at the facial features and attributes that make their person recognizable. Using scissors, have students cut out different features (eye, nose, ears, lips, etc.). Ask students to trade some of their facial features with other classmates and create a new portrait by arranging and gluing down their new attribute pieces on an 8 ½ by 11 piece of drawing paper. Students can give their new celebrities names, careers, and personalities, and add to the portrait by drawing backgrounds. Have students look at their completed portraits and compare how the combined features of various people are the same or different from the original portrait.
Create a grid drawing using a portrait of a famous celebrity or important historical figure from Idaho and enlarge the image to approximately 8 ½ by 11 inches using a copy machine or computer program. Images can be black and white or color (color will allow the students to see more details). Have students spend time studying the facial features and other physical attributes that make their person recognizable. Using a ruler, have students measure and make marks in 1 inch increments around all four sides of the image. Drawing very lightly, connect the marks to create 1-inch blocks over the entire image. Using an 8 ½ by 11 piece of drawing paper create the same measured blocks. Using the grided image as a guide, draw what is in each square of the grid on the original image into each block on the drawing page. Erase the extra lines from the grid to finish the drawing.
Have students choose a color image of a famous celebrity or important historical figure from Idaho and enlarge the image to approximately 8 ½ by 11 inches using a copy machine or computer program. Have students spend a couple of minutes closely studying their celebrity portraits. Students should pay close attention to the facial features and other physical attributes that make their person recognizable. To help students focus their attention on the features, create a list of questions for them to answer. Cut the excess white border off of the celebrity portrait picture and cut the image in half. Using an 8 ½ by 11 piece of drawing paper use a glue stick to glue one of the halves down. Lay the other cut half of the portrait down and use it to create the border for the other side that the drawing will be on. Using both the glued half of the portrait and unglued half as references, complete the other side of the face by drawing it. Adaptations can be made for older students by having them draw the entire face.
Applications and Extensions:
Reading and Writing
- Have students write a story about their selected celebrity or historical figure from Idaho. The story should include key events that happened in the celebrity’s life and what they are famous for.
- Create a list of descriptive words that would describe the selected person’s personality, and other information that would best describe the person.
- Create a grid drawing of a portrait. Measure 1 inch or ½ inch blocks with a ruler on the top/bottom of the portrait image. Create the same measurements on a piece of drawing paper and draw your picture focusing on each block.
- Create portraits using a variety of different media (paint, ink, clay, Papier Maché etc.) and styles (abstract, realistic, etc.).
- Create a narrative of an historical event using clay. Re-create an important scene by sculpting the portraits of key characters.
- Have students use their classmates as models and draw portraits of them.
Geography and History
- As a class come up with a list of other famous Idahoans and historical figures. Create a large-scale map of Idaho. Have students create symbols that represent one of the famous Idahoans. Use the symbols to mark on the Idaho map where the person lives or lived.
Visit http://www.50states.com/bio/idaho.htm for a list of some famous Idahoans.
- Create a timeline of Idaho governors using portrait pictures of them. Write a statement about each one and what they accomplished while they were in office.
- Alan Hydes’ Celebrity Portraits by Alan Hydes; Harper Collins Publishers, October 1, 2003. ISBN: 0007169345
- The Art of Portrait Drawing by Joy Thomas; North Light Books, June 12, 2006. ISBN: 1581807120
- The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expressions by Gary Faigin; Watson-Guptill Publications, 1990. ISBN: 0823016285
- Drawing the Human Head by Burne Hogarth; Watson-Guptill Publications, March 1989. ISBN: 0823013766
- The Encyclopedia of Sculpting Techniques: A Unique Visual Directory, With Step-By-Step Instructions and a Gallery of Finished Works by John Plowman; Running Press, September 1995. ISBN: 156138532
- Encyclopedia of Sculpture Techniques by John Mills; Batsford, August 2005. ISBN: 0713489308
- Modern Sculpture: A Concise History (World of Art) by Herbert Read; Thames & Hudson Inc., February 1985. ISBN: 0500200149
- The Portrait in Clay by Peter Rubiro; Watson-Guptill Publications, November 1997. ISBN: 0823041026
- Sculpting Basics: Everything You Need to Know to Create Fantastic Three-Dimensional Artworks by Karin Hessenberg; Barron’s Education Series, Inc., September 2005. ISBN: 0764158430
- Sculpture As Experience: Working With Clay, Wire, Wax, Plaster, and Found Objects by Judith Peck; Chilton Book Company, April 1989. ISBN: 0801979781
- 500 Self-Portraits by Julian Bell; Phaidon Press, April 1, 2004. ISBN: 0714843849
- Alphabet Animals by Charles Sullivan; Rizzoli, July 15, 1991. ISBN: 0847813770
- Funny Faces: A Very First Picture Book by Lorenz Books; Lorenz Books, October 1996. ISBN: 1859671195
- My Very First Look At Shapes by Christiane Gunzi; Two-Can, June 2001. ISBN: 158728278x
- Smile! By Roberta Grobel Intrater; Cartwheel; Board edition, October 1, 1997. ISBN: 0590058991
Pre-K to 3rd
- 3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet by Bob Raczka; Millbrook Press, September 2006. ISBN: 0761394567
- A Day in the Life of a Sculptor by Liza N. Burby; Power Kids Press, 1st ed., August 1999. ISBN: 082395305x
- Children, Clay and Sculpture by Cathy Wisman Topal; Sterling, December 31, 1998. ISBN: 0871921456
- Looking at Faces in Art by Joy Richardson; Gareth Steven Publishing, January 2000. ISBN: 0836826248
- Make Sculpture! by Kim Solga; North Light Books, April 1992. ISBN: 0891344209
- People by Philp Yenawine; Museum of Modern Art, December 30, 2006. ISBN: 0870701746
- Portraits by Bobbie Kalman, Clare Roundhill and Penny King; Crabtree Publications, October 1997. ISBN: 0865058504
- Portraits by Claude Delafosse and Gallimard Jeunesse; Scholastic, October 1995. ISBN: 0590552007
- Rushmore by Lynn Curlee; Scholastic Press, April 1999. ISBN: 0590225731
- What is Art? Painting and Sculpture by Nuria Roca; Barron’s Educational Series, December 2, 2003. ISBN: 0764127004
- What Presidents Are Made Of? by Hanoch Piven; Atheneum, July 6, 2004. ISBN: 0689868804
4 th to 6th
- Who Carved the Mountain?: The Story of Mount Rushmore by Jean L.S. Patrick and Renee Graef; Mount Rushmore History Association, May 1, 2005. ISBN: 0975261746
- The Art of Sculpture by Scholastic Books; Scholastic Trade, March 1995. ISBN: 0590476416
- Children Make Sculpture by Elizabeth Leyh; Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1972. ISBN: 0442047711
- The Doubleday Book of Famous Americans by Suzanne Lavert; Doubleday Books for Young Readers, August 1, 1989. ISBN: 0385236999
- Draw 50 Famous Stars As Selected by Rona Barrett’s Hollywood Magazine by Lee J. Ames; Doubleday, April 14, 1982. ISBN: 038515688X
- The Neptune Fountain: The Apprenticeship of a Renaissance Sculptor by Taylor Morrison; Holiday House, March 1997. ISBN: 0823412938
- Sculpture: Behind the Scenes by Andrew Pekarik; Hyperion, September 1992. ISBN: 1562822950
- Self-Portraits by Peggy Roalf; Hyperion, April 1993. ISBN: 1562823566
- Shaping A President: Sculpting For The Roosevelt Memorial by Kelli Peduzzi; The Millbrook Press, August 1, 1997. ISBN: 0761302077
- What is a Sculpture? by Anne Civardi; Sea-To-Sea Publications, July 30, 2005. ISBN: 1932889876
- The Art Gallery: Faces by Philp Wilkinson; Peter Bedrick, June 1, 2000. ISBN: 0872266338
- Draw 50 Famous Faces: The Step-By-Step Way to Draw Shakespeare, Bill Cosby, George Washington, and Many More… by Lee J. Ames; Broadway, May 5, 1987. ISBN: 0385234325
- The History of Western Sculpture: A Young Peron’s Guide by Juliet Heslewood; Hienemann Library, November 1995. ISBN: 0817240012
- Model Buildings & How To Make Them by Harvey Weiss; Thomas Y. Crowell, May 1979. ISBN: 0690013418
- Mount Rushmore Story by Judith St. George; Putnam, July 2, 1985. ISBN: 0399211179
- The Sculptor’s Eye: Looking at Contemporary American Art by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan; Delacorte Press, September 1, 1993. ISBN: 0385309023
- The Story of Sculpture: From Prehistory to the Present by Francesca Romei and Giacinto Gaudenzi; Peter Bedrick, February 9, 2001. ISBN: 0872263169
- What is a Self-Portrait? by Ruth Thomson; Sea To Sea Publications, July 30, 2005. ISBN: 1932889892
- Character Sculpture in 3-D: A Three-dimensional Look into Creature Design by Michael Edenfield; Design Studio Press, November 21, 2007. ISBN: 193349221X
- Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists by Mark Simon; Watson-Guptill Publications, June 20, 2005. ISBN: 0823016714
- Secrets to Drawing Realistic Faces by Carrie Stuart Park; North Light Books, March 2003. ISBN: 1581802161
- The Sculptor’s Way: A Guide to Modeling and Sculpture by Brenda Putnam; Dover Publications, March 3, 2003. ISBN: 0486423131
- Sculpture by Mary Jane Opie; Dorling Kindersley, December 1994. ISBN: 156458495x
- Start Sculpting: A Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide To Working In Three Dimensions by John Plowman; Book Sales, September 1999. ISBN: 0785803548
- Teach Yourself Sculpture by Jane M. Hill; McGraw-Hill, January 11, 1998. ISBN: 08442101758