Using authentic materials for art education is necessary to clarify the complicated relationship between artists and their creative process. This paper will showcase four institutions in New York, NY that use constructivist and sociocultural approaches to demystify the process of art for children through authentic materials. Two of these institutions focus on process and technique. In the Met’s How Did They Do That? program, curators and conservators, alongside educators, share their insights about materials and artistic choices while leading hands-on activities. MoMA’s Material Lab gives children the opportunity to explore the same materials that artists use, to search for these materials in the museum’s collection, and to create their own interpretations. Two other organizations empower teachers to reflect upon the material choices artists make and to consider the potential for classroom investigation. The Morgan Book Project at The Morgan Library and Museum aims to instill a childhood appreciation for books by providing authentic materials to write, illustrate, and construct their own Medieval and Renaissance-inspired illuminated manuscripts. Art21, an educational organization, produces films and programs that support educators in the classroom in their efforts to bring the working methods of contemporary artists into teaching and learning. From the lessons provided by these art institutions, the paper will conclude with strategies that can inspire teachers to transform their art classroom into a laboratory for learning—socially, artistically, and aesthetically.
|Keywords:||Materials, Museum Education, Art Teaching, Teacher Professional Development, Children|
Program Officer of Education and Curriculum Programs, Access, Education and Regional Services, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia