@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
  • Book Review: 13 American Artists Children Should Know @Prestel_UK

    December 27th, 2011mardixonCulture, Literacy

    Being American, I was really interested in this book. I must admit that some I didn’t recognize but that was the point – each of these American Artists belong in this book and it was for us to learn why they are important. Even if you’re not American, this book is an insightful and fun book to have.

    13 American Artists Children Should Know is 45 pages of American artists that you may or may not have heard of but each artists produced art that revealed something about being an American. This book is more geared to Children (as opposed to 13 Art Inventions Children Should Know) but still best for 7+. Each artists has two pages which describes not only their art, but a brief biography of them as a person. This helps build the profile and explain more in-depth why their art is significant..

    Each page is laid out with a timeline at the top of each page to provide a placement in history. On the left column is a Fact box of the Artists: Born, Died, Lived in (the cities), Painting style and Hobby/Son if appropriate. Below that is additional information as appropriate. This could be a fun fact, interesting tidbit, etc. For example, Louise Bourgeois work ‘Maman’ is so famous that copies are in Canada, Cuba, France, Russian, South Korea, Spain and the USA.

    Very colourful pictures also help with the comprehension and importance of each artists. Where appropriate, there are websites that link to more information. I really liked the website link, a bit worried that it might date itself but it will still inspire kids recognize they can research more if they chose. There are also splashes of activities sprinkled throughout the pages. For example, for And Warhol, your encouraged to make your own pop art using a collage out of old cereal boxes etc.

    The artists are described to ensure new terminology is introduced while ensuring kids (with parents) would understand or ask questions. Terminology that might be confusing has an explanation in the Glossary at the back of the book. One thing I would have liked is to have the words at the bottom of the page and in the Glossary so I didn’t have to flip back and forth.

    The 13 American Artists are:

    • Winslow Horner
    • Mary Cassatt
    • John Singer Sargent

    • Edward Hopper
    • Georgia O’Keeffe
    • Alexander Calder
    • Mark Rothko
    • Joseph Cornell
    • Louise Bourgeois
    • Jackson Pollock
    • Jacob Lawrence
    • Andy Warhol
    • Jasper Johns
    • Glossary

    Each artists have earned their right in the book but personally I would have liked to have seen Norman Rockwell  on the list. Having said that, I’m not sure what artists he should have replaced. The author did a very good job in narrowing it down to 13!

    4.0 out of 5 stars for this book.

    Prestel Books

    [Edit to change Norman Rockerfeller to Norman Rockwell]

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