Thursday, January 7, 2010

30,000 Years of Art & Biscuits

I've developed an over-whelming interest, ok, you could say passion, for art history in the past few years. I've listened to several lecture series by the Teaching Company, visited several art museums, looked at hundreds of pictures in art books, and watched several art documentaries.

Art is such an important part of my life now, and it is something I definitely want to share with my kids. Besides giving them tons of art supplies and letting them explore however they see fit, I've also shown them many videos made about artists (the World's Greatest Artists series, Leonardo and the Flying Ship, Monet: Shadows and Light), taken them to the Art Insititue, and recently they've started looking through my art books.

Steve bought me a fantastic art book titled 30,000 Years of Art. It starts out chronologically with the earliest art works from pre-history up to the present date. I've been looking at works of art based on the time period in history I'm currently learning about. I've set a goal for myself to chronologically study history, something I've always wanted to do. I spent two years learning about pre-history up to A.D. 500, and this year I'll be learning about the time period 500 A.D.-1450.

Anyways, during breakfast sometimes I'll bring out the huge book and look through it. Lately, Alexa has been interested in the pictures as well. I've written before about how she can read pretty well, so she was very excited when I showed her how you could find out each artwork's country of origin as well as the title if it had one.

She then proceeded to flip through each page for an hour and a half, telling me the country of origin for each art work. I had to help on a few country names like Iraq, Pakistan, and a few others, but she did really well. I was really amazing that the book had captured her attention so much. It also gave me secret joy that she seemed to like something I loved so much. I really want her to be her own person with her own interests, but it is nice when we share some common interests with our kids.

Here's a cute little story. As Alexa is thumbing through the pages, she runs across a picture of a Greek stature. Of course, it happenes to be a nude. She stares at it for a few seconds, and then says, matter-of-factly, "I can see that man's private area." Oh my.

Just to show how opposite my kids are, Jared barely looked at the pictures in the book. Not to say he'll never take an interest in looking at art; he just isn't that into it at this time. Instead, he had fun taking all the left-over buscuits from the previous night's dinner, pushing them in his cart, and putting them in different areas all over the house. Why play with a room full of toys when you've got perfectly good biscuits to play with, right?

No comments: