Edna Andrade, American
Acrylic on canvas
72 x 71 15/16 inches (182.9 x 182.7 cm)
Gift of the Philadelphia Arts Exchange, 1978
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PA Science standards (major) 3.1.C, 3.8.B, (lesser) 3.2.A, 3.3.B
PA Art/Humanities Standards (major) 9.4.C,D (lesser) 9.2.A,L
NJ Language Arts Literacy (major) 3.5.A, (lesser) 3.2.B
NJ Science (major) 5.1.A, (lesser) 5.5.A
Grade Level:For grades 7-9, with modifications for elem. and H.S.
Art Images Required:(A note about images: Most images listed can be found by searching the collection at the Museum Website www.philamuseum.org. Those images that are also available from Artstor are indicated in the body of the lesson plan with a search phrase. Typing that exact search phrase will direct you to the specific image from the Artstor database. Other image sources are indicated in the body of the lesson plan.)
- Right Shoulder, Arm, and Hand, by Thomas Eakins
- Dunes, by Jacob Isaacksz van Ruisdael
- Night Sea, by Edna Andrade
- Draw a large Venn Diagram on the board (be sure to leave significant room in the common center of the diagram). Review the purpose of the Venn Diagram as an organizational tool. This will be the key to the lesson.
- Opening question: How would you define "art"? Focus the question on that art which refers to painting and sculpture. What specific characteristics make something "art"? List these characteristics separately from the Venn Diagram. After the open-ended discussion, refer to the list. Which characteristics of art are also generally found to be characteristics of the natural world? Indicate these in the common area of the Venn Diagram. Complete the contrasting areas of the diagram through further discussion as the lesson progresses.
- Introduce the concept of a scanning electron micrograph (formed by a scanning beam of electrons through a scanning electron microscope). Show an example of a scanning electron micrograph from a textbook or from the Web.
- Ask: "What characteristics of art do you see from your Venn Diagram which can also apply to this image? Could this image, then, be considered 'art'?"
- Return to the Venn Diagram and revise your information as needed from the ongoing discussion.
- Display the image of the sculpture: Right Shoulder, Arm, and Hand, by Thomas Eakins from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (or ARTstor search: "Eakins, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1944-35-3")
- Ask: Should this sculpture by a famous painter be considered "art" or "science"? What qualities does it share of each? If Eakins made this piece as a model to help him create more anatomically correct paintings, would that insight change your response in any way? Revise Venn Diagram as needed.
- Display the image: Dunes, by Jacob Isaacksz van Ruisdael (or ARTstor search: "Dunes, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 563")
- In what ways does van Ruisdael’s landscape seem "scientific" and in what ways does it seem to be fantasy? What does he accomplish by following the "rules" of nature, and what does he accomplish when he violates them?
- Display the image: Night Sea, by Edna Andrade (Not available on ARTstor).
- How does this fit your growing concept of art and of science? Can it be related to the natural in any way? Revise Venn Diagram as needed.
Writing Activities: (Assessment)
- Formative assessment through ongoing discussion.
- Summative assessments:
- What connections seem to exist between art and nature? (Discuss)
- What about science appeals to people which also can be found in art? (Discuss or writing prompt)
- Essay prompt: Albert Einstein is one of the most famous scientists in history, and yet he once said, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." How does Einstein make the connection between art and science in this famous quote? What do you see as the connection between art and science?
- Pull up an image of a rainbow, and discuss it as a work of art.
- How can images of the nighttime sky be viewed as art?
- Read Walt Whitman’s poem, "When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer" and discuss the theme of the poem.
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