How to make the most out of your museum visit for teachers, parents and home schoolers,
Grades K-8 and Grades 9-12
The Appleton Museum of Art has an extensive collection of more than 18,000 objects spanning 3,000 years and multiple cultures. The permanent collections include Mediterranean Antiquities, Pre-Columbian artifacts, European paintings, sculpture and decorative arts, Asian, Islamic, and African art and artifacts as well as contemporary American and International works. The Edith Marie Appleton Wing provides frequently changing exhibitions in the Balcony Gallery and in the Edith Marie Gallery. To get the most out of your visit to the museum try the following preparations.
Preparation 1: Talk to your students about what a museum is.
A museum is a collection of objects for an educational purpose. The Appleton Museum of Art is a collection of objects deemed of art. Museums are created by government agencies or people like Arthur Appleton. Mr. Appleton donated his large art collection and 6 million dollars to the city of Ocala and created the Appleton Museum of Art for the people of this community.
Preparation 2: Talk to your students about art.
Art is the visual representation of ideas. Each work of art tells us about the artist’s ideas, current thought on social and political events, and the artist’s personal view. Art is like a poem or a novel; it has symbols which stand for a great range of human experience. Ask your students to think of the following questions before their museum visit.
- When was it made? Instruct students to look at the label next to the artwork and find the answers.
- What nation of the world is this art from? Instruct students to look at the label next to the artwork and find the answers.
- How did the artist make the work of Art? Ask students to think about the process that created the art. For example a sculpture requires the artist to think about the object from all four sides. Artists often drew many drawings of a sculpture from every possible view. As a next step they would make a smaller version of the sculpture from clay or plaster. Creating the actual sculpture could involve making a mold from clay or plaster or carefully chipping away at a material while looking at drawings.
- What does the work of art mean? From the beginning of time to today artists have made art to tell us something like telling a story or relating a feeling. Artists from different cultures tell us some of the most important things about their life and the people in it by making art. Ask students about what they can learn from looking at this oil painting created 500 years ago by Bernardo Luini? How does the woman feel? For example, is she happy, sad, dreamy, worried, and angry? What does her appearance tell us? For example, is she old or young? What part of the painting seems most important?
Preparation 3: Define a focus/theme for the tour.
Define a specific focus or theme for your museum visit. Sample Focus: technology from 1500 to 1900: Ask students to identify the tools and other implements found in the artwork on display. Post museum visit discuss how the tools and other implements are different from those in use today.
Preparation 4: Make a pre-tour visit to the museum.
Visit the museum yourself if you haven’t been to the museum in the last month. The museum has extensive information on the museum collections available in the museum library. Suggestion: purchase the Appleton Museum of Art Catalog to help plan your student assignment or as a text book for home schooled students. Contact the Curator of Exhibitions, Ruth Grim, to arrange an Educator pre-class visit to the museum and library. If you are unable to travel to the museum you can also request information available on current and upcoming exhibitions.
How to make the most out of your museum visit for teachers, parents and home schoolers, Grades 6-12
Preparation 1: Become familiar with elements of art.
Art is a form of communication like any other language much of the information is relayed by the artist’s use of the elements of art. Some types of art appear easy to understand as they are realistic depictions, yet the artist likely used art elements in the composition and symbols to communicate a complex meaning. Discus the elements of art with your students and ask them to look at artwork in the classroom and find the following list of art elements. Ask students how the artist used the elements of art to convey meaning in the artwork.
- Form refers to an objects shape.
- Composition is how an artist organizes forms in an art work.
- Material or media is what the artist has used to create a work of art.
- Line is an important element to define forms in a work of art.
- Color is one of the more complex elements. It can vary in intensity and complement or compete causing adjacent colors to become more important or less important to the viewer.
- Texture is a quality of the surface which can be an actual tactile surface like the rough surface of a stone or a depicted texture.
- Space can be the three dimensional space occupied by a sculpture or the space depicted in a painting such as a room interior.
- Perspective is the organization of a two dimensional work of art to create the illusion of three dimensional space.
- Proportion concerns the relationship of parts to the whole.
Preparation 2: Define a focus/theme for the tour.
Define a specific focus or theme for your museum visit. Sample Focus: perceptual and conceptual a: Ask students to identify the art on display that is perceptual or based on visual reality. An example is the oil painting “The Proposal” by Carl Rudolph Sohn, C.E. 1881.
Also ask students to identify art that is conceptual or idea based art. An example of conceptual art is “Antelope Headdress” carved from wood by the Bama peoples of Mali, Africa. The headdress represents the embodiments of power and grace of the antelope. Suggestion: post museum visit ask students which art work they liked best and why. Ask them what they thought about perceptual art and conceptual art. Discus how conceptual art like the “Antelope Headdress” influenced 20th century artists like Picasso and Gauguin.
Free Admission and Homework Assignments
The Appleton Museum of Art offers free admission to high school students working on school assignments. Please contact Ruth Grim to arrange for student assignments in the museum.