Art History

KAWS at PAFA…Who is KAWS?

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KAWS at PAFA…Who is KAWS?

I finally was able to visit the KAWS exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1805 by painter Charles Wilson Peale, sculptor William Rush and other business leaders of the time. PAFA is a museum and fine arts school that confers Bachelors and Masters degrees. Famous artist who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts include Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt, Maxfield Parrish, Charles Sheeler, John Sloan, Charles Demuth, Arthur B. Carles, architect Louis I. Kahn and filmmaker David Lynch. The building is a registered National Historic landmark designed by Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt and is an example of Victorian Gothic architecture. The building is grande and houses a vast collection of American art from the 1760’s to the present day. So who is KAWS you ask? Well, so did I. Brian Donnelly, professionally known as KAWS, is a Brooklyn based artist, well known as a designer of limited edition toys and clothing. KAWS attended the School of Visual Arts and became a graffiti artist in New York City in the 1990’s. He graduated in 1996 with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. His graffiti art began to become sought after and recognize in major cities throughout the world. During the late 1990’s he began to design and produce limited edition vinyl toys. KAWS has also made a series of hard edge acrylic paintings all with repeated child like imagery. His spoof of the Simpson’s, “the Kimpson’s” is also on display. The exhibit is an amazing juxtaposition between the classis arts of the American period with the contemporary child like sculptures of KAWS. Each sculpture plays off of what is around it making one think about what contemporary art will be joining the ranks of the most famous classic sculptures of the past. While hundreds of years ago, marble and bronze were the medium of the time, plastic and vinyl are todays. KAWS is an artist we all should all be watching in the future. Have your child curate their own KAWS inspired exhibit! Have your kids curate their own show using their favorite toys and figures. Pick out a famous painting online using Google art project or use a post card from a museum visit. Have you child place their toys in front of the image and snap a picture. What toys will they place with what famous artworks? Discuss their choices with them. Why are these toys going with this famous work? Maybe it’s the color choices of the objects or maybe it’s the shapes of the toys along with the shapes of the famous artworks. Create a rich discussion with your child about their choices. They will open your eyes to the many creative connections they can bring together. Be inspired! What do you think of KAWS? Send us your child’s KAWS inspired photographs…we’d love to post...

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Happy Birthday Georges Seurat!

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Happy Birthday Georges Seurat!

Today is painter Georges Seurat’s birthday! Georges was born on December 2, 1859 in Paris, France. He was best known for a painting technique called “pointillism.” Georges painted with  small dabs and dots of paint on his canvas instead of broad brushstrokes.   Learn more about Georges Seurat by reading The Primary Kids Meet Georges Seurat  with your kids. Happy Birthday Georges and thank you for starring with The Primary Kids in their first book! It makes a great holiday gift! Who is your child’s favorite...

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Happy Thanksgiving from The Primary Kids!

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Happy Thanksgiving from The Primary Kids!

  The Primary Kids wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

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A visit to the Rodin Museum

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A visit to the Rodin Museum

The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia houses the largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures outside of Paris. Jules Mastbaum, a native of Philadelphia who made his fortune in the burgeoning movie theater business, founded the museum. Mastbaum began collecting works by Rodin in 1923, with the intention of leaving the works to his beloved city. In 1926, Mastbaum commissioned French architects Paul Cret and Jacques Greber to design the Rodin museum. The museum was inaugurated on November 29, 1929, after Mastbaums death.   A visit to the Rodin Museum   According to the website: In the 1920s the City of Philadelphia was in the midst of creating the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as a great civic space. The Free Library of Philadelphia opened its central Logan Square location in 1927, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s main building was opened to the public the following year. Nestled between these two public destinations on the Parkway, the intimately scaled Rodin Museum opened in November 1929. A unique ensemble of Beaux-Arts architecture and a formal French garden in which to experience the sculpture of Auguste Rodin, the Museum was designed by French architect Paul Cret (1876–1945) and French landscape designer Jacques Gréber (1882–1962). Its founder, the entrepreneur and philanthropist Jules E. Mastbaum, gave the Museum to his native city as a gift and it was immediately embraced and celebrated, drawing over 390,000 visitors in its first year. Today, it is one of the defining icons of the city, housing one of the most comprehensive public collections of work outside Paris by one of the world’s most renowned sculptors. The museum concluded a 9 million dollar renovation in 2012, reopening the glorious museum 3 years after it closed for the renovation to bring it back to it’s original 1929 condition. The Museum houses over 140 bronzes, marble, and plaster artworks, spanning Rodin’s career. Can’t visit the museum anytime soon? The website of the Rodin Museum has a fantastic collection gallery on view. Over 140 images of the collection are featured, including pertinent information about the work.  The website also curates the collection on it’s section entitled, “Explore Collection Themes.” The themes on the website are “About Auguste Rodin,” “Bronze casting”, “Museum History,” and “The Gates of Hell.” The Rodin Museum also has a fantastic app for the iphone or ipad with images of the sculptures from the museum. The app contains audio to educate the viewer about some of Rodin’s most famous sculptures. Did I mention that the app is FREE?         Click here for the link to the free Rodin Museum app. This is a great way to visit the museum without leaving your home!   What do you think about Rodin’s sculptures?...

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Quote of the Week Wednesday!

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Quote of the Week Wednesday!

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo...

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Meet Henri Rousseau

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Meet Henri Rousseau

My name is Henry Rousseau and I was born on May 21, 1844 in Laval, France. I didn’t attend art school but taught myself how to paint. My most famous painting is The Sleeping Gypsy painted in 1897. Three interesting facts about me: 1. I won many awards for my drawings when I was in high school. 2. I never visited a real jungle but it was my favorite subject to paint. 3. I had many different jobs though the years and I didn’t start painting seriously until I was over 40 years old. I died on September 2, 1910 in Paris, France. Quote: “Nothing makes me so happy as to observe nature and to paint what I...

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