Museums

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 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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Cameron Frye, this one’s for you.

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Cameron Frye, this one’s for you.

Georges Seurat’s painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte-1884 has become an iconic piece of art. Painted from 1884-1886, the painting depicts various classes of Parisian life during a leisurely Sunday along the banks of the River Seine. One of the most well known movies of the 1980’s has La Grande Jatte play center stage. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, starring a young Matthew Broderick, has the three main characters, Ferris, Cameron and Sloan, take the skip school to take off on a fun day exploring the city of Chicago. At one point in the movie, the three characters explore the Art Institute of Chicago, the home to Seurat’s painting. This iconic image of Cameron Frye, played by Alan Ruck, contemplating the painting is imbedded in the minds of anyone who grew up in the 1980’s. Cameron Frye, this one’s for...

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Day at the museum

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Day at the museum

Spent Saturday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  I have been to this museum countless times to view the various collections and traveling exhibitions that come through.   This time I took a second look at Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting.  Vincent painted 12 versions of sunflowers during his lifetime.  The most famous of these are the 7 he painted while living in the “Yellow House” in Arles, France.  Vincent wanted to create a “studio of the south” in Arles and invited his painter friend, Paul Gauguin, to live and paint with him in the house.  Vincent created these painting to decorate the house before his friend Paul arrived. Gauguin did move in with Vincent in the Fall of 188 and stayed just 2 months, until Vincent and such a tumultuous fight that Vincent cut off a small part of his ear!  That was all Paul needed to leave and Vincents dream of creating an artist community with his dear friend ended.   Vincent van Gogh created thick brush stokes on his paintings.  Looking at his work in person, you can feel the ferocity that he painted with.  I took a close up photograph to show the thickness of his paint.  ...

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Jim Henson Exhibit

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Jim Henson Exhibit

Who doesn’t love Jim Henson? The genius who gave us Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzy Bear, Bert and Ernie, the Grouch, Big Bird, and more is being featured in an exhibition at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown Pennsylvania.  Mark your calenders now, as the exhibition opens in September 2009. Click here to read...

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