Discovering Child Art: Essays on Childhood, Primitivism and Modernism

Discovering Child Art: Essays on Childhood, Primitivism and Modernism

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Edited by Jonathan Fineberg

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  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 294 pages
  • Dimensions: 188mm x 251mm x 15mm | 726g
  • Publication date: 23 January 2001
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691086826
  • ISBN 13: 9780691086828
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Sales rank: 1,307,268

Product description

This book brings together thirteen distinguished critics and scholars to explore children's art and its profound but rarely documented influence on the evolution of modern art. It shows that children's art and childhood have inspired major works of art, served as central metaphors for artistic spontaneity and honesty, and provided a window into the fundamental human qualities explored by modern artists. The volume complements editor Jonathan Fineberg's groundbreaking new book, The Innocent Eye (Princeton, 1997), in which he showed how many of the greatest masters of modern art collected and were directly influenced by children's drawings. Contributors here both expand on Fineberg's themes and take the study of children's art in new directions. They examine, for example, the influence of child art on such artists as Kandinsky, Klee, Larionov, and Mir; the diverse styles of children's art; the influence of Romantic ideas on perceptions of children's art; the conception of giftedness versus education in children's drawings; and the relationship between children's art and primitivism. The book offers unique glimpses into the working processes of great modern artists, presenting, for example, Dora Vallier's personal recollections of Mir and his creative process, and new documentation about the works of the Russian avant-garde. The essays draw on art theory, psychology, and the close study of individual works of art and written texts. Discovering Child Art will appeal to a wide range of readers, including art historians, psychologists, and art educators. Contributors to the book are Troels Andersen, Rudolf Arnheim, John Carlin, Marcel Franciscono, Ernst Gombrich, Christopher Green, Josef Helfenstein, Werner Hofmann, Yuri Molok, G. G. Pospelov, Richard Shiff, Dora Vallier, and Barbara Wrwag.

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Author information

Jonathan Fineberg is Professor of Art History and University Scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has won the Pultzer Fellowship in Critical Writing and the Art Critic's Fellowship of the National Endowment for the Arts. He has curated major exhibitions in the United States and Europe. His recent books include The Innocent Eye (Princeton) and Art since 1940: Strotegies of Being.

Review quote

"The breadth of the contributions, the eminence of the authors, and the new perspectives brought to light help clarify dramatically the seminal role children's art played in paintings, drawing, and aesthetic theories of many of this century's most innovative artists." - Steven Monsbach, Pratt Institute "The premise that many of the great masters of twentieth-century art collected children's drawings in depth, and that these drawings directly influenced some of their most celebrated works, is extended and explored [in Discovering Child Art] by a diverse group of museum directors and curators, art historians, psychologists, philosophers, and critics.... This book is recommended for both art history and art education university resource sheives." - Kent Anderson, School Arts"

Back cover copy

"The breadth of contributions, the eminence of the authors, and the new perspectives brought to light help clarify dramatically the seminal role children's art played in paintings, drawings, and aesthetic theories of many of this century's most innovative artists."--Steven Mansbach, Pratt Institute "The premise that many of the great masters of twentieth-century art collected children's drawings in depth, and that these drawings directly influenced some of their most celebrated works, is extended and explored [in Discovering Child Art] by a diverse group of museum directors and curators, art historians, psychologists, philosophers, and critics. . . . This book is recommended for both art history and art education university resource shelves."--Kent Anderson, School Arts

Table of contents

List of Illustrations Beginning with the Child Viollet-le-Duc's Histoire d'un dessinateur Larionov and Children's Drawings Children's Drawing in Russian Futurism "There Is an Unconscious, Vast Power in the Child": Notes on Kandinsky, Munter and Children's Drawings Paul Klee and Children's Art The Issue of Childhood in Klee's Late Work From Primitivist Phylogeny to Formalist Ontogeny: Roger Fry and Children's Drawings Miro and Children's Drawings The Infant in the Adult: Joan Miro and the Infantile Image Magic Figures: Jorn, Cobra and Children's Drawings From Wonder to Blunder: The Child Is Mother to the Man Notes on the Contributors Index