When We Were Young

When We Were Young : New Perspectives on the Art of the Child

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In his last and most overarching essay on the subject, Rudolf Arnheim encourages us to see the range of individuality in children's drawings and to recognize the child's creation of 'significant form' as a way of bringing coherence to his or her experience of the world. This groundbreaking book brings together distinguished critics and scholars, including Rudolf Arnheim, to explore children's art and its profound but rarely documented history. The contributors address central questions of how children use art to make sense of their experience and what really constitutes visual 'giftedness' in children. They also cover such topics as visual thinking, the influence of popular culture on children's drawings, giftedness versus education in children's drawings, process, and social interaction in drawing. Created to accompany an exhibition on children's drawings, "When We Were Young" features a stunning full-color gallery of drawings both by famous artists such as Ingres, Van Gogh, Picasso, Miro, and Klee when they were children and by extraordinary 'ordinary' children. An annotated chronology, with synopses and more than a thousand scholarly notes, offers a comprehensive survey of the literature and history of child art from the thirteenth century to the present. It includes essays by Rudolf Arnheim, Jonathan Fineberg, Misty S. Houston, Olga Ivashkevich, Christine Marme Thompson, and Elizabeth Hutton Turner.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 208.3 x 251.5 x 20.3mm | 997.91g
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 112 color illustrations, 88 b/w photographs
  • 0520250435
  • 9780520250437

About Jonathan Fineberg

Jonathan Fineberg is Gutgsell Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and Columbia universities and is a trustee of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. In addition to editing Discovering Child Art: Essays on Childhood, Primitivism, and Modernism, he is the author of The Innocent Eye: Children's Art and The Modern Artist, Art since 1940, and Imagining America: Icons of 20th Century American Art.

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Flap copy

"Jonathan Fineberg captures in words the reality, delight, and imagination of children's art. He is a visionary, as are so many of the artists he cites in this important book."Agnes Gund, President Emerita, Museum of Modern Art"

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Table of contents

Foreword by Jay Gates and Richard Herman Acknowledgments by Jonathan Fineberg and Kathleen T. Harleman Introduction: Gifts of Seeing Jonathan Fineberg Beginning with the Child Rudolf Arnheim The "Ket Aesthetic": Visual Culture in Childhood Christine Marme Thompson Drawing in Children's Lives Olga Ivashkevich The Early Drawings of Louis XIII in the Journal de Jean Heroard Misty S. Houston "Animal Sketching": Aspects of Drawing and Play in Early Calder Elizabeth Hutton Turner Child's Play and the Origins of Art Jonathan Fineberg Gallery Children's Art: An Annotated Chronology by Jonathan Fineberg, Olga Ivashkevich, and Mysoon Rizk Index

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