Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Africans in Art for Black History Month

Here is a great post from Catherine Delors on Jean-Baptiste Belley. You might not have heard of him (at least I didn't) but he led a fascinating life.

When I do school visits, I often play a game where I ask the kids to guess the history of the person from the portrait. I ask them things like:  What do you think he/she is thinking at this moment? What is the meaning behind some of the surrounding objects? (Can they find some of the hidden objects?) What time period did he/she live? And then I tell them the story behind the person.

Kids love to play art detective and it's a great way to introduce a historical figure that they might not be familiar with. And when it comes to interpretting art...there really is no wrong answer. I think Jean-Baptiste Belley is a great candidate for this excersise.


Ann said...

I'm about a one semester away from having my 8-12 History teaching certificate and i love this idea and will try to use it... assuming that i can find a history job that's not also for a coach too...

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

There's an engraving of the Chevalier St. Georges that is really nice.

Bearded Lady said...

Ann - good luck on your certificate. I always wanted to be a teacher but it's too late to go back to school now.

Thanks Elizabeth. that's a good one too. Wikipedia has some of the most famous painting of him: