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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

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  • The Fruit Dish, Amelia Pelaez, 1947

    Slide Notes

    Amelia Pelaez (1896-1968) began painting in her twenties, first in Havana and later in Paris. She studied in Paris from 1931 to 1934. Her influences include Matisse, Braque and Picasso. In 1934 Pelaez returned to Cuba where she combined her unique version of cubism with bright colors and vivid images of the flora and fauna of Cuba. She used her own surrroundings as inspiration for her work in order to celebrate "lo cubano".

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  • The Jungle by Wifredo Lam, 1943

    Slide Notes

    The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 190
    In this monumental and thematically complex gouache, masked figures simultaneously appear and disappear amid the thick foliage of sugarcane and bamboo. The multiperspectival rendering of these figures mirrors Cubist vocabulary, while the fantastical moonlit scene around these monstrous beings—half man, half animal—emerging out of a primeval jungle evokes the realm of the Surrealists. In his desire to express the spirit of Afro-Cuban culture, in particular that of the uprooted Africans "who brought their primitive culture, their magical religion, with its mystical side in close correspondence with nature," Lam reinforces the Surrealist aspect of this work.

    Born in Cuba, Lam spent eighteen years in Europe (1923—41), which deeply affected his artistic vision. While there, he befriended Pablo Picasso and also established himself as an integral member of the Surrealist movement. The artistic and cultural traditions of Lam's homeland and Europe converged when he returned to Cuba and renewed his familiarity with its light, vegetation, and culture. In The Jungle the presence of the woman-horse, who in Afro-Cuban mysticism refers to a spirit in communication with the natural world, mirrors Lam's own confrontational dialogue with the so-called primitive interests expressed in advanced European painting. His work is an example of this confluence of two cultures.

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  • Sugar Cane Cutters Mario Carreno...

    Slide Notes

    Mario Carreno (Chilean, born Cuba. 1913 -1999) What do you know about Cuba's history that makes this topic so important for the artist?

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  • Guajiros, 1938 Eduardo Abela

    Slide Notes

    San Antonio de los Banos 1889 -La Habana 1965

    Oil on canvas

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  • Muchacha en rosa Cundo...

    Slide Notes

    Do you see the influence of other painters in this artists' work? Which ones?

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  • La Gitana Tropical, Victor Manuel...

    Slide Notes

    Most of Manuel's works are of landscapes and feminine figures. All of works include a "fiercely Cuban theme".

    What is the Cuban theme in this painting? What makes you say that?

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  • Waiting for the coffee, Antonio...

    Slide Notes

    What do you see if this artwork that corresponds with what you know about Cuba? What do you see specifically that makes you say that?

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  • According to famous Cuban artist Ibrahim Miranda: "Our insular condition has been a decisive factor in our culture, influencing our myths, fantasies and our national psyche. The sensation of being isolated, separated from everyone, floating in the middle of the sea, has been a strong stimulus to the imagination of Cuban artists.'
    http://www.artesolgallery.com/cuban_artists/

  • Nathaniel Sparhawk

    Slide Notes

    This painting of Nathaniel Sparhawk tells us a lot about him.

    What do you see in the background? What is the artist referencing in the background. What does it tell us about this Colonial Citizen?

    What does his body language say?

    What do you think his coat is made of? Has Copley done a good job representing texture in this painting?

    Do you think that he is wearing a wig?
    What do the shoe buckles represent?

    Details

    Nathaniel Sparhawk

    1764

    John Singleton Copley, American, 1738–1815

    Dimensions

    231.14 x 149.86 cm (91 x 59 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    1983.595

    Collections
    Americas
    On View
    Saunders Gallery (Copley) - 128 More Info

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  • Sculpted Roundels of McKay's...

    Slide Notes

    These relief sculptures are two of a series on the front side of the Donald McKay School, near the roof.

    Looking questions:
    1. What can you identify on these sculptures?
    2. Are the ships on the two sculptures the same ship, or are they different?
    3. Do these ships remind you of the models on the previous slides?

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