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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.

Identity: 1500's-20th century

We will touch base on the following pieces. Since they vary a lot, the big idea will be IDENTITY. You can focus on techniques and use a compare/contrast method of discussion.

Here is the work they would like to see:

-       JAPANESE

Dutch and Flemish: these were the first oil painters. Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Bosch were two of the more famous painters.Pieter Brueghel the Elder was known for his paintings of peasants. Some think it is a romantic interpretation of peasant life from the perspective of an outsider. Most of his paintings have a religious undertone, similar to Northern Renaissance artwork at that time.

Bosch was known for his surreal artwork-packed with fantastic imagery and imagination. However, they were still considered didactical/religious warnings (common at that time). 

Discuss: subject matter, the introduction of oil paint

European Impressionism: long after the Dutch and Flemish Renaissance paintings came impressionism.  One major point to note is the subject of the paintings.  No longer are artists creating relious work or work with figures of power.  Now we see landscapes, common scenes and everyday life. Realism and artists like Turner, really opened up the doors for impressionist painters.

Discuss: texture, subject matter, color, how does it compare to Flemish painting 

Japanese art: Choose what you feel most comfortable with. Perhaps sumi ink kit, tea ceromony collection, or samurai. Talk about aesthetic ideals/interests. Perhaps compare to the religious artwork by the Flemish painters: similar/different ideals

Art of the Americas: Let's focus on NEW America-a young country with growing independant ideals/tastes/artistic styles. Stop at the portrait of Paul Revere.

Discuss: subject matter, skill/technique, symbolism




Created By

Landa Ruen


History/Social Studies, The Arts

Grade Level

3-5, 6-8