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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.

Larger Than Life

Goals: Teach children about the concept of “scale” in art, the art of sculpting, and the creation of art inspired by “muses” or other special things in a person’s life

Art Making Activity:

·      Smaller versions of something or someone that is special to you

o   Utilizes idea of scale (making sculpture smaller than actual size), sculpting (using model magic to sculpt), and creating art based off a muse (having the children create something special in their own eyes)

o   Instead of making larger representations (as we saw today) of our own muses, we are going to shrink the scale of our sculptures

o   If we make ours tinier, they will be easier to keep with us!

·      Juno

o   Gallery 207

o   Accession #2011.75

o   Info:

•  Roman

•  Marble statue with base

•  How do you think an artist would create a marble sculpture?

•  Marble must be carved

·      A pointed chisel is held to its point on the block and hit with your hammer

·      Block is chipped at little by little

•  Why do you think an artist would want to create a sculpture of Juno?

•  Sculpture of a goddess (possibly a Muse)

•  Muse: A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist

•  Muse (Greek & Roman mythology): Each of nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences

•  Identified as Juno by her diadem (a jeweled crown or headband worn as a symbol of sovereignty), drapery, and facial features

•  Muses were adopted by the Romans as a part of their pantheon (particular set of all gods of any polytheistic religion, mythology, or tradition)

•  13 feet tall

•  Sculpture was airlifted into the gallery through an opening made in the roof

•  According to legend, it took twelve oxen to haul the figure into place at the axial focus of a long driveway at the Brandegee Estate in Brookline, Massachusetts where it previously resided

•  Why do you think the artist made Juno so much bigger than us?

•  Scale: The dimensional element defined by other elements of design size relative to art, its surroundings, or in relation to humans. Scale is the size of an element as it relates to its usual physical size

•  Scale in sculpture is measured in terms of the size of the human body

•  How many times bigger does Juno look than you?

·      A little more than 3 times bigger than one of you!

•  Artists oftentimes make sculptures larger in scale as a way to represent the significance of the subject of the piece (or the muse)

•  Why do you think the artists would make Juno so big using what we have already learned?

·      Carousel figure of a greyhound

o   Gallery 237

o   Accession #1992.267

o   Info:

•  Artists: Charles I. D. Looff

•  Made in Providence, Rhode Island

•  Wood sculpture

•  How do you think an artist would make a wood sculpture?

·      Even though this sculpture is made of a different material than the last, the same technique is used

·      Chisel and mallet

•  Where do you think this sculpture came from?

•  Have any of you been on a merry-go-round?

•  The carousel was a popular form of American entertainment

•  What type of animals do you typically see on a merry-go-round?

•  What type of animal is this?

·      Greyhound

•  The artist was known for making a number of greyhounds (around a dozen or so) modeled after a family pet

•  The artist’s greyhound became his muse

•  Do you notice anything different about the sides of the greyhound?

·      One side is very decorated

·      The other side is less decorated

·      On a merry-go-round you can only see one side of the animals as they go around and around

·      Decorated with more carved details, applied tassels, and cut-glass decorations

•  Does this dog look larger or smaller than a normal dog?

·      Much bigger

•  Why do you think the artist would make the dog much bigger?

·      The artist may have wanted to show the significance of his beloved dog by physically enlarging the animal

•  Another interesting fact about this sculpture is that when the greyhound came to the MFA, the greyhound was painted dark brown and covered with a thick layer of varnish

·      During the process of conservation (Does anybody know what conservation means? Preserving or repairing something that needs some extra love to look nicer) about fourteen layers of paint were removed to show the original surface and details

Created By

Sophia Cocozza


The Arts

Grade Level