Thursday, October 15, 2009

Horace Pippin

Second-Grade lesson from the National Gallery of Art Website

Adapted for use at George Kelly Elementary

Objectives: Students will learn about the life and painting style of African American artist Horace Pippin, learn how to "read" a painting by looking carefully at its parts, and create a “secret number” painting for a classroom counting book


Art paper, pencils, poster paints, crayons or oil pastels

Art Appreciation Lesson:

Explain that many paintings have a story and that details in a painting are clues to its meaning. Have students look at Pippin's painting Interior.
(Power Point Slide #1)

Discuss the painting, using the following questions:

*What do you see?

*Who is in the room?

*What is each person doing?

*What is it like to be in there?

*Is it warm or cold?

*What time is it?

*Is it evening or morning?

*Is the room quiet or noisy, crowded or full of empty space, modern or old-fashioned?

All of the answers to these questions tell the secret story of this painting.

Familiarize yourself with the life of Horace Pippin (information at end of lesson) so you can tell the kids about him using your own words.

Provide students with art materials to make their own “secret story" picture: have them draw a picture of their bedroom, and put in details such as furniture, etc.

Background Information:

Pippin's Early Days Horace Pippin was an African American painter. He was born around 1888—just twenty-three years after the Civil War and the end of slavery. His grandparents were slaves, and his parents were domestic workers.

Pippin liked to draw and would illustrate his spelling words in school. But his family could not afford art materials. At age ten, he won a box of crayons in a magazine drawing contest and started coloring. He left school at age fourteen to help his family. He worked on a farm, as a porter at a hotel, and as an iron molder in a factory.

In 1917 Pippin went to France to fight in World War I. His right arm was badly injured in the war. He returned home, married, and settled in Pennsylvania. Because of his injury, he worked odd jobs and barely made a living.

Pippin as Painter At the age of forty Pippin found a way—even with his crippled right hand—to draw on wood using a hot poker. He made many burnt-wood art panels. Pippin decided to try painting with oil. He used his "good" left hand to guide his crippled right hand, which held the paintbrush, across the canvas. It took him three years to finish his first painting.

Pippin went on to paint his memories of soldiers and war, and scenes from his childhood. He said, "The pictures . . . come to me in my mind and if to me it is a worthwhile picture I paint it . . .. I do over the picture several times in my mind and when I am ready to paint it I have all the details I need."

He also painted historical subjects, such as Abraham Lincoln and John Brown, and scenes from the Bible. At first, he made only about four paintings per year.

Famous Folk Artist Pippin was called a folk artist because he had no formal art training. He used bright colors, flat shapes, and straight lines. He did not use shading or complicated perspective. His art is also called primitive, naive, or innocent.

In 1938, when he was around 50, the Museum of Modern Art included four of Pippin's paintings in a traveling museum show. He took art classes for the first time. Pippin became more and more well-known. Galleries showed his paintings, and museums began to buy his work. He made 75 paintings during the last years of his life. Just as he became famous, Pippin died.

1 comment:

  1. what is the name of this powerpoint presentation? i can't figure it out...