Drawing from Sculpture
Schlagle, Lisa, School Arts
How does the form of a sculpture change as you walk around it? What do you discover about a sculpture by drawing a picture of it? Why would an artist choose to make a sculpture very large, or very small? These are a few of the questions that seventh and eighth grade public school students considered during workshops at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Nelson-Atkins is fortunate to have on loan, from the Hall Family Foundations, an extensive collection of bronze sculpture by twentieth-century British sculptor Henry Moore. This collection is an excellent source for teaching students about the process of making art. It also enables the students to experience the role that scale played for Moore, throughout the three stages of his working process: maquette, working model and monumental sculpture. If Moore felt that the maquette, a small, three-dimensional model, was successful, he would make a second version, increasing the scale to an intermediate size, which became the working model. Later, and frequently after making modifications, Moore would take the final step of creating a monumental sculpture.
In one two-hour workshop, students looked at and talked about Moore's maquettes and working models on exhibition within the museum, then moved outside to the Henry Moore Sculpture Garden on the museum's south lawn. In the garden, students explored Moore's monumental works by drawing a series of small, warm-up sketches on newsprint. …