Bringing Russian Art to Life

By Gelula, Maryann; Williams, Kelly | School Arts, November 1999 | Go to article overview

Bringing Russian Art to Life


Gelula, Maryann, Williams, Kelly, School Arts


Faberge eggs are a beautiful symbol of Russian history and culture. When the Birch Wathen Lenox School decided to study Russia, the entire K-12 student body created elaborately jeweled Faberge eggs--some as large as three-feet tall that depicted three-dimensional scenes of New York City.

The Faberge egg project was part of a school-wide focus on Russia called the Year of Russia program. Students spent the year exploring the politics, economics, history, art, music, literature and culture of this complex country. Each year, every classroom focuses on a school-wide theme, which brings the entire school together to explore a specific area of study. The approach enriches each child's learning experience and allows the school to immerse students more deeply in a particular topic.

Russia Past and Present

Russia today is nothing like the elaborate jeweled culture of its past. Faberge eggs symbolize the height of Russian culture when the Czars still reigned. This project allows students to learn about Russian history through its art. The Faberge eggs, of which only fifty-six exist, epitomize the apex of jewelry art and were crafted by court jeweler Peter Carl Faberge (1846-1920)for the wives of Czars Alexander II (1855-1881) and Nicholas II (1895-1917).

The Faberge egg project was designed not only to teach about Russia's past and culture, but to teach students how to combine mixed media in creative ways and work collaboratively to complete a long-term project. Students worked with wood, plaster, plastic, cellu-clay, papier-mache, Styrofoam, acrylic paint, glitter, gem stones and costume jewelry to create the eggs.

Introducing Russian Arts

Students began by researching Faberge eggs. They went to the library to read about Russian history and found pictures of the eggs. Since the school is located in New York City, students were required to visit The Forbes Magazine Gallery on 12th Street, which exhibits a large collection of Faberge eggs. They were awed by the sight of the real jeweled eggs, and it helped them visualize their own designs.

After the research, students discussed what life was like in Russia during the time the Faberge eggs were created. They also studied the culture and meticulous craftsmanship that went into each egg. Students then spent a week working in teams to capture the enchanting quality of the eggs.

Teams in each grade worked to construct different Faberge eggs. Projects including egg-sized tree ornaments, one-foot tall eggs that opened to display jewels, two-foot tall eggs in nests, and three-foot tall eggs with three-dimensional dioramas of New York City scenes.

Egg-sized Faberge's

Small Faberge eggs were made out of clear plastic, wood, ceramic, and other materials. Clear plastic eggs seemed to be the best material because they allowed images inside the egg to be seen. Painting the inside of the eggs rather than the outside proved to be the best approach. Students used acrylic paint to design scenes for the inside of the eggs or layered several colors to create interesting patterns. Jewels, gems and beads were glued on the outside of the egg in geometric patterns. Some students left one side of the egg unpainted so that the inside scenes or designs could be seen through the clear plastic side. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bringing Russian Art to Life
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.