An Almost Forgotten 1953 Conference on Creativity

By Hausman, Jerome | Art Education, March 2010 | Go to article overview

An Almost Forgotten 1953 Conference on Creativity


Hausman, Jerome, Art Education


Recently, I found myself going through some old documents and 1 came upon a mimeographed volume: The Conference on Creativity: A Report the Rockefeller Foundation, edited by Manuel Barkan and Ross L. Mooney, The Ohio State University, 1953. It is over 55 years since this conference and although some references related to this gathering can be found in the art education literature, for the most part the papers included in this report have gone unnoticed.

Some time around 1950, a group of professors from Ohio State University, who represented different areas of study, engaged in informal discussions involving their shared interests about the meaning and nature of creativity. As is stated in the Report's preface, "their discussions revolved around some of the complex relationships among the social, psychological and aesthetic factors that inhered in the broad problem." Attention frequently focused on the arts as an area of experience that provided a framework from which creativity might be studied.

Marion Quin Dix, an art supervisor of the Elizabeth New Jersey public schools when I was an art teacher, and her husband, Lester Dix (then Professor, Department of Education, Brooklyn College, New York) joined Barkan, Mooney, and Harold Pepinsky (the Ohio State University) in developing and receiving a grant from the Humanities Division of the Rockefeller Foundation to convene an interdisciplinary conference centering on research into creative behavior in the arts and its educational significance. Barkan, in introducing the Conference on Creativity, set forth six propositions: (1) "creative experience, although intensified in the arts is present in many other areas of human behavior;" ( 2) creative experience provides "a way of forming experience which is basic to the organic growth of human personality,·" ( 3) creative experience "functions to form particular aspects of an individual's ideas, feelings, and attitudes so that they become an integral part of the whole stream of his living;" (4) the function of art education is to "provide opportunities for creative experience;" (5) the role of the teacher is "to create the kind of circumstances in which youth can come to grips with the ideas and feelings they want and need to embody in an organic form;" and (6) the intensity for feeling and forming which creative experience encourages " leads to a more generalized outcome, than that related to the arts as such, since it sensitizes the student to a discipline which can be used to form many other experiences in life."

The field of art education was undergoing radical transformation in the 1950s as emphasis had shifted from more limited conceptions of hand-eye coordination and education about the finer things in life to a broader grounding of art in general education and assertions about art as experience. No wonder, participants representing broad fields in social and psychological inquiry could be attracted to work with art educators in a conference emphasizing understandings needed to further and enhance creative behavior. In addition to Barkan and Mooney, three other faculty members from The Ohio State University, and 15 additional educators from other disciplines and universities, as well as The Ohio Sate University, were invited to attend the conference. In retrospect, it can be said that the group could have been strengthened by inclusion of practicing artists, art historians, and critics; alas, this is said in hindsight. Nevertheless, the assembled group was impressive. Seen from a perspective of over 50 years one cannot help but be impressed with the breadth and depth of studies projected as outcomes of the Conference. Three major directions for an understanding of creativity were identified as Social, Behavioral, and Conceptual fields.

The Social Field involved questions such as: Do children become more socially constructive when they are given opportunities for creative expression? Will delinquency decrease in neighborhoods when critical groups of children are involved in creative activity?

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 ...
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

An Almost Forgotten 1953 Conference on Creativity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
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.