Art for the Family is a book for everyone from three to thirty, or nine to ninety; for brother and sister, for father and mother, for relatives and friends; for anyone who can hold a brush or work a pair of scissors or fasten things together, or wants to.
It is a book of doing and discovering things. It tells about things to do which will stimulate you to try other things. It will help you to find out about yourself and the world around you. It is like a bunch of keys which open up treasure trunks of colors, new materials, and new adventures in art. You can choose one key at a time, or any key by chance. You can use a key again and again and discover more and more as you dig deeper into each trunk.
The book is written to help people, families and friends to work together, because working together is sometimes more fun than working alone, and we have so little chance today to enjoy things together. But you can work by yourself too. Part of the book tells you about things you can do alone, perhaps when you you have been sick and have to be in bed.
Anyone who reads can use this book. There are special things for special ages; for those who are very young, for teen-agers, for those who are older. Those who are older can also do the things suggested for younger people, but it shouldn't work the other way around, because children aren't ready for adult ways of seeing and doing.
It is hoped that some older person will help those who are too young to read. If you are going to be that person, you will notice that there are places in the book which are written directly to the child. This is done so that you will know how to talk to him, to stimulate him, and to understand him. You don't have to use the same words, but try to read between the lines so that you will understand how to respect the wonderful nature and the creativeness of the young who need few words to be stimulated. You may want to read the last part about the Family art gallery and How do you know you are growing in art? before you start off the young child.
This is a new kind of art book. It attempts to make you, or someone, become the guide and teacher. Of course, it is not as good as having a trained teacher, but it can be a worthy substitute, or even an aid to teachers. The things that it suggests have all been done by children, teen-agers, and older people many times in the classes of The People's Art Center of The Museum of Modern Art; in the television program of Through the Enchanted Gate, sponsored by Station WNBT, and produced by The Museum of Modern Art; and in other places where those who wrote the book have taught. We have tried to give you the best of our thinking and guidance, and have chosen things to do which we hope will bring you new pleasures and discoveries through art.
The Authors . . .