Posted in Art

La semana de arte: Professional Development and Awesome Link

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I never considered myself an artist or particularly interested in art, but I took Art History 101 in college, and I was hooked!  I ended up double majoring in Spanish and Art History.  I love taking my students on field trips to art museums.  Living close to DC, each year, we take our students to the National Gallery of Art.  There is a ton of Spanish art, but even when I was student teaching in Fluvanna County, Va, we took our students to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.  It doesn’t have as much Spanish art, but we still exposed the students to art.  They also had an AMAZING Picasso exhibit a few years ago!  My point is- check out the local museums in your area!

A few years ago, I enrolled in a week-long summer professional development at the Chrysler Museum.  It was not tailored for foreign language teachers, but I loved it!  In my art history classes, my professors lectured.  This workshop suggested that you show students art and allow them to talk about what they think it means.  I found that even if students may get off track, they still manage to figure out main ideas.  Many times, they notice more than I would have told them.  Make sure that you give them time to really look before they talk!  Also, make sure that you have guiding questions if they do not say much.  Talking about art can be intimidating- especially modern/contemporary art.  Many art museums have teacher summer institutes, and I would suggest looking into them.  While specific foreign language development can be great, it is also helpful to look into different subjects.

Here are some of the art museum teacher workshops that I found:

Smithsonian Institute (including American Art Museum)

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts– I attended the Picasso one, and it was wonderful.

National Gallery of Art

Brooklyn Museum– my summer institute was based on this one.

Getty Museum– how amazing would it be to spend a week here?!

Met Museum

Museum of Modern Art in NYC

MFA Boston

Finally, when I was looking on Free Tech for Teachers, I found an awesome link for free art history books!  The Met has links to 390 books online.  Not only can you see many images, but you can also read the books.  You can see many previous exhibition catalogues.  Many of these books are out of publication, so this is one of the few places to find them.  You can also search for the different books.  (Did you know that a lot of Pre-Columbian art is forgeries?!)  Also, thanks for reading the whole way through!  This was a long one!

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