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The next picture study aid for Winslow Homer is now available! Hopefully, most of you haven’t started Ambleside Online Term 2 just yet, but even if you have, I hope this can still be at least a little helpful.
This one took me a little longer than others as there was an extra piece to cover (which will also be the case with Michelangelo, the artist for Term 3) and I had a very hard time finding a good story from Homer’s childhood. There wasn’t much written about him when he was alive which is what I’ve relied on in the past for the artists who were active within the last 200 years or so. I finally found a good book that I thought would work, but then had to wait for interlibrary loan. Anyway, it finally came in this week and I was able to finish it!
I definitely gained a new appreciation for Homer while doing research for this picture study aid. I love the almost photographic quality of some of his pieces, especially this one which was probably completely inappropriate and a bit shocking to his contemporaries as it didn’t fall in line with the more regal, posed art that had been popular up to that point (and, in fact, the face of one of the figures in the painting is completely obscured by a shawl). I loved his observations of the world around him, both in his nature pieces, but also the people who lived in those places. I think he did an amazing job of capturing the world around him.
I also appreciated the fact that in a world where fine art was really only thought of as coming out of Europe, Homer proved the critics wrong and offered up beautiful work that was decidedly American both in style and subject. His work portraying the Civil War was real and gritty and offered up a side of the war that might not otherwise have been seen.
This aid follows along with the Rubens version in that I included full-size prints (without artist names or work titles) at the end. A large enough version of “The Turtle Pound” was difficult to find, but hopefully it prints out well for you. As always, it’s free for download! Enjoy!
A book I found particularly helpful and written in a living format was A Weekend with Winslow Homer by Ann Beneduce from which I took the story of Homer’s childhood for the first section of the picture study aid.
For children of all ages, the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series offers a volume on Homer. The cartoons are a little twaddle-y, but I think the information in the format it provides is good.
For younger kids, Gatsby’s Grand Adventures: Book 1 Winslow Homer’s Snap the Whip was another book that came up on various searches but I was unable to find it locally. Because it covers one of the paintings specifically listed in this picture study aid, I thought I’d mention it, but definitely pre-read it before sharing with your students. If anyone has experience with this book and would like to share, I’d love to hear what you thought of it!
This is by no means an exhaustive analysis or study of each piece, and that is intentional. I tried to keep it all very simple in the spirit of there being, “no talk about schools of painting, little about style; consideration of these matters comes in later life, the first and most important thing is to know the pictures themselves. As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it. In the region of art as else-where we shut out the middleman.” (vol 6 pg 216)
Also, please keep in mind that I’m not even close to being a Charlotte Mason expert! And though I do have a BA in art history, I’m definitely not an expert in that area either. 🙂
For enjoying art with children in general, I also included a page of art sources that I’ve found particularly good:
Online Art Collections
For younger children, I highly recommend the Mini-Master series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober. Also, the Touch The Art series by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo.
For great artist-themed art activities for all ages, I recommend Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters by MaryAnn F. Kohl.
You may download it for personal use in your own homeschool (Ambleside Online, another Charlotte Mason curriculum, or otherwise). All of the prints are included in the Picture Study Aid file, so need to download a separate file for that. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please feel free to fill out this form!