Art and Architecture, Objects of history

Today our Museum Applications class met at the Capitol Visitors Center My mind sparked with enthusiasm to see how a building with marble floors, huge columns, old paintings, domed ceilings and bronzed figures could have anything to do with art. Wait…did I just say that? Did I just think that? Is anyone else feeling or thinking the same?
My thoughts were humbled in thinking how often I travel through spaces and give little regard into how the space was established and what might that have to do with me or does it? Could I connect with this place? Could my art students?  The photos below capture a few of the many places where “the people, our people, you and me are part of the Art and architecture.”  People make the decisions, not only how we step forward as a country, but also in the space we walk through.  The Capitol Visitors Center is a place to return & share with my students and clearly, learn more how this country is a bounty of natural resources and the people who roam within it strive to add value to the quality of our life.  Our Artists eyes will find:  Form, Pattern, Radial Design, Narrative Art, Nature, Light, Shadow, Space, History, and Symbolism.

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Have you been to the Louvre?  This lovely glass ceiling lets in gorgeous light and provides a view of Lady Freedom This view is right in front of the Astronaut Figure Sculpture:  our people in their discoveries and achievements represented in this country.

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The plaster cast of our Capitol top. She holds a sword and shield to protect and defend our country.  Stars circle her solid expression, spheres and fringe trim her drapery.  Additional resources to address the definition, meaning and value of Freedom.

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Radial Design from a center shape:  The very center of our city. Washington or Lincoln could have been buried there!

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Every inch of the Capitol is cared for and treated as Art.

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Each state can submit and rotate the sculptures of people that made significant contributions. Here is Andrew Jackson for TENNESSEE! Rhode Island was the first to submit TF Green. Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford are the most recent.

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Private supreme court room here. Just think as the big blue sky frames our world of school, work, shopping, crossing the street, grabbing lunch, there is this lamp lit room with the outside world totally removed from its environment, yet the decisions made greatly impact our freedom.  Lines, domes, semi-circles, support beams, color, light:  elements in planning space

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Siting in this room gives you a view of the National Mall. Unlike the picture before, this room has windows. I thought about decision making. What type of would be better in order to concentrate?  The diamond patterned rug grounds the long rectangular table.  Why didn’t they use a circular table?  What is the story behind those paintings (wish you could see them) of floating figures on the wall to the left?

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Hand painted walls adorned with animals and plants found in the United States are found in the Brumidi Corridors These are Quails that are claimed to be going extinct.  This corridor is filled with examples of the natural bounty we have in our country that brings value to our life.

Our tour concluded in our professors office as she is the Public Programs Coordinator at the United States Capitol Visitors Center.  Her class has inspired my approach to teaching art through the use of objects.  Objects tell a story.  In the materials used, where they were  found and why were they used.  As I re-thought teaching weaving with 1st grade, I scrambled around the room & on campus looking for anything that could be woven.  After a pretty good search, I was able to find a variety of woven baskets, a sweater from lost & found &  a woven hand bag from seat belts.  Through observing these objects students found a common theme and understanding that weaving can present itself in a variety of materials. As does our Freedom.  Freedom presents itself in a variety of ways and in our Fourth grade will will expand on this theme with Personal Freedom.

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