Wednesday, February 6

Touch the Art!?!?

I recently found a series of children's books that aim to educate kids about art, it's called the "Touch the Art" series. Basically, each work of art has some sort of interactive feature. The only book I've actually seen in person is "Pop Warhol's Top", but there is also "Feed Matisse's Fish" and "Make Van Gogh's Bed". The first page of the Warhol book is an image of Warhol’s Campbell’s soup can, and the cover is cut away so the top of the can flips open. Other art in the book includes Warhol’s Marilyn painting which has eyelashes to touch, and Roy Lichtenstein’s "Girl with Ball" with a cut out section of the ball to touch. Each book also includes a three-page history of the artists and their work.
I have mixed feelings about the series though; yes it's good that kids are being educated about art, but it's not the best representation of what art is really about. It's called "visual art", there's a reason museums don't let visitors touch art. Yes, this is slippery slope reasoning, and not all kids who learn from these books are going to think that it's okay to run their hands across whatever fine painting crosses their path. I just hope that this is not all the art education those kids receive.

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