The Evolution of Child Art

By nross
  • 1224

    Russian Birch Bark Drawings

    Russian Birch Bark Drawings
    While generations of children have been creating art-like things presumably forever, this timeline will begin with early documentation of cultural influences directing child art. The rake-like hands illustrated in Russian birch bark drawings are evidence of European cultural schemata infecting the drawings of children. This technique can be traced throughout Britain and other European countries, yet not on other continents.
  • 1520

    Circular Bodies and Long Legs

    Circular Bodies and Long Legs
    Drawings from two young boys living within the same era, one in Denmark, the other in Italy, were compared stylistically. Both boys drew in a similar style illustrating the human figure with a circular torso, and legs with embellished lengths. This data supports the notion that children were influenced not only by adults and cultural structures, but by the artwork of their peers.
  • 1550

    A Painter's Workshop

    A Painter's Workshop
    Theodor Galle's engraving illustrates a studio of apprentices in the 16th century. The apprentices appear to be drawing figures as well as crafting sculptures. The master is positioned in the center, a plane above the apprentices suggesting the hierarchical dynamic of historical art education. The practice of copying and realistic rendering is evident.
  • 1565

    Allegory of the Artist's Career

    Allegory of the Artist's Career
    Gian Paolo Lamazzo's Allegory of the Artist's Career details the believed necessary components of successful art in the late 16th century in Italy. In this piece he alludes to instrumental texts and intellectualism involved in the artist's profession. Skill coupled with wisdom and learning were considered vital of artists and art.
  • 1578

    The Art Academy

    The Art Academy
    Cornelius Cort, after Johannes Stradanus, depicts the Flemish art education of apprentices in the late 16th century. This piece serves as a documentation of studio learning as well as an advertisement for the master's studio.
  • Fialetti's Etchings

    Fialetti's Etchings
    Odoardo Fialetti's etching of five apprentices diagrams the art education in the early 17th century in Italy. The students are practicing observational figure drawings from casts of body parts, presumably focusing on formal skills such as placement and proportion.
  • The Drawing Lesson

    The Drawing Lesson
    Jan Steen's piece, The Drawing Lesson, shows evidence of formal art instruction between an apprentice and a master in the latter half of the 17th century in the Netherlands.
  • Reflections et Menus Propos d'un Peintre Genevois

    Reflections et Menus Propos d'un Peintre Genevois
    Rudolph Topffer published the first book with chapters dedicated exclusively to child art. In this text he proffers that "the apprentice painter was less an artist than the young child who has received no formal instruction in art" with the supporting argument that creativity is lost in conventional skill.
  • Period: to

    Universal Modernist Assumptions

    Artists, Critics, Pedagogues and Poets all support that:
    The child is a natural artist in need of no formal or conventional instruction.
    The genesis of child art is from "deep down inside" and resembles an organic unfolding of creative energy.
    It is a form of abstraction of light, mass, and color.
    It is similar to primitive art and an avenue for expression.
  • Period: to

    The First Discovery of Child Art

    Modern Artists and Critics establish the foundation for the grand narrative of art education.
  • L'Atelier

    L'Atelier
    Courbet presents childhood spontaneity and creative power in this "tableau clef" painting. Courbet has been attributed for the association between child art and modernism. This piece is also accepted as the first documentation of childhood originality.
  • Wall Drawings in Milan

    Wall Drawings in Milan
    Corrado Ricci discovers drawings by children on walls in the city of Milan. He perceived the drawings done by older children as "crude," and the drawings of the youngest children as "characterized by a greater decency."
  • Period: to

    The Second Discovery of Child Art

    Pedagogues and Poets champion the creativity, crudeness, and individual expression of child art.
  • L'arte dei Bambini

    L'arte dei Bambini
    Ricci publishes the first book entirely dedicated to child art.
  • Wall Drawings in Vienna

    Wall Drawings in Vienna
    Franz Cizek observes the drawings of children on a wall in Vienna and proceeds to provide children with supplies to make more art with. In comparing the art of Italian children and Bohemian children, Cizek concludes that children's drawings evolve according to natural laws.
  • Juvenile Art Class

    Juvenile Art Class
    In 1897, the "father of art," Franz Cizek establishes a juvenile art class where the motto "let the child create" thrived.
  • Developmental Stages of Art

    Developmental Stages of Art
    Partridge publishes the first chronological visual account of developmental stages children's art.
  • The Development of Drawing Ability

    The Development of Drawing Ability
    Kerschenstein publishes thousands of works of art by children along with relevant data.
  • Freedom is Impossible

    Freedom is Impossible
    Thomas Munro critiques Cizek's methodologies and concludes that through "language, motivations, instructions, guiding techniques and processes" Cizek "robs and restricts the student."
  • The Nature of Creative Activity

    The Nature of Creative Activity
    Lowenfeld provides theoretical justification for the pedagogy of Cizek and the creativity of children.
  • Creative and Mental Growth

    Creative and Mental Growth
    Lowenfeld succeeds his first publication with another book focusing on the importance of art therapy and space for creative and mental growth in child development.
  • Collegiate Endorsement

    Collegiate Endorsement
    Penn State research supports Lowenfeld's ideology that children's art was, in fact, creative.
  • Modernism

    Modernism
    Kandinksky comments on the "cosmic and spiritual forces" that are illuminated when artwork is devoid of convention. He continues to debase the efforts of adults to direct children's' artistic endeavors.
  • Period: to

    Postmodernist Assumptions of Child Art

    Child art and youth visual culture are social constructs.
  • The School Art Style

    The School Art Style
    Arthur Efland analyzes the art taught in schools and delineates two primary functions, "to provide behaviors and products that have the look of humanistic learning," as well as a "morale-boosting function."
  • The Cult of Childhood

    The Cult of Childhood
    George Boas publishes a The Cult of Childhood questioning the assumptions of childhood naivety and innocence, and positioning developmental models of psychology as cult-like.
  • Kids Guernica Project

    Kids Guernica Project
    This project triggered the question of whether or not adults use the art of children to promote the agenda's of adults.
  • Drawing Research and Develpoment

    Drawing Research and Develpoment
    David Thistlewood explore the argument for the intrinsic genesis of child art and its counterargument of culturally-generated child art.
  • The Innocent Eye

    The Innocent Eye
    Fineberg publishes a book exploring the influences that child art has on practicing artists. He glorifies "the freshness of vision that children posses and how often it 'innocently' reveals profound insights." He cites the practicing artist's desire to be free from societal norms as a link between child art and modern art.
  • Children Losing Spontaneity

    Children Losing Spontaneity
    Rudolf Arnheim poses the question of whether or not post modern children are losing the occult spontaneity cherished in the modernist perception, and whether or not this matters in the postmodernist perception.
  • An Iconoclastic View of the Imagery Sources of Young People

    An Iconoclastic View of the Imagery Sources of Young People
    Wilson and Wilson claim that every piece of child art can be traced back to aspects of pop cultures, thus eliminating any notion of originality.
  • The End of Developmental Stages

    The End of Developmental Stages
    Kindler and Darras conclude that "young peoples' development in the realm of visual culture is nonlinear, non hierarchical, multidimensional, and multipurposeful."
  • A Flat Future for Art

    A Flat Future for Art
    Takashi Murakami proffers that the future narrative of art will be a compilation of many intersecting narratives fused into one.
  • Preconventionality, Conventionality, Postconventionality

    Preconventionality, Conventionality, Postconventionality
    Wilson classifies three stages of child art development. Preconventionality being pre-art education, conventionality being the acquisition of technical skills, and postconventionality being the invention of something new.