What Do You See? A Child’s First Introduction to Art

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Norman Rockwell was an American painter and illustrator. He is best known for his paintings of everyday life which were used as covers for The Saturday Evening Post magazine. This painting is called Boy with Baby Carriage and was painted in 1916. You can find this painting today in the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Spend a bit of time observing this painting, and then answer the questions below. Since the goal of this study is to learn to love art, I recommend that you answer the questions orally, not with pencil and paper.


Boy with Baby Carriage

• What do you observe in this painting?
• Describe the four people in the painting.
• What do you think the boy with the black hat is thinking? What would you like to ask him?
• What is in his pocket?
• What do you think is the story behind this painting — how do you explain what is happening?
• What is the center of interest in this painting? *
• Why is the baby bottle pointing to, and the two baseball boys looking at the boy with the black hat?
• What other items in the painting are pointing toward the boy with the black hat?

* A center of interest is the all-important part of a painting — that part of the picture where the artist wants you to look first and which attracts the mind. The center of interest often has the sharpest edges, the brightest colors, and the most detail. In addition, it often contains a color that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the painting. Keep in mind, though, not all paintings contain a center of interest, plus, unless the artist has told us what he intended his center of interest to be, there could be differences of opinion as to a painting’s center of interest.


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