The overriding goals for this unit on image-making and reading portraiture are fourfold: (1) to ask students to take time and thought to closely observe; (2) to help students make connections between historical and contemporary times; (3) to encourage an awareness of the power of visual images to influence; and (4) to add to the understanding of students, who will follow the study of image-making to create their own portraits in the art studio.
The primary content will address the following four portraits of women, the first two from the Yale Center for British Art and the second pair from the Yale University Art Gallery. Each portrait depicts a single figure; the portraits include: one of Mrs. Abington from the 18th century, one of Grace Rose from the 19th century, an anonymous "Chorus Captain" from the 20th century and another anonymous woman in an "Untitled" work from 2009. Students will follow exploration of these portraits with more informed observation and discussion of portraiture in recent times. The study will lead to work in the art studio, and resulting portrait images.
(Developed for Advanced Placement Studio Art, grades 11-12, with plans to use some portions of the unit with Fashion students, grades 11-12; recommended for Art students with some Visual Arts background, High School grades)