CMP Review 2023-08-17

CMP Review 2023-08-17

August 17, 2023

One of the very first artists we studied in our homeschool was J. M. W. Turner. My firstborn was 8 years old and I knew little about artists and less about picture study. But we looked at the paintings and we looked forward to a trip at the end of the term: a visit to the National Gallery of Art for a special exhibition of 147 paintings and watercolors by the English Romantic painter.

This early experience of picture study planted a seed that remained dormant for several years. Then at a Living Education Retreat, for the book giveaway, Nancy Kelly asked what artist had once asked to be tied to a mast to make an observation for a painting. I didn’t know that particular story, but I knew who it must be. I raised my hand and shouted the name: “J. M. W. Turner.”

If you’ve ever looked at historical PNEU programmes, you may have noticed that the Picture Study section often referred parents and teachers to notes in a recent issue of the Parents’ Review. An early example of one such article is by Edith Frost and was published in May, 1917. Entitled simply “Turner,” it gives an idea of the background information that may have been used by parents and teachers when this artist came up in the rotation more than a century ago.

Still relevant a hundred years later, the article has something for beginners and veterans. I wish I had it back in 2007. Check it out here and see what insights it holds for you.