Ingenious and wonderfully inviting, this is a well-conceived and beautifully produced compilation of brief biographies and selective insights into the lives and works of over 40 artists.
Anchored in the collection of the renowned National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), it is drawn from the NGA’s long-running series of lively four-page family-education publications, the NGAkids Quarterly. The overviews span art movements, methods and media from the 13th through the 21st centuries. The carefully constructed discussion starters are organized into seven broad sections: nature, places, portraits, stories, everyday life, questioning tradition and playing with space. Generously illustrated with hundreds of full-color reproductions from the National Gallery’s collection, these minilessons are bolstered by relevant and doable activities that respond to the diverse artists’ works and techniques. An inclusive, superb handbook for art educators and art historians, this has strong appeal for parents and children seeking a fresh approach to engaging with the art on museum walls. Though the publisher suggests that this information-rich collection is best for ages 7 to 12, the book’s sophisticated design and cunning mix of accessibility and complexity enlarge the audience to grade schoolers through seniors.
Consider this a must-have art resource for all ages. (table of contents, timeline of artists) (Nonfiction. 7 & up)