What Is The Challenge? Manet
by Katie Ellen Hutchinson
Boise State University
Grade: Secondary Education Advanced Art
One Week of Full time classes.
First day: Discussion/Dialogue
Second Day: Production
Third Day: Production
Fourth Day: Presentation
Fifth Day Presentation.
If by the end of the Second day the students are progressing nicely, and
working diligently, but appear to need more time, then arrangements should
be made for extra days in labs. This is a project that must not be stretched
out due to waiting for space. The ideas concerning contemporary art must
stay fresh in the students' minds.
Visual Art, Educational Technologies, Writing, Public Speaking, and
This is an end of lst Semester presentation project
to teach advanced students to view their own work through the eyes of
the critic, the masses, and the media. The purpose of art, especially
contemporary art can be examined only through history, which is a fuzzy
looking glass indeed. However, because of the publicity that has survived
in public historical documents (i.e. newspapers, etc.), many of the artists
of the last 200 yrs can be explored, as can the reactions and changes
that came from their work. This is crucial in understanding the significance
of contemporary work.
When Manet was booed out of the salon, and even
when he died, he did not fully realize the impact that his paintings had
on the world's view of feminist ideals, artistic license and principle,
socio-political perspectives and mass morality. It is only by going back
and reviewing this work that we can develop even an inkling of what we
ourselves may be capable of.
Students will be able to:
- Exchange powerful dialogue concerning the purpose of art
by using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
- Evaluate and defend the validity of sources for content and
the manner in which subject matter, symbols and images are used in the
work of others and thereby within their own work.
- Internalize the information concerning Manet and the impact
of contemporary art and then apply this level of impact to their own
area of passion to make a prediction concerning their work in 150 yrs.
- Create a presentation, in a contemporary manner that defines
their work to a similar degree as the PBS Video concerning Manet. Students
will present their work to the class in 10 minute presentations on the
fourth and fifth days of this project.
ARTS National Standards: 9-12
- 1. Content Standard:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes: Achievement
Standard, Advanced Students
d. Initiate, define, and solve challenging *visual arts problems independently
using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
- 2. Content Standard:
Using knowledge of *structures and functions: Achievement Standard,
c. Describe the origins of specific images and ideas and explain why
they are of value in their artwork and in the work of others.
d. Evaluate and defend the validity of sources for content and the manner
in which subject matter, symbols, and images are used in the students'
works and in significant works by others.
- 4. Content Standard:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures: Achievement
Standard, Advanced Students
d. Analyze and interpret artworks for relationships among form, context,
purposes, and critical models, showing understanding of the work of
critics, historians, aestheticians, and artists.
e. Analyze common characteristics of visual arts evident across time
and among cultural/ethnic groups to formulate analyses, evaluations,
and interpretations of meaning.
State Fine Art Goals
- 3. Be able to select
and evaluate a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas to be expressed
visually for personal, vocational, or career application.
4. Have knowledge of the racial, ethnic and historical aspects of the
fine arts over time and in a variety of forms, contexts, and applications.
5. Learn about and be able to reflect upon, interpret, analyze, and
critically assess the characteristics, qualities, processes, and merits
of their work and the work of others in the visual arts.
6. Make significant connections between visual arts and other disciplines.
(Source: State Department of Education, Idaho, 1994)
Media Components :
Video: PBS Video Culture Shock: The Shock of the Nude:
Internet, Video/Audio, Multi media equipment (i.e., digital video/camera),
- VHS equipment/projector
- PBS Video Culture Shock: The Shock of the Nude: Manet's Olympia.
Produced by the WGBH Educational Foundation. 1999.
- Students own cumulative work for the 1st Semester.
( Cumulative work is very important because as an artist ages
and dies, every little sketch and every bad drawing becomes a view into
the artists' life. As with Manet's work being put in an X-ray machine.
This is shown in the Video, although the clip has not been pulled for
- Slide Projector and slides (good quality is very important
here, you want true colors, if you have a hard time finding this, find
them displayed in book form) of Edward Manet's Olympia Orvino
1863 and Titian's Olympia of Urbino 1538.
Prep For Teachers
- Record the clips from this video to one tape, so class time
is not wasted with FFW/RRW attempts at cueing. If this is not
possible, then cue to the first clip. They have been selected to be
used in successive order from first to last.
- Have slide projector loaded and plugged in.
- Have Television or VHS projector ready to play. All you should
have to do is hit the lights.
- Pre arrange sessions in both the computer lab and video
editing lab for the two days following this presentation. On the fourth
and fifth day of this project, the students should be prepared to present
their work as if being viewed from x future perspective and the proper
equipment for viewing must be ready to use. At least 20 minutes should
be allotted for preparation time each day.
The clip times are:
7:20 Linda Nochlin Art Historian "'s very hard to get back to seeing
it simply as a painting and to revive the shock value.
8:48 Eunice Lipton Art Historian He was interested in what he saw
10:12 Jann Matlock Art Historian Catch what is transient Catch
what is constantly moving
13:30 Linda Nochlin Art Historian Manet was in a certain sense
responding to a crisis.
15:44 Eunice Lipton Art Historian He was an ambitious middle class
44:46 Jann Matlock Art Historian Usually when you had a figure
staring directly out of a painting
53:20 Mike Bidlo Profession Artist Manet has given us an incredible
54:04 Narrator: In 1863 one critic did see into the future
The introduction to this is a discussion/dialogue with the
students on art. What is the great purpose of art? Some people would say
that it is to beautify, others would say it is a mechanism for change.
Is there one grand purpose for art? Is there one interpretation for a
painting? (Allow the students time to try to answer some of these questions)
(Display slide of Manet's Olympia)
What is your (the students') interpretation? (Discuss briefly
the idea that Manet painted a nude.) We look at it today; those of us
who are first time viewers and see another nude, like the other nudes
...but is it? The audience of his day did not think so. But what they
saw and what he saw was different, or was it? (If there is more than one
interpretation then this is a good place to draw the students in. If students
are having a hard time discussing it, ask them some basic formal questions
to get them going. You may want to start out with questions concerning
the palette that is used. "What color is her skin?" If they give a generic
answer show them the slide of Titian's Olympia of Urbino 1538.
Ask them how the two women differ. Specifically their coloring. What is
different about Manet's pallet and Titians? What about their brush strokes?
Now let's discuss the audience that saw his painting. What kind of people
were they? Were these the common people? Did everyone go to the salon?
How did they dress? Was this a modest time period, as compared by our
standards today? Did that have an affect on what they saw and how they
perceived it? How many other nudes do you think were shown in the gallery
that year? So, was it the nude body that disturbed these people? Are there
any guesses as to why they were so offended?
Discussion/Dialogue with students using Video
Clips. Student's should have paper and pencil out to write down their
thoughts during this discussion. They will be able to use them for their
project. This is a brief look at the initial impact of this painting and
what it came to be seen as later. We're starting with the end. We have
some clips here from a film and in it are the views of several art historians.
They're going to join our discussion today. Linda Nochlin is our first
and brings up an interesting point for us to talk about. Tell me what
it is after the clip. Play first clip.
7:20 Linda Nochlin Art Historian "Is very
hard to get back to seeing it simply as a painting and to revive the
shock value. I mean there's a terrible loss, it seems to me in accepting
something as a masterpiece. It's finished, as a living object. Now it
is a masterpiece and it rests in masterpiece heaven, along with all
the other dead things."
(The point is shock value ...whatever they throw
out, lead them back to this.) What do you (the students) think? Is this
what makes art valuable? Is it its ability to shock the viewer? Is that
what Manet was after? (Allow the students time to answer) What was he
after? After Eunice Lipton shares this quote, tell me again what you think
he was after.
8:48 Eunice Lipton Art Historian He was
interested in what he saw around him as his friend Charles Beaudillaire
put it, "He sought to paint modern life and in so doing express his
What is an expression of the times that you yourselves
live in? Another word for peer is contemporary. Your contemporary shares
your same time and so we use this word also for the times you live in.
If he was interested in what he saw around him, can we describe why? Why
would you be interested in 19th Century Paris, France? (Allow time for
them to answer these questions.) What is so interesting about the world
in which we live? Jann Matlock picks up on something here that really
strikes me. I think it comes back to the core purpose for contemporary
10:12 Jann Matlock Art Historian Catch
what is transient Catch what is constantly moving ...which is the other
side of art, which is eternal and infinite as if catching those brief
moments of ever moving modernity around one could be the most important
element of what a new aesthetic might be.
She uses the words eternal and infinite. Why? Does
this principle motivation of art transcend time? Can you capture a moment?
What about in your own work? (Allow time for them to answer. If they are
having trouble following a discussion format begin calling on various
out going students, then on some other less outgoing students.)
13:30 Linda Nochlin Art Historian Manet
was in a certain sense responding to a crisis. I think he wanted to
change the face of French painting and he did he did. But he wanted
to do it through official channels. He wanted to show in the salons.
He never showed with the rebellious impressionists although they absolutely
considered him their leader But he didn't want to show with them. He
wanted the salon to receive him.
Why was it that he was so concerned with being accepted
in the salon? What is it in your own work that you want to be understood
and accepted by the viewers? Do you want to be accepted by the viewers?
If Manet was so concerned with change, but desired acceptance so much,
how do you think he felt about his reception in the salon? Ms. Lipton
has an opinion on this. When you listen to her I want you to ask yourselves
if you really agree with her opinion or not. Be prepared to defend it.
15:44 Eunice Lipton Art Historian He was
an ambitious middle class man. He wanted to make it in the salon unlike
the impressionists who gave and didn't want to anymore. Manet Stayed
with it. He used a subject that he felt would be recognized and respected.
..the other part of him wasn't really interested and so, he took the
nude and he did it the wrong way. He did it in a way that would interest
him and his friends and the woman who posed for it even.
What other part of him? Was he painting this woman
a woman he knew, who was a fellow painter who also showed in the salon
was he painting her as a prostitute, really? If so, why? Is it just that
she is direct in her gaze? Is it just that she's nude and being brought
flowers? What makes her low in the audience eyes? Was he aware that this
was how she would be received? (These questions are here to direct you
through. This discussion should still be alive and well. If it's not,
check some pulses.) (You may want to remind your students to be writing
their thoughts down as they go, they're important for later.)
44:46 Jann Matlock Art Historian Usually
when you had a figure staring directly out of a painting it was a portrait
of a noble aristocratic man or a noble aristocratic woman demurely staring
out of the painting confronting the gaze perhaps ...but that person
wasn't buck naked!
Now that's a creative answer. So, she was naked
and staring at the viewer. This is what Jann thinks made her so intimidating.
What's the difference between naked and nude? What was the difference
to Manet's contemporary audience?
53:20 Mike Bidlo Manet has given us an
incredible gift. The idea that art is something which kind of rattles
your cage or it takes you to another area of intellectual understanding;
he was exploring the role of artist as provocateur. When we recreated
our version of Manet...we were just becoming part of tradition. There
is no sure, free original art. It always relies on traditions. It's
a series of permissions that the artist gives to another artist
.Manet was shocked by the apparent shock of the
people. Was the gift he gave unexpected? Was it a good gift? Do we want
to be shaken by art? Is it there to prove a point, or to beautify and
54:04 Narrator: In 1863 one critic did
see into the future. "Manet, I hope, will one day become a master. He
possesses candor, conviction, power, universality, in other words, the
stuff of great art."
Manet's portrait of Victorian Meron as Olympia Orvino
now hangs in the Louvre. Where will your paintings be in 150 yrs?
END OF DISCUSSION
Students begin creation of the end of semester project. Given that they
are advanced art students, they should be familiar with the use of the
digital camera/camcorder and the software involved with using it. They
should also be capable of manipulating the images as they would like to
with the photo imaging and presentation software made available by the
school. Be prepared to answer whatever questions they may have and offer
advice, but remember, these are their projects. Up to this point they've
had the experience to make them their own, just as Manet made the classic
nude, his own.
Students are allowed two days of class time in the
computer lab or video editing studio. If at the end of the second day
the students are progressing nicely, and working diligently, but appear
to need more time, then arrangements should be made for extra days in
Each presentation should
be no more than 10 minutes. All presentations will be put online in a
folder kept for viewing local student work. The Video/Projector equipment
should be ready to go before class. Students should take notes on one
another's project presentations in order to keep them fresh in their minds.
At the end of all the presentations 20 minutes should be allotted for
group discussion on Contemporary Art and the impact of it. How have the
students' perceptions changed.
This lesson crosses over into history and the history
of propaganda art, into technology and public speaking. There are also
direct extensions made to writing and listening comprehension.
These presentations do belong to the students, but
will be used by the school for grant proposals, for exhibitions to promote
art in the community and as an online resource that will aid in promoting
art in our schools.
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