The classes of Franz Cizek.
A pioneer leader in art education, Franz Cizek was an inspiring and encouraging teacher for children. The author gives us a Brief glimpse of a visit to one of his classes in the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna.
By the time I reached Vienna in 1929, the paintings by children in the art classes of Franz Cizek were known the world over. I had seen exhibitions of them in England, the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , and Australia. Reproductions were sold by thousands in aid of the Red Cross, and they appeared everywhere on the walls of nursery schools nursery school, educational institution for children from two to four years of age. It is distinguishable from a day nursery in that it serves children of both working and nonworking parents, rarely receives public funds, and has as its primary objective to promote , kindergartens, and private homes. Because of their colors and the fun and joy of life they depicted, they were universally loved by children and adults.
Franz Cizek (1865-1947) of Vienna ushered in a new era of art education for children. The age he enjoyed most, he was wont to say, was from three to seven years, "the age of purest art ... Children have their own laws. What right have grown-up grown-up
1. Of, characteristic of, or intended for adults: grown-up movies; a grown-up discussion.
2. people to interfere? They should draw as they feel, and all children have feelings and something to express!"
Cizek began his children's classes as early as 1903. From the beginning all was free and experimental, the children choosing their own materials, with nothing in the way of a copy or a model. And free and experimental they continued and remained, as I was to observe in 1929, twenty-six years offer the classes began.
On a wet Saturday morning I set out to find the Kunstgewerbeschule, the Municipal Arts and Crafts arts and crafts, term for that general field of applied design in which hand fabrication is dominant. The term was coined in England in the late 19th cent. as a label for the then-current movement directed toward the revivifying of the decorative arts. School of Vienna. As directed, I entered the tall, drab building, climbed the stairs, and fallowed a bleak passage to a door standing ajar. The impression that seemed to spring out of the gloom as I looked in is nearly indescribable. The double room with doors folded back was a lively place at busy children, the youngest about three years of age, though there were some of all ages and a few adults. All worked away at paper or board. There was a busy hum throughout the room, but there was no organization or appearance of a class, and there seemed to be no teacher, although later I saw children go to a young man to ask questions. This in itself was remarkable; but most striking was the riot of color not of the white race; - commonly meaning, esp. in the United States, of negro blood, pure or mixed.
See also: Color springing from every wall, desk, and easel, and even from the floor. Against the drabness drab 1
adj. drab·ber, drab·best
a. Of a dull grayish to yellowish brown.
b. Of a light olive brown or khaki color.
2. Faded and dull in appearance.
3. of the walls, the wet and smeary smear·y
adj. smear·i·er, smear·i·est
1. Having been smeared.
2. Tending to smear or soil.
smear windows and murky November light, there seemed to be living color Living color could refer to at least two things:
Some children, who had evidently come early, were well started an their paintings. Others were getting out colors and brushes. One child had a puppy curled up at her feet. A happy, informal atmosphere prevailed. All had apparently come because they wished to come, and they could leave when they liked. I marveled at the ingenuity and imagination shown by these children, as they covered large sheets of paper--then unusual--with pictures of prancing steeds and joyous joy·ous
Feeling or causing joy; joyful. See Synonyms at glad1.
joyous·ly adv. children and quaint quaint
adj. quaint·er, quaint·est
1. Charmingly odd, especially in an old-fashioned way: "Sarah Orne Jewett . . . animals. "I like long bodies and all these disproportions," Cizek had said. No restrictions, no orders, and, it appeared, no instruction was given. The children, painting as they felt and as they wished, looked as if they had entered heaven. Meanwhile, on invitation of the young man who seemed to be in charge, I had taken a seat. Professor Cizek, I was told, had been ill, but would be there later.
When Cizek entered the room he moved so quietly that no one looked up at first. One by one they saw him and smiled and were given his answering smile. He was tall and gentle looking, with a distinguished, aristocratic bearing. A quietly humorous smile shone in his eyes. Nothing changed in the roam as he entered. He nodded to some of the older pupils, and then with his assistant looked over the paintings which were finished and ready to discuss. A child came to ask about her painting, holding it up for Cizek to see. Several others joined them and began to talk, the children talking mare than he. One said that she could not draw a hoop, and he suggested that she watch her brother or the children in the street when they were bowling hoops.
Several children had been drawing "the city." The diversity of their paintings on this subject, when lined up on the blackboard (1) See Blackboard Learning System.
(2) The traditional classroom presentation board that is written on with chalk and erased with a felt pad. Although originally black, "white" boards and colored chalks are also used. ledge, was most striking. Every aspect of city life was presented, though all seemed to picture towering buildings and streets beneath. The painting of a boy of eight, who had painted beneath his houses the water pipes that lay underground, attracted special attention. Cizek commended the bay for his attempt to depict the hidden city beneath the visible one. Here, one felt, was the master art teacher of children. Inspiring and encouraging, he had a quaint, humorous word for each one, and showed a real delight in these paintings. His enjoyment and that of the children were plain. A continual ripple of laughter filled the room, so full of color and beauty in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of the dismal building and the grim outdoor weather.
I left when the children went, and watched them disappear into the gloom and mist, clutching their treasures, wrapped in newspaper to keep them dry. One was sure that they would all be back the following Saturday to keep their tryst with Professor Cizek.
Dr. Mary V. Gutteridge, formerly head, Early Childhood Education, The Merrill-Palmer School, in Detroit, Michigan “Detroit” redirects here. For other uses, see Detroit (disambiguation).
Detroit (IPA: [dɪˈtʰɹɔɪt]) (French: Détroit, meaning strait .