If you live close to Cincinnati, you might want to visit the Taft Art Museum in January. Thru the 30th, the Taft has all 80 Caprichos by renown Spanish artist Francisco Goya. I was familiar with several of the etchings, and I knew before I visited the museum that this exhibit would be dark. However, I was not prepared for how disturbing the entire collection of images would be. I believe the exhibit is very well curated and quite impressive, but before you send younger students to view, you need to be aware that Goya criticizes all facets of Spanish society and culture, and some prints contain mature themes.
I offered my students an optional assignment to take advantage of this traveling exhibit. They needed to view the collection, and they could select one of three follow up activities using the art pieces as a point of inspiration.
- The student could create an original piece of art and explain what artistic elements found in the etchings inspired their art work.
- The student could also take one specific print and write a short story about it using the past tense.
- The third option was a traditional research paper on Goya and his life, also written in the past tense.
I am currently in the process of grading the written work, but I wanted to share some of the best pieces of art work with you. This type of activity is certainly not new or innovative to the Spanish classroom, but every time I offer this type of assignment choice, I am impressed by the artistic talent in my classroom. A couple of these kids are not the best Spanish students when it comes to grammar, but I believe they gleaned important historical and cultural information from the art they viewed, and that is certainly worth giving them this type of project.
The links below will take you to photos of the student's art work.
Kelsey D worked on a scratch board and mirrored Goyas' views on marriage.
Dana S worked in ink and provided a commentary of the legal system.
Haley C used pencil in her piece that expresses how times haven't changed that much from the 1800s to our current time.
Antony P also used pencil to depict Goya's distaste for mankind.