Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and The Circus for Kids!

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner  (1880 - 1938) is a German artist who loved to draw, paint, sculpt and print.  At the outbreak of World War I, a new modern kind of art emerged all over Europe.  These artists were searching for a new way to express themselves and to describe their personal experiences of the modern world.  Kirchner was part of an influential art movement called German Expressionism.  Kirchner used bold colours, angular shapes and forms in many of his artworks.  He was interested in the city life and tried to create images of people as they were enjoying themselves.   

Girl Circus Rider, 1912

Questions to consider about this painting:
1.  How does the artist express the daring thrill of the acrobat under the big top?
2.  Even though we are unable to see the facial expressions of the audience, how do we know they
     are excited to see the acrobat on the horse?

Online Activities:
Wonder pets join the circus @ Nick Jr.

Fun Zone @ Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey
Carnival Games @

Teaching About the Circus:
Olivia Saves the Circus @
Circus Resources

To find out more about:
German Expressionism at the MoMA 
German Expressionism at LACMA

Lesson Ideas and Activities:
German Expressionism in the Classroom (The Goethe Institut and McMaster Museum of Art)
Kirchner:  Expressionism and the City (An Exhibition Guide for Teachers and Students)

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