The Perse School

Year 6 become art critics at the Fitzwilliam Museum

3 May 2017

As part of their work on sculpture and figure, Year 6 visited the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to have a guided tour by one of the Museum’s tutors.

Interrogating works by artists such as Antony Gormley and Edgar Degas, the pupils were asked to consider the impacts of why artists use certain materials for their sculptures, discussing the properties of materials such as wax, stone and clay. The class went on to debate why some statues don’t look exactly like the subjects they’re meant to be depicting, getting into discussions surrounding idolatry in the Ancient Greek and Renaissance periods.

They observed a maquette of Gormley’s ‘Angel of the North’, with the tutor helping the pupils analyse why Gormley chose to sculpt the wings in the way he did, and what effect the sculpture has depending on where it is placed.

The pupils also looked at busts of notable figures, one of which being Albert Einstein. Einstein was immediately recognisable to the group, and they went on to debate why the artist used a material which would mottle Einstein’s skin, and make it look more worn than perhaps it was in reality. The Museum tutor also guided pupils through how to know if a piece of work is authentic, an original, or a copy.

Listen below to Year 6 students Zander and Bibi discuss what they liked most about their trip to the Fitzwilliam Museum:

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