Curator's Corner: Unlikely Pairs

Fun With Famous Works of Art (Bob Raczka's Art Adventures)

Museums have very logical ways of displaying works of art. Usually they group works by artist, by movement, or by time period, so that impressionist works or classical works can be viewed together. And many museums are devoted to displaying only a certain type of art. In Unlikely Pairs, Bob Raczka offers us an exhibit like no others, organized solely for fun. The painting of a seventeenth-century Dutch artist sits next to that of a twentieth-century American. Classical sculpture is paired with modern painting. The result is a rollicking romp through a most unusual exhibit. The reader is challenged to figure out the relationship between the various unlikely pairs and in so doing will look very carefully and perhaps even learn something new about different artists and styles along they way.

Pat: I  have used this in my classroom so many ways: simply to improve observation skills, to make visual and verbal connections between two seemingly disparate pieces of art, to inspire students to find their own "connection challenge" pictures, and use those to try to stump their tablemates or the class with their creative connections! I have made a hallway bulletin board of the student challenge pieces with the artist's written statement plus the written statements of other students who saw other connections.