Thursday, March 4, 2010

Back to Basics

What follows is amazing.

"In 1967, Rhoda Kellogg published an archive of c. 8000 drawings of children ages 24-40 months. (See Kellogg, R.: Rhoda Kellogg Child Art Collection. Washington, DC., Microcard Editions, Inc., 1967; now available at LexisNexis, Reed Elsevier, Inc..) Up to now, as far as we know, no other archive of early graphic expressions was ever published, including a large sample of pictures and presented according to a classification system. Thus, the archive has a historical status.

Rhoda Kellogg was a psychologist and a nursery school educator. Here investigations focused on the art of young children, that is, on early graphic expressions. From 1948 to 1966, she collected approximately one million drawings of young children of ages two to eight. More than half a million of these drawings are filed in the «Rhoda Kellogg Child Art Collection of the Golden Gate Kindergarten Association» in San Francisco, U.S.A.. Of these half-million and more drawings, some 8’000 are available, in microfiche form (see above). Some 250 paintings and drawings, selected as outstanding examples of children’s work, are reproduced in full color. (See Kellogg, R. and O’Dell, S.: The Psychology of Children’s Art. Del Mar, California, 1967.)

Kellogg describes the very first development of children’s drawings as a sequence of basic shapes or forms and their configurations: starting from twenty «basic scribbles», which can be observed at the age of two, children develop placement patterns, emergent diagram shapes, diagrams, combines, aggregates, mandalas, suns, radials, before humans and early pictorialism appear. Kellogg understands this sequence as a manifestation of «Gestalts», according to the Gestalt theory.

Kellogg is one of the rare authors who emphasizes the role of formal design, which emerges before pictorialism and then plays a role in relation to pictorialism or is developed as a distinct type of pictures. (That is my own emphasis on this paragraph)

Kellogg is also one of the rare authors who presents an extensive classification system related to early graphic expressions, combined with an attempt to give empirical evidence for the picture attributes of the system and their role in the development of drawing and painting."

If you have a few minutes to be amazed, go to Rhoda Kellogg's website and you can view the amazing collection of children's drawings as well as how she has cataloged /categorized them.

Would love to hear your thoughts when you're done...

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inspiration is all around even where we least expect it