This art appreciation resource consists of 25 laminated board-stock cards (5×7) depicting a variety of better-known pieces of art from canvas, sculpture, and architecture media. The works range from prehistoric to contemporary time periods. The artists featured include Michelangelo, Matisse, Monet, Cassatt, Dali, Warhol, and more. The back of each card contains information about the artist and his or her work, the technique featured in the work, and some sort of project or discussion to allow your children to delve deeper into the topic. The cards come in a sturdy box, and the included magnets enable you to display cards on the refrigerator or a white board.
Our family has enjoyed the cards. We bring out one every week or so and discuss the artist and the art. We have about ten of them on our wall in the dining room, so we see them at every meal. The kids actually have recognized the pictures in other places, such as on CD covers and on walls in restaurants. The selection and quantity of cards represents a very broad survey of art, which is working well at our stage of preschool.
On the other hand, this is an expensive resource, retailing for $58 on the website. [Editor Note: The product has dropped in price to $39.95 as of June, 2008.] Also, as we begin and progress through our classical history studies chronologically, I would prefer to study art that way as well. The Embrace Art website indicates that Impressionist and Renaissance card sets are in development.
The company’s background is interesting. Its founder and president is Lynell Scheid Kearney. Her educational background is in art history and ecology; her professional background includes land planning and work for the U.S Forestry Service. According to the back of the box, 10 percent of the net profits benefit To Love Children, a non-profit organization that seeks to provide educational opportunities for young girls in the developing world. More information can be found at www.tolovechildren.org. You might want to review this organization’s philosophy and work to determine whether you want your purchase of the art cards to support it.