Ever find a book you did not know you had? I was cleaning out my bookcase when I ran across an old book titled, Creative Teaching in Art. I have no idea where this book came from. It may have been given to me by someone when I started writing my creativity blog. I must have put the book on the shelf and planned on reading it some day. I guess today was the day. Weird how books come into your life when you need them.
Creative Teaching in Art was written by Victor D’Amico. The copyright for my particular edition is 1960. After doing a little research I found that Mr. D’Amico, a native New Yorker, was considered a pioneer in art education for children. He was director of the education department at the Museum of Modern Art for more than 30 years. He died in 1987 at the age of 82 years.
Victor D’Amico believed that the creative experience is necessary for the healthy growth of all children. His book is written to help teachers in the practical aspects of running an art classroom with actual situations and descriptions of art processes. The book is divided in to nine chapters. D’Amico discusses the child as a creator, painter, mural painter, sculptor, potter, graphic artist, inventor, designer and craftsman. The last chapter of the book focuses on choosing age appropriate art materials for the children to work with.
Mr D’Amico said, “Experience, and not the product, is the precious aim of art education.” Victor wanted to give that experience to children. He had a vision for a teaching facility for summer classes in the country. Mr. D’Amico’s vision came true when he had a retired World War I Navy Barge moved and anchored in place in Napeague Harbor in March of 1960. The Victor D’Amico Institute of Art, a summer art school, holds classes every June through September on this remodeled barge.
I am glad I ran across Creative Teaching in Art. D’Amico had a passion for teaching children how to be creative. I look forward to reading and learning more about his thoughts on art education.
More information about Victor D’Amico can be read at the following links.