Art History:   Grade 3 Lesson 3

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  Red White and Blue Art - Toys

Don't forget the box!

MATERIALS LIST

  1. The Domino Girl, c 1775, unknown American artist. National Gallery of Art, Reproduction Photograph

    This little girl is playing with a set of ivory dominoes. They are kept in a wooden box with a cover that slides into a groove. Today's dominoes are usually made of plastic and are kept in a cardboard box. The game of Dominoes can be played by one or more people. Many early toy companies made the blocks from imported elephant tusk ivory. Sailors made some game sets while they were at sea hunting whales. They made their sets from whalebone teeth and sometimes used exotic woods. Dominoes were considered an educational toy because children had to have counting and matching skills to play.

     

  2. Jack-in-the-Box, , John G. Brown American (1831-1913) The Detroit Institute of Arts, Reproduction Photograph

    The jack-in-the-box is an old toy and was originally called a Punch Box in Europe. It may have been related to Punch. There are also "jacks" dressed in gowns and caps like Judy. These two little boys and even the dog seem absolutely enchanted with the toy. One child seems to have abandoned his shoe shining enterprise to share the jack-in-the-box with his friend. This was a time when toys among the middle class were a rarity. Theirs were usually home made. notice the clothing of the boys, especially their high top button shoes. boys of this age were expected to earn money to help supplement the family income. it is little wonder they are enthralled by this novel toy.

     

  3. The Domino Players, 1943, Horace Pippin, American (1888-1946) Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Reproduction print.

    The legend and saga of Horace Pippin will never be forgotten. like Booker T. Washington, he rose to prominence from obscurity. Born in Westchester PA, he began as a hotel porter, iron moulder, warehouseman and junk dealer. At the outbreak of World War I he enlisted in the Army and was wounded in action in 1917 while fighting in France.
    Not fit for work as a result of his severe wound, he returned to Westchester and began painting. In 1937 the art critic, Christian Brinton, discovered his talent and fame soon followed. Pippin was self-taught. his strongest work was "John Brown Going to His Hanging" (1942). Pippin's landscapes such as "Buffalo Hunt", revealed a stark loneliness and vastness of scale as well as a deep concern for detail. He continually isolated objects against light backgrounds and reduced their crisp silhouetted forms to two-dimensional patterns and arrangements that recall Matisse and the French Art-Nouveau artists. Like those in a Persian rug, Pippin's colours were bright, jewel-like and fresh as though unmixed and applied directly from the tube. His bizarre and simple primitivism was a n integral part of our nation's vigor and creative luster.

     

  4. Cast Iron Toy - Ice Truck and Horse.

    Casting is a process used in many mediums. The same basic process applies to all of them. First a mold is made. It is an "inside-out" version of the object, in this case a toy. It is the same concept as a Jell-O mould. Molten metal is poured into the mould. If you want a solid object, you must wait until the metal cools solid. A hollow piece is created by pouring out the excess metal after the outer layer has cooled, like a skin. Once completely cooled, the piece or pieces are decorated and assembled.

     

  5. Wooden Pull Toy - Cat

     
  6. Cup & Ball Toy

    The cup and ball toy has been a favourite childhood amusement for centuries. The object of the game is to swing the ball into the cup which is not as simple as it may seem. This game develops manual dexterity and good hand-to-eye coordination. This toy was quite popular in Europe with adults and children alike throughout the time of settlement of the American colonies and would have been a favourite on this continent as well, as it could be easily made at home or purchased from a merchant.

     

  7. Whirligig

    Whirligig toys made of hammered lead musket balls or coins to old and thin to be of value have been excavated from early American town, plantation and military camp sites. Mentioned in English literature as early as 1686, these toys have also been found in native American cliff ruins indicating the toy's antiquity in North America. The buzzing sound of the whirling disc lent this toy it's other names of "buzzer", "buzz saw", and 'whizzer". This whirligig is fashioned after a lead-free pewter reproduction of a Spanish milled dollar, a silver coin widely used during the 18th and 19th centuries.

     

  8. "Old Time Toys - Book

     

 
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