Murals: Walls That Sing

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Presents a photo essay about murals, a form of art the photographer, George Ancona, regards as authentically for the people or "para el pueblo."
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Overview

Presents a photo essay about murals, a form of art the photographer, George Ancona, regards as authentically for the people or "para el pueblo."
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A mural is the most generous form of painting, wrote Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco, because it "cannot be turned into an object for personal profit; it cannot be hidden for the benefit of the privileged few." George Ancona opens his book with Orozoc's quote in English and Spanish and then captures the brilliance of Orozco's murals and dozens more—from charcoal cave drawings in prehistoric France to frescoes from ancient Mexico to commissioned mural art in Philadelphia, the neighborhoods of Chicago, and the graffiti memorials of Harlem. Ancona's superb photography demonstrates both the artistic and storytelling qualities of murals as well as their importance in the community. One mural in Philadelphia shows an African American girl reaching high over her head. "Over time, many children will see the mural, and it may make a difference in their lives." A mural in Boston's Chinatown portrays the history of Chinese immigrants from their arrival in the 19th century to work on the railroads to Chinese doctors and athletes today. The text is too advanced for younger children without some quick editing by an adult reader ("people resisting oppression," "a feminist intellectual"), but the photos and subject matter are perfect to introduce youngsters to the art of making murals and the use of this art form to claim a neighborhood as one's own. 2003, Marshall Cavendish,
— Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-From the Mission District in San Francisco, CA, to Sunset Park in Brooklyn, NY, Ancona's full-color photo-essay captures the power and drama of outdoor murals "that portray the people of a neighborhood and their concerns." An informative and joyful celebration of a unique art form. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Photojournalist Ancona (Harvest, not reviewed, etc.) takes his camera to the streets in this exploration of outdoor community murals in cities across the US. A look at the cave paintings of Lascaux, early church frescoes, and murals painted in Mexico City after the 1910 revolution place his subject in historical perspective. He kicks off with a pair of colorful photographs: "A tiny street in the San Francisco Mission District called Balmy Ally has become famous for the murals that cover its doors, fences, and walls." "A mural painted on two garage doors shows the people resisting oppression by a military government in Central America." A Philadelphia mural called "Common Threads" compares the hairstyles of high-school students and 18th-century women. As Ancona explains, the students assisted the artist by posing as models. A smaller photo shows the full face of the 7,500-square-foot mural, cars dwarfed in the foreground, while a detail of an African-American girl with cascading braids dominates the spread. A series of photographs depicts a mural created for a Boston housing project. Writes Ancona, "The artist organized more than three hundred children and residents to make clay tiles that were stamped, fired, and then assembled to create the mural." Murals in Albuquerque, Chicago, and the South Bronx are also shown. A unique chronicle of our country's diversity and an engaging look at the connection between the arts and activism: Ancona's latest is first rate. (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761451310
  • Publisher: Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
  • Publication date: 3/20/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.42 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.23 (d)

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