Unlikely Pairs: Fun with Famous Works of Art

Overview

Museums have very logical ways of displaying works of art. Usually they group works by artist, by movement, or by time period, so that impressionist works or classical works can be viewed together. And many museums are devoted to displaying only a certain type of art. In Unlikely Pairs, Bob Raczka offers us an exhibit like no other, organized solely for fun. The painting of a seventeenth-century Dutch artist sits next to that of a twentieth-century American. Classical sculpture is paired with modern painting. The...
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Overview

Museums have very logical ways of displaying works of art. Usually they group works by artist, by movement, or by time period, so that impressionist works or classical works can be viewed together. And many museums are devoted to displaying only a certain type of art. In Unlikely Pairs, Bob Raczka offers us an exhibit like no other, organized solely for fun. The painting of a seventeenth-century Dutch artist sits next to that of a twentieth-century American. Classical sculpture is paired with modern painting. The result is a rollicking romp through a most unusual exhibit. The reader is challenged to figure out the relationship between the various unlikely pairs and in so doing will look very carefully and perhaps even learn something new about different artists and styles along they way.

Invites the reader to discover fourteen funny stories produced by pairing twenty-eight paintings from different eras and styles.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This is a light-hearted book that challenges young art lovers to view paintings in a new and surprising way. Instead of considering each work of art individually, Raczka asks the reader to view them as pairs—pairs that no self-respecting museum would ever come up with, but which will delight youngsters all the same. What does one make, for instance, of the smiling woman plucking a guitar in a Vermeer painting, who gazes at a troupe of candy-colored cartoonish dancers painted by Keith Haring? It certainly creates an interesting image, suggesting a much livelier tune than one might otherwise imagine. What is a serious Jean-Frederic Bazille, palette and brush in hand, doing paired with an Andy Warhol landscape that looks exactly like an unfinished paint-by-number? Are the two people and their cat paddling through still waters in a George Caleb Bingham work about to drift over Frederic Edwin Church's magnificently rendered Niagara Falls? This slender volume is a delight to share with children of all ages, thought-provoking, amusing and, in its very sly fashion, educational. A catalogue listing of all artists is included in the back of the book, with thumbnail-sized reproductions of their paintings. 2006, First Avenue Editions/Lerner, Ages 4 up.
—Michele Tremaine
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-Raczka deserves an A+ for cleverness. He begins by explaining his premise: one work of art can take on new meaning when combined with another. Then, without further commentary, he couples famous pieces in a way that suggests a new, humorous scene. Rodin's The Thinker is juxtaposed with Klee's modernistic painting of a chessboard so that the statue looks as if it is contemplating the next move. Sim on-Chardin's picture of a boy blowing soap bubbles seems to be creating Kandinsky's Several Circles. Each selection takes up a page and is reproduced in crisp color. The book ends with a catalog that includes thumbnail illustrations and short paragraphs that go beyond artist and date to reveal interesting details about the works. More subtle than Jon Scieszka's Seen Art? (Viking 2005), this book is an amusing way to introduce children to famous works of art.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761323785
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Pages: 31
  • Sales rank: 1,011,977
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Raczka studied art at the University of Illinois and is currently a advertising writer. He has written nine art books for children, including No One Saw: Ordinary Things Through the Eyes of an Artist; Art Is…; More Than Meets the Eye: Seeing Art with All Five Senses; Unlikely Pairs: Fun with Famous Works of Art; Here's Looking at Me: How Artists See Themselves; and 3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet.
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