Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Greeks give lessons

Art Museum institute lets teachers study ancient times to help students relate to the past

By Anna Guido
Enquirer contributor

In Ancient Greece, little boys played with riding toys and little girls played with dolls.

Using artifacts such as these - on display now at the Cincinnati Art Museum in Eden Park - helps teach today's students about the lives of children in ancient Greece.

"It helps make it more real," said Barb Patterson, a K-6 art teacher at Clovernook Elementary in the North College Hill School District. "It gives them something they can relate to."

Linda Kuenzli, an art and art history teacher at Winton Woods High School, tries on a victory wreath she made during the workshop, Let The Games Begin: The Ancient Olympics.
(Enquirer photo/GARY LANDERS)
The traveling exhibit, "Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past," is at the museum through Saturday.

The exhibit is part of a three-day teacher institute this week in which 90 teachers are learning how to develop techniques for engaging students in the study of art.

Charlene McGill, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at All Saints School in Montgomery, plans to take her lessons back to school and work with social studies and art teachers on a cross-curriculum study of ancient Greece.

The goal of the teacher institute - in its second year - is to make teachers aware of the museum's collection of art from ancient Egypt, the Near East, Greece and Rome, and to learn to use permanent and traveling collections as resources in education.

John H. Oakley, co-curator of the "Coming of Age" exhibit and chairman of the Department of Classical Studies at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., was Tuesday's keynote speaker.

He said the idea for the exhibit grew out of the "scholarly world's" desire for more information about children's lives in ancient Greece.

The exhibit has more than 120 art objects and artifacts - including toys, painted vases, and figurines - dating from about 1500 B.C. through the Hellenistic period under the Romans (about 100 B.C.).

The pieces are organized under themes related to children's lives: myth, household, education, work, play, ritual, and transition to adulthood.

Oakley was asked to help put together the exhibit for Dartmouth College. From there, it went to the Onassis Cultural Center in New York before coming to Cincinnati.

About the program

The Cincinnati Art Museum received another boost in art education this month with receipt of a $62,000 Learning Through the Arts Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The grant will be used to fund a two-year program teaching children how to learn through exploration of original art at the museum.

The program will focus on visual arts, children's literature and performing arts for children ages 3-8.

For information on education programs at the Cincinnati Art Museum, contact Emily Holtrop, curator of education for school and teacher programs, at 639-2879, or e-mail



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