Archive for the 'Art History and Education course' Category


Reflection on Musée d’Orsay Blog Assignment for English Pronunciation Practice Class

Cross-curriculum is a buzz word often used in educational policies and academic studies to encourage broader thinking throughout the subject areas.  Moreover, as the Musée d’Orsay class survey indicates cross-curriculuar learning can be meaningful and transformative.  The survey participants were 33 students attending Huafan University’s English Pronunciation Practice sophomore class.  The survey was administered in class on Wednesday December 30th.

As the survey results indicate the Musée d’Orsay blog assignment has provided the opportunity for students to learn about aspects of the visual arts including art history, painting, and sculpture through the museum’s on-line collection.

Overall, administers and educators at Huafan should take note of the survey’s results and make more of an effort to incorporate the arts into the English learning curriculum.  95% of students stated they learnt about art and art appreciated through the assignment.  Moreover, 86% of student participants felt there should be more connections made between the arts and English teaching.

The survey and results are as follows:


Musée d’Orsay Class Survey

Twenty-one students participated in this class survey to gague the impact of the Musée d’Orsay blog assignment on Huafan Universitiy’s sophmore class English Pronunciation Practice course curriculum.

1. Did creating your Musée d’Orsay blog assignment teach you anything about art?

95% yes

5% no, “Because I did not see any student blogs but I will try to search on the internet.”

2. If you answered yes, what did you learn?

-“I learned about artists’ knowledge.”

-“From styduing the paining “The Black Country” a learned that nothing is perfect.  We destroy or lose something through evolution.  All we can do is consider our actions and the damage.”

-“I learned about social issues connected in the pictures and the significant meanings overlooked in the arts.”

-“Looking at the pictures helped me express my thoughts and feelings while getting a better appreciation for art.”

-“I learned about the hard work of farmers and not to waste any food.”

-“I learned to think deeply about art.  Usually, I just see art but not look at it closely.  Now I will try to see how art is made and think about the story behind it.”

-“I learned that every painting has its own meaning and background.”

3. Did the assignment help you appreciated art?  If so how?

-95% yes

-5% blank

-“If there is no art, we can’t achieve or imagine something such as better technique.  For example the dream to go to outer space was first expressed in science fiction novels and then later realized through NASA.”

-“I learned many things from the artwork such has the ideas of the artists.”

-“Actually I do not consider myself to appreciate art much but this assignment helped me see how the arts are significant and meaningful.  It broadened my horizons.”

-“Yes, I have not studied art since my mother made me learn art in school.”

-“From this assignment I will go to the library to learn more about art.”

4. Would you like to learn more about art in the future?  If so what?

-85% yes

-14% no

-“I would like to go to a museum with my friends.”

-“I am interested in the artists’ life.  Maybe we can talk about the artists and their works.”

-“I would like to learn more sketching techniques to help me draw things I am interested in.”

-“I would like to learn about contemporary art.”

-“I would like to make more connections between the art and other academic subjects.”

-“I like it!.  I hope to go to the U.S.A. and learn more about art in school.”

-“No, I love art.  But I am not competent enough to be an artist.”

-“It made me feel good because you can learn English through art.”

-“I don’t like the arts and think it’s boring.”

5. Do you think there should be more connections made between the arts and English teaching at Huafan?

-86% yes

-9% no

-5% blank

-“Although we study in the foreign language department we don’t realy understand the cultural background of foreign languages so art is a good way to help us understand culture and society.”

-“Yes, because we study liturature and need to conect to to culture.  If the Professor can teach us more information on art we appreciate it.”

-“Yes.  There is a chance that Huafan can become famouse for because the professors and instructors know artistic things very well.”

-“Huafan should make a class in English about art.”

-“We can learn English through the arts, film, and new graphic media.”

-“The class is more interesting with art.”

-“Huafan students seldom have the opportunity to learn about visual arts so I appreciate being able to learn about the arts through this assignment.”

-“Yes, because the arts are a part of life.”

-“No, because Huafan students do not like art.”


Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard

Connie’s blog assignment on Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard.

Edouard Vuillard, Sorrowful Figure, 1890-1891

This image evokes an atmosphere of disturbing strangeness. Far from being a simple nude figure, this elusive creature seems to carry the weight of a curse on her shoulders. Nothing is more dramatic than the contrast between this prostrate figure clearly trying to protect herself from prying eyes, and the highlighting effect of the strident, almost aggressive colours (blue, green and red). The vertical framing, very constrained and Japanese in style, increases our unease by putting us, in spite of ourselves, in the position of a voyeur.

Pierre Bonnard, Lunch by Lamplight, 1898

Very early on in his career, Bonnard revealed himself to be an acute observer of family life. He portrays
this intimacy with humour and tenderness. Here, the lighting, diffused by an oversized lamp suspended
over the table, is a crucial element in the composition and the atmosphere of this scene where the artist’s
mother and nephews are having lunch. It divides the scene into contrasting areas, with the dining table
brightly lit, and the characters in the shadows. The characters themselves are silhouetted in the foreground of the painting. This flattening of space is
typical of Bonnard’s Nabi period.


Motherhood and Identity

Angela’s blog assignment on motherhood and female repression.

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes The Young Mother

This painting was featured in the catalogue of the first monographic exhibition of the painter’s work that opened in 1887. It was next found at the Charles Pacquement collection, and later in the Gould collection. It is an autumnal scene in which nature appears in brown and golden tones, with a young mother,
her children and a dog in the foreground to the right; two trees are at the centre of the composition and a river gently flowing separates them from an open field. The painting et me think about the rise of women’s status.

“That a woman should never, for a moment, feel herself independent,
that she should be governed by fear to exercise her natural cunning,
and made a coquettish slave in order to render her a more alluring object of desire,
a sweeter companion to man, whenever he choose to relax himself…” Rousseau said.

Marry Wollstonecraft said
” I now allude husband know the extent of her Dr. Gregory’s treatise,
where he advise a wife never to let her husband know the extent of her sensibility or affection.
Voluptuous precaution, and as ineffectual as absurd.”


War and Wrestling

Here is Amy’s blog assignment on the topic of war and wrestling.

Edouard Detaille The Dream
Paris, Musée d’Orsay
I think that this picture is very terrible for me. This picture appears sad with no one alive. And you can see that back of the sky just like doomsday. This picture is depicts of a group of people that sacrificed themselves for the war, and was painted to respect and to celebrate the glorious lives vanquished.

I think that these people are great.

Alexandre Falguière Wrestlers
Paris, Musée d’Orsay

I think that this picture is really violent. However, at that time wrestling was very prevalent in the society.
And you can see that there are two men wrestling while a group of viewers watch. At the same time, wrestling have other means: courage and represents a level playing field.

Paul Sérusier Breton Wrestling
Paris, Musée d’Orsay

I think that this picture is really funny unlike the last one that looks more violent. Similarly, you can see two men are wrestling and a group of people are watching from the back. And the two men look like brothers. I feel that this picture does have a war like competition.

social issue

We can in these three pictures that wrestling is no longer symbol of courage and competition. Instead, the sport is a symbol of violence, and entertainment. Although war is now rare, but there are still many assaults.


Pierre Bonnard and Sex Education in Taiwan

Angelica’s Social Issue and Musee d’Orsay Blog Assignment

Pierre Bonnard Women dozing on the bed/ The indolent women

Social Issue– Sex Education

Sex education may also be described as “sexuality education,” which means that it encompasses education about all aspects of sexuality, including information about family planning, reproduction(theprocess of the pregnancy and childbirth), plus information about all aspects of one’s sexuality including: body image, sexual orientation, sexual pleasure, values, decision making, communication, dating, relationships, sexually transmitted infections(STIs) and how to avoid them, and birth controlmethods.

Sex education may be taught informally, such as when someone receives information from a conversation with a parent, friend, religiousleader, or through the media. It may also be delivered through sex self-helpauthors, magazine advice columnists, sex columnists, or through sex education web sites. Formal sex education occurs when schoolsor health care providers offer sex education.

The Sex Education in Taiwan

Sex education is something that is brand new in Taiwan ‘s post-repressive society, and for many senior teachers it is still a vulgar subject. Many of these teachers muddled through their own very naive youths, and they are unable to answer the kinds of in-depth questions that young kids today can pose. For example, as feminists raise high the banner of “Orgasms, not harassment!” students may ask the teacher: “What is an orgasm?” “How can you achieve orgasm?” Some teachers think these students are being deliberately provocative and give them a demerit.

The Ministry of Education’s Ho Chin-tsai says that today many parents complain that schools don’t teach their children to be diligent at the books, but teach too much trash that only “distracts” them from studying. No wonder, with the undercurrent of conservatism still flowing strong, that many teachers prefer to live by the rule “the less taught, the less trouble,” says Ho.

About the Artist

Pierre Bonnard (3 October 1867 – 23 January 1947) was a French painter and printmaker, a founding member of Les Nabis.

Bonnard was born in Fontenay-aux-Roses, Hauts-de-Seine. He led a happy and careless youth as the son of a prominent official of the French Ministry of War. At the insistence of his father, Bonnard studied law, graduating and practising as a barrister briefly. However, he had also attended art classes on the side, and soon decided to become an artist.

Bonnard is known for his intense use of color, especially via areas built with small brushmarks and close values. His often complex compositions—typically of sunlit interiors of rooms and gardens populated with friends and family members—are both narrative and autobiographical. His wife Marthe was an ever-present subject over the course of several decades. She is seen seated at the kitchen table, with the remnants of a meal; or nude, as in a series of paintings where she reclines in the bathtub. He also painted several self-portraits, landscapes, and many still lifeswhich usually depict flowers and fruit.

Bonnard did not paint from life but rather drew his subject—sometimes photographing it as well—and made notes on the colors. He then painted the canvas in his studio from his notes.[1]

Detail Look of The Painting

the title already clashes with the young woman’s posture. Her body with its tense muscles – the left foot is literally hooked on to the right thigh – belies any idea of rest or laziness. Similarly, the modest gesture of the arm across the breasts is contradicted by the spread thighs. Sinuous lines run throughout the composition, materialised by the dark shadows on the sheets still bearing the undulating line of the bodies and the heavy jumble of the bedclothes. The electric blue “smoke” drifting across the woman’s thigh and ankle and the sumptuous dark hair spread across the bed accentuate the painting’s eroticcharge.

This woman spread out for all to see after lovemaking is the epitome of unveiled intimacy, violent, passionate and sombre and, in the end, very “fin de siècle”.

the news about taiwan sexuality ed

Sexuality in Teen Movies: Representations of Female Teens


Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

Here is Linda Huang’s blog assignment on Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.

The greatest French decorative painter is Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. His international influence was even greater than that of Gustave Moreau. As a young man he had to abandon his early studies because of illness.  He travelled to Italy during where he discovered the frescoes of the Quattrocento and decided to become a painter. Ary Scheffer, Couture, Delacroix, and Théodore Chassériau were his teachers at the Beaux-Arts. In 1850, Chavannes exhibited a pietà at the Salon. In 1861 his career as a painter of murals for public buildings began with the Musée d’Amiens. He decorated many buildings, including the Panthéon, the Hôtels de Ville of Paris and Poitiers, the Sorbonne, various French museums, and the Boston Public Library. A very French mind – to the extent that his work attracted that other very French painter, Matisse – he brought to his art a sense of grandeur and an organisational logic that were precisely the gifts required for vast mural decorations. His decorative compositions attempt to reach monumentality not through depth but through superficiality, linearity of construction, the “majesty” of the organization and also by a certain philosophical pretention. The mobility of the man is clear; the influence of his work quite outstripped its intrinsic qualities, but he was, whether we like it or not, one of the masters of the Symbolist age, an age which made of Beauty and the Pure Idea a veritable religion.

The Young Mother

This painting was featured in the catalogue of the first monographic exhibition of the painter’s work that opened in 1887 at the Galerie Durand-Ruel with the title La jeune mère (The Young Mother). It was next to be found in the Charles Pacquement collection, and later in the Gould collection. It changed title along the way to be called La Charité (Charity). It is an autumnal scene in which nature appears in brown and golden tones, with a young mother, her children and a dog in the foreground to the right; two trees are at the centre of the composition and a river gently flowing separates them from an open field – planted with a few young saplings and two Italian-style houses – that stretches up to the horizon. A subtle balance is struck between warm and cold tones positioned in four superposed horizontal stripes from the foreground to the infinite, on both sides of the central motif, rendered in nuances of dark browns with orangey yellow strokes. Through a process of reutilisation and partial transposition of motifs common in Puvis de Chavannes’s work, this intimate scene was inspired by a detail of the foreground and centre of the 1873 Salon large painting: L’Eté (Summertime, Paris, Musée d’Orsay), with the addition of the image of the dog and basket, recreating a microcosm in homage to the maternal image within a serene natural setting.

Social issue the declining birth rate in Taiwan

Minister of Education Wu Ching-chi confessed that the declining birth rate in Taiwan still continues to worsen. The Ministry of Education’s predictions are that the declining birth rate will have a gradual impact on colleges and universities in Taiwan, starting in 2011. If the current situation continues, more than a third of the 164 colleges and universities in Taiwan, around 60 colleges and universities, will shut down by the year 2021, causing thousands of professors to become unemployed.
Statistics point out that the annual number of newborns in Taiwan has fallen below 200,000 births, as the newborn population is declining at the astonishing speed of 20% each year.

Jo’s tweets


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