SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2007

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

Issue link: http://www.schoolartsdigital.com/i/152172

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 5 of 75

E d i t o r ' s C o m m e n t s METAMORPHOSIS Mackenzie Dupus, grade four. MetamorphosisActivities • ResearchMerianat www.nmwa.org Nancy in the first grade. M etamorphosishasbeen onmymindlately, bothasaspecific scientificideaanda broaderconcept.Oneofoursecond gradeteachersrecentlyaskedmeifI couldhelpherteachmetamorphosis toherstudentsandonethingled toanother.Myfirstthoughtwasto researchtheworkofMariaSibylla Merian,anartist/naturalistwhose workIbecameawareofyearsago onavisittotheNationalMuseum ofWomenintheArts(NMWA)in Washington,DC. MariaSibyllaMerian(1647–1717) wasoneofthegreatfemaleartists oftheseventeenthcentury.Her workdepictsaparticularsensitivitytowardthenaturalworldandits inhabitants.Shewasthefirstperson torecordandillustratethebiologicalprocessofmetamorphosis—the lifecycleofadramaticallydifferent egg,larva,pupa,andadultfoundin manyinsects. In1699,atagefifty-two,she traveledwithherdaughterfrom Amsterdamtotherainforests oftheDutchcolonyofSurinam inSouthAmerica,morethana centurybeforeCharlesDarwin's expeditions.Hereshespenttwo yearsstudyingandrecordingmetamorphosisinherinsectsubjects' naturalhabitats.Shereturnedto SchoolArts May/June2007 • Lookforcontemporary naturalists/artistsonline andcomparetheirwork toMerian's. Nancy in the adult stage. Amsterdamtowriteandillustratea bookaboutwhatshehadobserved. Thoughherbookinspiredmany subsequentscientists,herworkwas mostlyforgottenduringthenineteenthcenturyuntilitsreemergence incontemporarytimes.In1997, theU.S.PostalServiceissuedtwo botanicalprintstampsfeaturing twoillustrationsbyMerianselected frommorethanseventyofher engravingsinthecollectionofthe NMWA. MystudentsshareinMerian's wonderatthetransformationsof natureeverytimetheyobservea butterflyemergingfromachrysalis intheirclassroom.Inturn,Igetto seetheirowntransformations.One ofthebenefitsofteachingartinan elementaryschoolforanumberof yearsistheopportunitytoseemy studentschangebeforemyeyesas theygrowup.Ihavetaughtmanyof mycurrentfifthgraderssincethey wereinkindergartenandhavebeen fortunatetowitnesstheirphysical, mental,andcreativetransformations—rapidchangesmostpro- • Researchspeciesofbutterfliesnativetoyour regionanddepicttheir stagesofmetamorphosis inaflipbook. nouncedinelementarystudents.I amprivilegedtobesuchawitness. InChrysalis:Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis,authorKimToddsays thatmetamorphosis"isaprocess integraltothewayweperceive ourselvesandourabilitytochange ourlives."Thearticlesthismonth detailthoughtfultransformations bigandsmallforyouandyourstudents. Resources Todd,Kim.Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis.Harcourt,Inc.,2007. Burris,JudyandWayneRichards, The Life Cycles of Butterflies. StoreyPublishing,2006. NancyWalkup,Editor

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SchoolArts Magazine - MAY-JUN 2007