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  • A detail of Anne Ancher's painting Julegæssene plukkes (Plucking the christmas goose) from 1904. Photo: National Gallery of Denmark

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Taste in art: School children bring to life the works of the Skagen Painters

Article Taste and food is often used as motif in art. A class of ninth graders zoomed in on taste and food, when they recreated famous paintings using themselves as main characters.
The pupils' version of Skagen Painter Anne Ancher's painting Julegæssene plukkes (Plucking the christmas goose). 

A ninth grade class at Brøndbyøster School has since fifth grade been a ’taste-class’ in Taste for Life. To complete their work, the class cooperated with the Old Denmark - Open Air Museum, where they implemented taste, food and meals in the Danish subject of picture analysis. They did this in ways that put the pictures in a more contemporary context in relation to interior, attire, housing conditions etc.

Based on 16 works by several Skagen Painters and the literary period “Modern Breakthrough”, the idea was that the Old Denmark - Open Air Museum should form the frame around the recreation and quickening of the chosen works. The pupils were then asked to paraphrase each work and orchestrate the motives with, for instance, the covered lunch table and the guests around the table (see picture). Of course with themselves as the guest dressed in old school attire and with food and drinks on the table.

Skagen Painter P.S. Krøyer's painting "Hip, Hip, Hurra!" Photo: Art Museums of Skagen.

When the “new” works were ready, they were photographed and will now be part of the exhibition at Brøndbyøster School’s “high street”, so that both the paraphrases and pictures of the original works can be seen and compared. Moreover, the exhibition will contain captions and comments to food and meals from the Modern Breakthrough and also focus on styles in painting.  

Picture analysis as a start

The desctription and aims og Danish classes of ninth grade read a.o.: 

“The pupil can relate to culture, identity and language through systematic investigation and discussion of literature and other aesthetic texts.” 

Cf. this goal the picture analysis is put in focus and the following learning goals could be made:

The pupils were meant to learn: 

  • To analyse, interpret and put paintings into perspective
  • To achieve a common professional language to picture analysis
  • To understand and use professional basis elements in picture analysis
  • To understand that pictures are mirrors of historical periods of time
  • To conduct and use professional reading in relation to analyse
The pupils' version of P.S. Krøyer's famous painting

Besides this, the pupils should demonstrate knowledge about “the relation between situation, culture and body language” to conduct their paraphrases of the chosen works. 

The course began in the classroom where the pupils worked in groups with the original paintings and prepared the paraphrases. Then followed a day at the Old Denmark - Open Air Museum where attire, rooms and interior were tested and chosen, and ingredients prepared. On the second day at the museum the works were orchestrated, and the paraphrases photographed. 

The entire course will now be exhibited at the school’s “high street”. The course is evaluated in class and will be adjusted to fit more lesson plans in the musuem's school service. 

Mentioned in the article

Teacher

Anne Bech is taste partner in Taste for Life, teaching at Brøndbyøster Skole. She has been appointed Taste Ambassador for her work.

Her class has been observed by Taste for Life's pedagogic researchers.