Creating sculpture is about changing one thing into another. Clay takes on the shape of an animal. Marble transforms into a mythological creature. Wood becomes an animal. Bronze is cast into the form of a human figure. This transformation requires creativity and imagination on the part of the sculptor.
Sample some of the following activities to learn more about the imaginative process in sculpture.
The following are places to go (some real and some virtual) to find out about sculpture and sculptors.
Virtually visit Italy and see sculpture from medieval times to the present
Travel to Chicago and see Alexander Calder's imaginative sculptures and mobiles
Travel to Chartres Cathedral just outside of Paris. Its decorative columns and interior decorative elements are beautiful examples of medieval sculpture
This site invites teachers to send in their exemplary lesson plans about sculpture and sculptors
Gargoyles and architectural details in New York City
If you like big sculpture, visit Mount Rushmore
Cruise to New York harbor and view the Statue of Liberty. It was created by French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. The statue is 151 feet tall from its toe to the tip of the torch. It was actually created in France and then shipped in pieces to America
Get to know Claes Oldenburg. He takes everyday objects and transforms them into large-scale sculptures. Look at this enormous hamburger sculpture or his gigantic spoon with a cherry on the tip or his king-size clothes pin
Meet Constantin Brancusi. He specialized in sleek, streamlined sculptures that have a feeling of lightness and airiness
Meet Walter Arnold. He carves gargoyles.
Meet Henry Moore and view his unique sculptures
Chat with Auguste Rodin, one of the most notable sculptors of the 19th century. (The main page of this website has a photograph of Rodin---don't you think he kind of looks like Zeus?)
Meet Phidias. He is considered to be one of the greatest of ancient Greek sculptors. The ancient Greeks were famous for sculpting the ideal human form. Their incredible sculptors were a major influence on the artists of the Italian Renaissance
Meet Edgar Degas. He is well-known for his unique pastel paintings of ballerinas and circus people. But you may not realize that he was an accomplished sculpture as well. Check out his delightful sculptures of ballerinas
Visit with the Teracotta Army in Xi'an China. About 200 BC, the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di died. He was buried with 7,000 life-sized terracotta warrior sculptures which were formed from earthenware. The burial area even included life-size sculpted horses
Ice is a medium that is available to everyone. Have students view these sculpted ice figures and then see what they can do with an ice cube or a bucket of snow.
Help students create their own sculpted works of art. This site has ideas that range from soap carving to constructing 3-D houses
Make a sculpture out of paper
Explore sculpture with your students in this curriculum which examines ways artists have created sculpture throughout history
Sculpture was Michelangelo's true calling, and he regretted that he had not done more of it. Learn about Michelangelo's brilliant sculptures.
NGAkids helps children develop interpretive and analytical skills through interactive discussions of paintings and sculpture in the National Gallery of Art, educational explorations, online
National Geographic Treasures of the Earth brings the thrill and the science of real archaeological discovery to you and your family. Learn Archaeology!
- The Art of Sculpture.New York: Scholastic Inc., 1995.
- Bassett, Jane. Looking at European Sculpture: A Guide to Technical Terms. Los Angeles, Calif.: J. Paul Getty Museum in Association with the Victoria & Albert Museum, c1997.
- Heslewood, Juliet. The History of Western Sculpture: A Young Person's Guide. Austin, Tex.: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, c1996.
- Pekarik, Andrew. Sculpture: Behind the Scenes. New York: Hyperion Books, 1992.
- Reynolds,Donald M.. Masters of American Sculpture: The Figurative Tradition from the American Renaissance to the Millennium. New York : Abbeville Press, c1993.
- Romei, Francesca. The Story of Sculpture from Prehistory to the Present. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1995.