Docent Stories: Mary Therrien
Fifth Graders Respond to Mark Rothko’s Orange and Yellow

In honor of our first Art’scool tour of the season today, here’s a favorite story from our docent Mary Therrien:

I led a group of fifth graders to Mark Rothko’s Orange and Yellow, 1956, and asked, “Would anyone want this painting in their bedroom?”

A boy’s hand shot up, and he said, “Yes!”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I see a pillow (yellow) and a blanket (orange).”

Then, a second boy’s hand went up, and he said, “Me too!”

“Why?” I asked.

“I want it directly across from my bed. When I wake up in the morning, I’ll see a sunrise (yellow), and when I go to bed at night, I’ll see a sunset (orange).”

Image: © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Docent Stories: Curator of Education Mariann Smith
Third Graders Respond to Marc Chagall’s La Vie paysanne (Peasant Life)

Albright-Knox Curator of Education Mariann Smith recalls a story from an Art’scool tour at the Gallery:

Years ago, I had a group of third graders in front of our Marc Chagall painting—La Vie paysanne (Peasant Life), 1925—and we were talking about how artists don’t have to use the colors that things are in the real world. I asked if anyone had ever seen a green, yellow, and white horse—only one little girl raised her hand. When I asked her where she’d seen one, she said, “in my mind!”

Art’scool, presented by the Albright-Knox and BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, is a school tour program designed to create the critical and creative thinkers of tomorrow. All guided school tours are free, include a transportation subsidy, and are guided by a specially trained docent.

IMAGE: © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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