There Are Creatures In The Library!

As part of an exciting partnership with the Harvard Art Museums, students in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at CRLS designed and built fantastic NEVER BEFORE SEEN creatures for a project called “Amazing Creatures”. Four CRLS classrooms (Ceramics, Theatrical Design, Robotics, and Dance) each designed and created a creature. The week before Halloween, the Amazing Creatures visited two elementary schools—the Fletcher Maynard and the Morse—where students explored some of the differences between direct and indirect observation. Some students at the school only caught a glimpse of the creatures, or heard about them second-hand. Others had a more focused encounter during which they captured their observations through writing and drawing.

CRLS media students documented the project and also conducted “man on the street” interviews at the elementary schools. These are now airing on CEATV 98. The project culminated with an exhibit curated by another group of CRLS students and teachers, with assistance from the staff of the Harvard Art Museums. The exhibition opened November 17 at the CRLS library and featured the creatures themselves, students’ drawing and writings, and the video.

creatures_content.pngThe “Amazing Creatures” Project was in conjunction with the Harvard Art Museums exhibition, Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, which explored how artists and scientists worked together to develop and communicate knowledge about the Natural World. Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe and the related public programs, including Amazing Creatures, were generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The project and the exhibition explored the question “What do know and how do we know it?” They highlighted the complexity of observation and its role in the pursuit of knowledge. A key image in preparing to design the creatures was Durer’s famous 16th century print of a rhinoceros. Even though the 1515 print was the authoritative image of the first rhinoceros seen in Europe in nearly 1300, the artist never actually saw the rhino! His image is based on someone else’s description and drawings. Yet in the sixteenth century, Durer’s image was still considered “first hand observation.” As part of the project all participating students had the opportunity to visit the exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums and the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Up One Level
There Are Creatures In The Library!
Uploaded: June 13, 2014
by: shiwen.pei

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