Gallery Preview: European Modernism

Gallery Preview: European Modernism

Before your visit to VMFA, introduce your students to the galleries. Let them explore the space and imagine what they can find there!

Grade Level:
Adult, College, Early Childhood, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Grades K-2
Modern and Contemporary Art
Activity Type:
Distance Learning, Gallery Preview

Gallery Preview: European Modernism

Take a Look Inside

At VMFA, The Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection of German Expressionism and the T. Catesby Jones Collection of French Modernism provides outstanding examples of European art from the early twentieth century.

Click on the image for a virtual view of the European Modernism galleries. Though the galleries have changed a bit since this image was made, here you can get an idea of the kinds of objects on display in the museum. When you come to the museum you will be visiting this gallery exploring just a few of these objects.

As you take a look around consider:

  • What kinds of objects do you see?
  • How are they displayed?
  • If you could visit in person, what might you be interested in looking at first?
  • Do any of these objects remind you of topics you are studying? How?

Take a Closer Look: Is This Stuff Real?

Yes! The objects displayed in these galleries are real examples of art made by artists living and working in Europe during the first half of the 20th Century. By caring for and studying these objects in museums like VMFA, we are able to connect with these artists, consider how they understood the world around them, and explore how they visually shared stories and ideas.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a scholar or an art specialist to take a closer look and begin exploring. All you need is a little bit of time and some curiosity!

Why don’t you give it a try!

Use these simple steps to take a closer look at this painting from 1916.

  • Take a brief look at this painting and write down your first impression by finishing this sentence:

This painting is… (you can write anything— a single word, a full thought, even a question).

  • Now look back at the image. Keep looking for ten seconds. Write a new sentence.

Now I think this painting is… (elaborate on your first idea).

  • Repeat step two. This time finish the following sentence:

I wonder…

  • One more time! This time finish the following sentence:

The artist seems interested in…

Now you’ve looked at this artwork for at least 30 seconds. Look at your list of sentences. You’ve just connected with Spanish artist Pablo Picasso who made this painting over a century ago. Click on the image to find out more about this object. What are you still curious about? What new ideas do you have?