In his last and most overarching essay on the subject, Rudolf Arnheim encourages us to see the range of individuality in children's drawings and to recognize the child's creation of "significant form" as a way of bringing coherence to his or her experience of the world. This groundbreaking book brings together distinguished critics and scholars, including Rudolf Arnheim, to explore children's art and its profound but rarely documented history. The contributors address central questions of how children use art to make sense of their experience and what really constitutes visual "giftedness" in children. They also cover such topics as visual thinking, the influence of popular culture on children's drawings, giftedness versus education in children's drawings, process, and social interaction in drawing. Created to accompany an exhibition on children's drawings, When We Were Young features a stunning full-color gallery of drawings both by famous artists such as Ingres, Van Gogh, Picasso, Miró, and Klee when they were children and by extraordinary "ordinary" children. An annotated chronology, with synopses and more than a thousand scholarly notes, offers a comprehensive survey of the literature and history of child art from the thirteenth century to the present.
Essays by Rudolf Arnheim, Jonathan Fineberg, Misty S. Houston, Olga Ivashkevich, Christine Marmé Thompson, and Elizabeth Hutton Turner