Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Art and Science Reconciled

On the stucture in common between art and science

Important new work is being done by Rosemary Plumstead and Donita Ellison, both of whom have taught at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in New York City.

Ms. Plumstead, now retired, a distinguished science teacher whose students passed their statewide examinations at a rate unheard of elsewhere, and Ms. Ellison, a sculptor as well as a teacher of art history, have presented pioneering papers on this cutting-edge subject.

One of their joint papers -- "The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method Shows the Thrilling Structure in Common Between Art and Science!" -- was presented at the 31st World Congress of the International Society for Education through Art, August 2002, New York City and is published in the Proceedings of the society.

This paper considered the opposites of delicacy and power common to both the anatomical structure of the human hand and the composition of paleolithic cave paintings -- in particular, the technique of the paleolithic artist in rendering such animals as bison and deer.

A truly pioneering exploration of what art and science inevitably have in common.

Most recently, at the New York State Art Teachers Association annual meeting in Rye, NY, they presented an amazing paper on the relation of embryonic development to the creation of a work in clay, focusing on the opposites of sameness and change underlying both.

My heartiest congratulations to Ellison and Plumstead!


Their basis, the great "Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?" by Eli Siegel -- the first publication formally expressing the Siegel Theory of Opposites in Relation to Aesthetics is to be found on the Terrain Gallery website.