Learning About Russian Art with kids
Russia has a history rich with talented artists. During one of my visits to Moscow, I was fortunate to be able to visit the Tretyakov Gallery. The museum houses a stunningly beautiful collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and icons.
Although you cannot begin to get the depth and feel of a piece of art by looking at it on the screen, you can preview their collection here.
What I am continuously amazed at is the artistic talents of this generation. My husband purchased this gorgeous egg to display in our home in Moscow. One can find these symbols of love and faith in churches, stores, and street markets and most are painted by local artisans.
This particular icon egg is made of wood and sits upon a pedestal, modeled in part after Faberge’s Eggs, the historical extravagant carved and hand painted eggs.
I personally am drawn to local art that represents a cultural tidbit. I purchased a painting in the Udmurt Republic that represents more of the traditional, rustic dacha (garden home). Although Russian flats (apartments) are mostly modernized with washer machines, dishwashers, coffee pots and other appliances, many dachas still remain simple with just the necessities for weekend and summer living.
The perfect place to get away from city life, relax, garden and drink a cup of chai (tea). It is my daily reminder to find joy in the simple pleasures of life and not to get consumed by the modern technology.
Making Learning About Russia a Hands-On Experience Through Art:
I try to teach my children that artwork, both well known and local takes time and skill. If we are putting a project together, most often it is a craft. Although I do feel that many projects tend to walk a fine line between the two.
If you are hoping to do some crafting with your kids to learn more about the history, architecture, art, and geography, here are some activity links worth reading.
- Russian Cathedral Drawing at Art Projects for Kids
- Construction Paper Building at Having Fun at Home
- Making a Dyimkovsky Toy at Crafty Crow
- Kandisky Project with Several Printable Coloring Pages at DLTK’s Crafts for Kids
For our activity today, we will be looking at Kasimir Malevich, an abstract Russian painter (1878-1935) He is revered as a “pioneer” in the abstract art movement.
A quick Google search will give you and your kids an idea of Malevich’s style. We talk about the changes in art and how his pieces were made not to represent shapes, but a feeling. We used color, shape, and size words to not only describe what we saw but to reinforce and increase my preschooler’s oral vocabulary.
Our goal for the Russian Art Activity today is to arrange rectangles in a way that represents a feeling, going beyond the actual shapes and colors of the rectangles.
Russian Art Activity: Rectangle Abstract Art
- Paper: red, orange, yellow, black, green.
- Scissors (you can either pre-cut a variety of rectangle shapes and sizes or with proper safety measures, let the kids make them)
- Large White Sheet of Paper
1. Cut out rectangles in varying sizes.
2. Glue them onto the paper in such a way that they represent a feeling.
Additional Activities about Russia for Kids
To learn more about Russian Language and Culture, please visit our other Russian Posts here at The Educators’ Spin On It.
- Seven Ways to use Matroshka Dolls to Teach
- Chalk Replicas of Russian Buildings – a lesson in art, math, and geography
- Sharing Russian Culture with Friends
- A Guest Post at Mama Smiles about Russian Food
- Where to find resources to teach Russian
- Russian Books for Kids
- Making Borsht and labeling your fridge
- What environmental print looks like in my home
- How to build a bilingual book collection
- Including traditional toys in play
- Russian Recipes for Kids to Make
- A Virtual Field Trip to Izhevsk Russia