Adventures in Art History Adventures in Art    

Lesson 15: Child in a Straw Hat

by Mary Cassatt


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    Adventures in Art History Adventures in Art    

Lesson 15: Child in a Straw Hat

by Mary Cassatt

Directions

Study the painting for one week.

Over the week:

  • Look at the painting.
  • Read the synopsis.
  • Study the vocabulary words.
  • Read about the artist.
  • Practice reciting the names of the artist and the painting.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.
  • Study the review questions.

Synopsis

Mary Cassatt painted many little girls in hats, oftentimes smiling and wearing expensive dresses and elaborate hairdos. In contrast, in 'Child in a Straw Hat,' a little girl wears a drab dress and a plain, wide-brimmed hat. Her straw-colored hair flows loose and looks mussed. Her mouth turns down, and her sad eyes look like they may tear up. She clasps her hands in front of her, as if she's being chastised. This work is impressionistic in nature.

Vocabulary

Impressionist: An art style featuring thin, visible brush strokes of color.
Straw: Dried stalks of grain.
Drab: Lacking brightness or interest; drearily dull.
Plain: Not decorated or elaborate; simple or ordinary in character.

Concepts

Mary Cassatt painted 'Child in a Straw Hat.'

  1. Mary Cassatt was born in 1844 in Pennsylvania. See her self-portrait below.
  2. Find Cassatt's state of birth (PA) on the map of the continental United States below.
  3. As an adult, Mary Cassatt spent much of her time in France. Find France on the map of Europe below.
  4. Cassatt captured moments in the lives of ordinary women and children, often featuring the bond between mother and child.
  5. She painted in a style called 'Impressionism.' Impressionism originated in France in the 19th century.
  6. Rather than rendering detailed, precise images, impressionists used visible brush strokes of different colors to create a gauzy 'impression' of scenes from everyday life.
  7. Cassatt died in 1926 at the age of 82 in Paris, France.

Enrichment

Activity 1: Can You Find It?

During the week, study the painting and find the following:

  • Little Girl
  • Straw Hat
  • Clasped Hands
  • Black and White Bow
  • Drab Dress
  • Mussed Hair

Activity 2: Narrate the Painting

  • After studying the painting, narrate the scene shown in the painting aloud using your own words.

Activity 3: Complete Vocabulary Activities

  • While studying the vocabulary words, point them out in the painting.
  • Define each of the vocabulary words in your own words.

Activity 4: Color the Painting   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 21 of 'Kindergarten Art History Coloring Book.'

Review

Question 1

Who are the characters in the painting?
1 / 4

Answer 1

The little girl.
1 / 4

Question 2

What is the setting of the painting?
2 / 4

Answer 2

Probably inside, in front of a blank wall.
2 / 4

Question 3

What is the little girl doing?
3 / 4

Answer 3

Standing and clasping her hands together.
3 / 4

Question 4

What expression is on the little girl's face?
4 / 4

Answer 4

She looks a little sad.
4 / 4

  1. Who are the characters in the painting? The little girl.
  2. What is the setting of the painting? Probably inside, in front of a blank wall.
  3. What is the little girl doing? Standing and clasping her hands together.
  4. What expression is on the little girl's face? She looks a little sad.

References

  1. 'Mary Cassatt.' Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org. n.p.