Sunday, 6 February 2011
I recently brought a book by Norman Brosterman called Inventing Kindergarten. Brosterman writes about the work and ideas of educationalist, the originator of the Kindergarten (childrens garden) Fredrich Froebel (1782-1852). Froebel devised 20 'Gifts and Occupations' as educational teaching tools. Coloured paper shapes,beads, origami and simple weaving structures to more spatial 3D forms such as building blocks. The gifts come in a sequence and relate to the gift before in material, weight and shape. They allow for play in pattern, structure and form and cleverly introduces the concept of geometry, abstraction and mathematics through imaginative play. I love the structure of these exercises and the subtle introduction to aesthetics at an early age. It doesn't therefore surprise us that former pupils at Froebels kindergarten are Frank Lloyd Wright, Mondrian, George Braque, Klee, Kandinsky and makes you wonder if the early experiences at Froebels kindergartens attribute to the roots of Modernist Art and Design.
The Childs Garden of Modernism.