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Virtual Winter Break Wonders
December 18, 2020
Winter Break Wonders Activity: Music and Art
December 22, 2020
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Winter Break Wonders Activity: Portrait Making

This Winter Break Wonders activity is inspired by the largest intact group of family portraits by Gerardus Duyckinck I. Learn more about this artwork, then make your own portraits!

Look Closer:

  • These six paintings make up the largest intact group of family portraits painted in colonial North America. These portraits depict three generations of a prestigious Jewish German family known as the Levy-Franks. How do you think each person is related? What characteristics do they share? How is each person different from another? 
  • Abigaill Levy Franks was the eldest daughter of Moses Levy, an important merchant. Jacob and Abigaill Franks were married and had nine children. Five of those children are portrayed in the remaining 3 portraits. Look closer at the objects in these portraits. What clues can you find about the family’s interests?
  • Think about pictures you take with family and friends today. How are the Levy-Franks’ portraits similar to your pictures?  How are they different? 
  • The Levy-Franks lived in New York City. Think about where you and your family come from. Have you lived in one place all your life or have you lived in different places? 

Gerardus Duyckinck I, Mrs. Jacob Franks (Abigaill Levy), ca. 1935, oil on canvas, 45 1/4 x 35 13/16 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2005.8. Photography by Dwight Primiano.

Gerardus Duyckinck I, Jacob Franks, ca. 1735, oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 35 15/16 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2005.9. Photography by Dwight Primiano.

Gerardus Duyckinck I, Moses Levy, ca. 1735, oil on canvas, 45 1/8 x 35 3/4 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2005.7. Photography by Dwight Primiano.

 

Gerardus Duyckinck I, Richa Franks, ca. 1735, oil on canvas, 44 13/16 x 35 11/16 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2005.11. Photography by Dwight Primiano.

Gerardus Duyckinck I, Franks Children with Lamb, ca. 1735, oil on canvas, 44 1/2 x 35 5/8 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2005.10. Photography by Dwight Primiano.

Gerardus Duyckinck I, Franks Children with Bird, ca. 1735, oil on canvas, 45 1/2 x 35 7/8 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2005.12. Photography by Dwight Primiano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activity: Make Portraits of Your Family and Friends

Materials Needed: 

  • Paper or blank white cards
  • Black magic marker or permanent marker
  • Coloring materials such as crayons, color pencils, color tissue paper, watercolor, etc.

 

Instructions:

Step 1: Create a colorful background by adding shapes of color on your paper or card with the coloring material of your choice. Fill up the entire page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: In the center of the page, draw a large oval with a black magic marker or permanent marker. This will be your head. Add two semi-circles on both sides of the large oval. These will be the ears.

Step 3: Consider how the neck comes down from the oval head.  Make two straight lines for the neck that connect to a horizontal line that makes up the shoulders.

Step 4: The eye is a football shape with a smaller circle inside of it. The space between the eyes is about the same as the width of one eye. Draw the eyes on the top half of the head.

Step 5: The nose starts at the inside corner of the eye and ends about halfway between the eyes and the chin. Draw the nose by creating a triangle.

Step 6: The different shapes our mouths make depend on our current mood and expression. Draw a mouth to fit how your person is feeling. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 7: Add details to your portrait such as hair, eyebrows, clothing, and objects that show the person’s interests. 

Step 8: Repeat the process and make as many portraits of your friends and family as you would like!

 

Explore more portraits from the collection:

 

 

Book Recommendations:

Want to learn more about families and portraits? Here are some books we recommend for further learning!

  • All About Faces by La Zoo
  • Just Like Me: Stories and Self-Portraits by Fourteen Artists by Harriet Rohmer
  • Family Pictures, 15th Anniversary Edition by Carmen Lomas Garza
  • My Friends and Me by Stephanie Stansbie

 

 

Have fun!

 

Written by Kim Ly, art instructor, Crystal Bridges.

 

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Youth and Family programming is supported in part by AMP Sign & Banner, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Juan, Marcy and Joaquin Camacho, The Coca-Cola Company, iHeart Media, JTH Productions, Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Pinnacle Car Services, Procter & Gamble, Gordon and Carole Segal, The Simmons Family Fund, and ViacomCBS Consumer Products.

Education and Learning is supported in part by Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, The Northern Trust Company, Pamela and Wayne Garrison, Doug and Shelley McMillon, Jack and Melba Shewmaker Family, Neff and Scarlett Basore, Galen and Debi Havner, Lance and Sharon Beshore, Cardinal Four Foundation, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Harry Cornell, Cox Communications, Dorothy Hurt, J.M. Smucker Company, Kimberly-Clark, Nice-Pak Products, Inc., The Russell Berrie Foundation, Stephen and Claudia Strange, Felix and Margaret Wright.

 

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