I don't know much about art history, but even I know that Picasso was one of the 20th century's most famous artists. I spent some time recently trying to learn more about him, and want to share a couple of finds with you.
Art galleries are wonderful places to take kids. Jeanne of A Peaceful Day blog has some great ideas for activities that will encourage a child to get the most from an art gallery. Read her article in Literacy Lava 7 which you can download free from my website.
If you don't live close enough to a gallery that shows Picasso's work, try some virtual browsing. Here's a video featuring a range of Picasso's art work. You'll also find online collections via Art Cyclopedia, see some thumbnailed size images at Olga's Gallery (which are clickable to a size that gives you a better idea of the real paintings), and the Queensland Art Gallery is selling a paperback version of Picasso and His Collection online.
Here's a digital timeline for Picasso, and a Life slideshow, Picasso - Drawing with Light.
At ArtyFactory, I found lithographs that show the progression of artwork Picasso took to proceed from a realistic artwork to the abstract. I think this might make an interesting activity to do with kids, to get them to analyse form and release an animal's essence or spirit in this way.
You'll find lesson ideas from real art educators (as opposed to chooks who wish they were!) here. One activity I found on Frank Curkovic's blog, learningIT, seemed easy enough even for me, so I gave it a try. You can see it at left. I'm not sure Picasso would have approved, but I know I enjoyed making it!
If you'd like your kids to experiment with some Picassso style art, why not let them loose at Mr Picassohead? It has a gallery where you can see others' experiments, and best of all, an online editor that allows you to drag and drop features onto a face, a la Picasso. You can see my Portrait of the Artist as a Young Egg at top. There's something very entertaining about Picassopation!
(Lower image created by Book Chook with texta, paper and finished digitally in Skitch; top image created by Book Chook at Mr Picassohead and framed at BeFunky.)