Talk: Froebel, Art-Based Education and the Birth of Modernism
A talk by artist and educator John Luebtow
Saturday December 10, 2016, 4:30pm
Large-scale sculptor and veteran teacher, John Luebtow, will explore how Friedrich Froebel’s foundation for kindergarten education shaped the course of modern art and architecture. Despite being overlooked by art historians, the mid-nineteenth century hands on learning model and its fundamental craft “gifts” that included wooden building blocks, clay, sewing kits and more, had revolutionary effects. Upon encountering correlations between Froebel’s concepts and his own practice twenty years ago, Luebtow began passionately researching Froebel’s legacy and amassing a collection of related artifacts, teaching tools and ephemera, which he will be sharing at this event.
Luebtow has worked with glass and other materials in architectural forms since the late 1960s, upon completing two MFAs, one in glass and the other in ceramics, both from UCLA. After serving as Director of the Architectural Ceramics Department at Delft in the Netherlands, he shifted his focus to glass as an architectural medium. In addition to his sculpture and commission work, Luebtow taught for over 40 years at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. His studio and customized large-capacity furnace is in Chatsworth, CA.
Luebtow’s take on Froebel: “Abstract Art, the breaking down of natural forms into geometric shapes, spheres, cubes, cylinders, is not solely based on “profound” artistic vision or artistic philosophical theory, but equally if not more so on the kindergarten classroom lessons of Friedrich Froebel.“
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