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Aesthectic Theories Grades K-3

The following theories present different viewpoints from which we can consider works of art. They are summarized in the boxes below in language appropriate for your students. Introduce and/or review the theories if necessary.

IMITATIONALISM - Literal Qualities The most important thing about a work of art is the realistic presentation of subject matter. A work is successful if it looks like and reminds us of what we see in the real world.

FORMALISM - Visual Qualities The most important thing about a work of art is the effective organization of the elements of art through the arrangement of visual principles.

EXPRESSIONISM - Emotional Qualities The most important thing about a work of art is the vivid communication of moods, feelings, and ideas to the viewer.


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