This first learning story was kindly supplied by Pirkko, a visual arts teacher from Southern Finland. Her students range ages from 12 to 18 and when it comes to digital, she has gotten so used to her ipad, that sometimes you can see her touching her desktop computer screen to play a youtube video. In this age of digital technology, her students teach her something new, “every day”.

One of the classes she enjoys more is Art 1, that is, at a point when students have to absolve some art credits, so she gets to work with the whole class. For more advanced students she organises more specialised classes, and one that she regularly teaches is clay modelling. We talked about this class in detail.

One way to show her students the modernity of classical art is to let them have a look at Renaissance sculptures, specially the detail with which faces, gestures and postures were carved. One of her favourite sculpture work is David by Michelangelo. For her classes, she uses a lot Google images, but “if you want to re-use these photos, you can’t get the best photos”. She likes to zoom in the images from her computer into the big screen to let her students modelling face-sculptures take a closer look to details: “you can zoom in an eye and show them how Michelangelo has made it more real”.

1954 photo of Michelangelo's Masterpiece captures an angle of David we are less used to
This 1954 photo of Michelangelo’s masterpiece captures
an angle of David we are less used to. © Time Inc.

Parting from this story, I wanted to collect some ideas, projects and tools that this conversation reminded me of:

The collaboration of Google with cultural heritage institutions world wide, has brought some of the web’s most used services in the context of museums and galleries in Google Cultural Institute ( external). Here visitors can either stroll virtually art galleries or find works of art and scrutinise them with its zoom tool.

From Léo Caillard’s photo series “Hipster in Stone I”

The idea of modernity and antiquities is a great way to engage with cultural heritage. In 2013 artist Léo Caillard realised a series of photos after a visit to Louvre. In “Hipster in Stone I” ( external) the photographer recreate some of Louvre’s pieces of Roman and Greek art dressed in contemporary outfits, renewing the concept of “ideal” that classical sculptures wanted to portray.

A selection of sculptures in Louvre can be found on the website of Louvre: > Collections & The Palace > Curatorial departments > Sculptures > Highlights external