What is Mummies and Masterpieces?
Mummies and Masterpieces is a unique program that enhances adult and child learning through museum masterpieces. It is a product of the various educational experiences that inspired Founder/Director Lauren Perlman throughout her educational career. After attending and graduating from the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaways, Stern College for Women and Bank Street School of Education, and teaching at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, the Churchill School, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, she felt the need to integrate all that she had learned into a program that enhances learning in visual, hands-on ways.
Our programs are aligned with national and state learning standards and consist of slide discussions, art workshops and museum visits. They take place at schools, religious institutions, organizations, libraries, community centers, senior citizen homes and more. We come to you or you meet us at a local museum….or both! We work with children ages 2 through adult and we are available worldwide!
What sets us apart from other art programs is that we do not believe in lecturing or spoon-feeding information to our participants. In today’s time, information is literally at the world’s fingertips, and is easily accessible to all. We believe in wondering, questioning, exploring, problem-solving, and discovering museum masterpieces TOGETHER. In addition, our art projects are PROCESS-BASED, as opposed to PRODUCT-BASED. In other words, our goal is not to send participants home with “perfect” works of art. This is not a message that we would want to give to any student: young or old. We strive to enable our students to experience great pride in what they learn and what they create. We do not label artwork by offering blanket statements such as, “That is beautiful”. Instead, we validate and celebrate each individual comment, idea and creation; “I see that you decided to use a lot of blue in your painting.” “I like the way you made this line go up, around and down.” “Is this beach a place that you have actually visited?” “Are the people in this sketch ones that you know?” “You must have pressed quite hard to create the thick lines in this print.” “The way that you created your scuplture of a jogger makes it seem as if she is about to run right off of our art table”.
We are driven by, and committed to this philosophy. All of our educators are required to hold undergraduate or advanced degrees in the field of Education and, once hired, are trained on the topics of learning styles, artist backgrounds, specific museum masterpieces, art materials and appropriate hands-on art experiences for all ages and backgrounds.
Why do we need a program such as this one?
Research has shown that children and adults have various learning styles and need more than one kind of entryway through which to learn. For example, Howard Gardner, renowned Doctor of Education at Harvard University, recognized worldwide for his Theory of Multiple Intelligences has said, “People possess every intelligence in varying strengths, giving everyone a unique ‘profile’ of intelligences…Unfortunately, most schools and teachers emphasize the linguistic and logicalmathematic perspectives at the expense of other areas…. An awareness of multiple intelligences can suggest to teachers various ways to present the same material.”
This idea, in addition to those from a multitude of other researchers, underscores the fact that creative arts programs are not a luxury – they are a necessity for those who seek to provide the most meaningful and effective learning environment for their students.