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IB TOK class: Where are the black people in Old Master paintings?

This article picked by a teacher with suggested questions is part of the Financial Times free schools access programme. Details/registration here. It is part of a special Climate Change for Schools report.

Specification:

IB DP TOK themes & AOKs The arts, History

Relevant BQ Spin

Key terms and ideas Represented, Contextualising, Unknown, Dynamics

Investigating Issues decolonisation

Exhibition prompt IAP-29 (owns)

Click to read the article below, study the images and then answer the questions:

Where are the black people in Old Master paintings?

  • What we can learn about society from viewing paintings from the past?

  • What do we see when we view these works of art?

  • What relationship might they have to power and wealth?

  • What do we fail to see when we view this art?

  • How does Walker seek to change our perception?

    You can explore these issues further by watching the short film about the way Walker works here. Overall, how important is it to view art from different perspectives? What do we miss when we fail to do this — both in terms of art, and social history?

Michael Dunn, theoryofknowledge.net

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