ArtsConnectEd/ArtsNet Minnesota
Inner Worlds

Art and Artists
 Arthur Dove
 Richard Hunt
 Cheryl Laemmle
 Betye Saar
 Kay Sage
 Yves Tanguy
 Jane Tuckerman

What is Art? Environment Identity Designing Spaces and Places
Jane Tuckerman
Discussion Questions/Activities

How many seagulls are in the photograph? Where do you see them? Which seagull stands out the most? What makes it stand out? Are all the seagull forms real birds, or are some of them shadows? How do you know?

Jane Tuckerman wanted to convey a sense of mystery in this photograph. What is mysterious about this photograph? How did Tuckerman create these mysterious effects? Why do you think the artist decided not to give this photograph a title What title would you give this photograph?

Jane Tuckerman, Untitled
Jane Tuckerman, Untitled

This photograph shows us a scene from a bird's-eye view. Why do you think Tuckerman chose this viewpoint? How does this viewpoint add to the sense of mystery in the photograph? What would this scene look like from a fish's-eye view? An insect's-eye view? A giant's-eye view?

Canaletto, Grand Palazzo
Canaletto, Grand Canal from Palazzo Flangini To Palazzo Bembo

What has Jane Tuckerman done to create a sense of depth in this photograph? In what way is this photgraph similar to the painting of the Grand Canal by Canaletto? How is it different? Compare the perspective in this photograph to that in Canaletto's painting. Which artwork is more realistic?

Is it clear what is happening in Tuckerman's photograph? In what ways does this photograph challenge the imagination of its viewers?

Varying Viewpoints
Find a high place such as the top of a tall building or hill. Draw the scene below you (a bird's eye view). Then return to ground-level and draw the same scene. In what ways do the two drawings differ? What might you do to your drawings to give them a mysterious feeling?
Experimental Photography
Photographers like Jane Tuckerman constantly make choices about photographic effects. Take a series of pictures of the same object, varying the viewpoint you use, the time of day, and, if possible, the shutter speed you use. Pick a large object outside such as a tree, swing set, or small building. Take a photograph of the object from several different viewpoints: up above, below, eye level, sideways, or a strange angle. Study your photographs after they have been developed. How does the perspective from which you took the picture affect the appearance of the object? Does the size or shape of the object appear distorted in any of the photographs?
It's a Mystery
Write a mystery story about the place pictured in this photograph, using clues in the photograph for your story. Describe the sights and smells of this place. What is the season? What kind of day is it? Is it noisy or quiet? If you could enter the place in the photograph, what sounds would you hear?

What mysterious event might take place here?


  • Perception and Perspective
    Distance, height and perspective are all important elements which add to the mystery of Tuckerman's photograph. Which end of the beach appears furthest away? Measure the width of the beach on the furthest end, then measure the width on the nearest end. How much smaller is the end which appears furthest away? Are there any other places in this photograph where this same thing occurs? Pick a spot in a large room. With your arm outstretched and a ruler or tape measure in hand, measure how high an object in the distance appears to be from where you are standing. Measure the distance from where you are standing to the object. Move closer. Measure the height of the object again. How does the height of the object appear to change as you move closer to it? What can you conclude about how the human eye perceives objects in the distance?

  • The View from Above
    Jane Tuckerman's photograph shows us a landscape from a "bird's-eye view." A bird's-eye view is a view from up above, as if you were a bird in flight. Take a new look at the objects below by drawing them in a bird's-eye view (the first one is done for you). Maps use a bird's-eye view to show us where things are. Make a map of a room at home or school, drawing all the objects from a bird's eye view.


Mysterious Movements
What kinds of words would you use to convey the mood of Tuckerman's photograph? How would you say them to express this mood? Would you speak loudly or softly? What kinds of gestures would you use? What facial expressions would you use?


Topographical Patterns
Have you traveled in an airplane and experienced a bird's-eye view looking at the ground from the air? What did you notice? What patterns of color, shape, and line did you see? Study aerial view maps and patterns of topography. Make a topographical map of your city or state. What patterns do you notice in the way the land is laid out? Which patterns are natural and which are made by humans?


New Visions
Experiments with aerial photography in the late 1850s provided a totally new image and experience of the landscape. In what way did the introduction of aeriel photography change the way scientists view the landscape? What do you think Christopher Columbus would have thought of aeriel photographs? How might they have changed people's ideas about the world in his time? How have pictures taken by astronauts or satellites in space changed scientists' views about the earth?

Vocabulary Terms

aerial view--A view from the sky of the landscape or objects below, same as birds-eye-view.

bird's-eye view--Seen from above as if by a flying bird, same as aerial view.

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Discussion/Activities, About the Artist, About the Art, Teacher Lessons

Inner Worlds | What Is Art? | Environment | Designing Spaces and Places | Identity
About the Art | About the Artist | Discussion Questions/Activities | Teacher Lessons