What does the imagination look like?

The Square, What does imagination look like?
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On View Jun 30, 2015 - Nov 04, 2015
Exhibition Location: The Square

On view through November 4, 2015. 

What does the imagination look like?

The world is but a canvas to the imagination. Henry David Thoreau

Children make meaning through play, and play is inspired by imagination. Play broadens our outlook and informs our ways of thinking and doing at all ages. Materials, images, ideas, and environments inspire our curiosity and nourish our imaginations. And imagination is necessary throughout life to foster change and action.

Imagination is at the heart of Lincoln Nursery School. During the past year the LNS faculty and deCordova’s Learning and Engagement staff explored the process of imagination through children’s inquiries, negotiations, and transformation of materials. This exhibition of their research makes visible the importance of imagination in their learning and in all of our lives.  

Exhibition Magazine article by Emily Silet

Download the article "What does the imagination look like?" by Emily Silet, deCordova's Head of Educational Exhibits.  This article first appeared in Exhibition (Fall 2016) Vol. 35 No. 2, and is reproduced with permission.

Partnership: Lincoln Nursery School and deCordova

The partnership between Lincoln Nursery School and deCordova is a unique experiment in the future of museums and education. With the four sky-lit studios behind this building as their base, sixty young children and their teachers use the entire campus as their classroom. Throughout the year, they observe and respond to changing installations of sculpture, the work of staff and visiting artists, and the flow of museum visitors and the seasons.

This education experiment is a two-way process. The children’s voices have come to inform deCordova’s interpretive installations and programs with a creative and collaborative spirit—an approach focused on discovery through experience rather than delivery of information. We believe this active learning fosters a lifelong engagement with contemporary art and culture.

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Thank You

We are grateful to Lella Gandini, U.S. Liaison for the Dissemination of the Reggio Emilia Approach, for inspiring us to share the work of the children with deCordova’s visitors. Support for deCordova’s Family Learning and Engagement Programs has been provided in part by a grant from the Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation.