Using Your Senses


By Jennifer Kowitt


Yesterday at the Summer Teacher Institute, we discussed multi-sensory engagement in the galleries.  Providing students with opportunities for connecting with a work of art through more than just sight can prolong engagement, differentiate instruction, and enhance meaning making.  Take a look at the painting below. What could you bring into the galleries to create multi-sensory experiences with this painting? What would you ask your students to do or think about?





Joshua Reynolds, Elizabeth Gunning, Duchess of Hamilton and Argyll (c. 1760). Oil on canvas. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

2 thoughts on “Using Your Senses

  1. For multi-sensory engagement with this painting you could bring in a piece of fur and a long piece of fabric that you could drape over the shoulders in a cloak like manner. Some music from the mid 1740s like ” Little fugue in G-minor for horns JS Back or STRONG WOMAN SONG – Lisa Muswagon and Raven Hart-B and ask students which they think match Elizabeth Gunning. Pictures from a hair salon showing some beautiful long dressed hair to compare with the painting. Just some ideas

  2. I like the idea of draping the students in the cloak. Then you could ask them to move in the way you think Elizabeth Gunning would move — and of course to explain what they see that makes them think she would move that way!

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