Sculpture: Representational Development in a Three-Dimensional Medium

Authored by: Claire Golomb

Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education

Print publication date:  February  2004
Online publication date:  April  2004

Print ISBN: 9780805849714
eBook ISBN: 9781410609939
Adobe ISBN: 9781135612313


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Representational development in the visual arts is a uniquely human endeavor that emerges relatively early and quite spontaneously in ontogenetic development. It is a symbolic activity that sets humans apart from their closest non-human relatives, the great apes; and to date, there is no convincing evidence that symbol (language) trained apes create representational drawings and sculptures (Boysen, Berntson, & Prentice, 1987; Miles, 1990; Miles, Mitchell, & Harper, 1996; Smith, 1973). Great apes can recognize photographs and drawings of people and objects; however, findings regarding their ability to produce representational drawings are ambiguous at best.

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