Modernism: Early 20th-Century Art

Grade Level: 
Student Level: 
High School

Optional French language presentation available on request for an additional fee.

Fauvism, Cubism, de Stijl, Surrealism, and other selected movements in early 20th-century art are introduced through the museum's collection. Explore the visual innovations of artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Mondrian, and Miró in a period marked by the primacy of personal expression over a realistic rendering of the world.

Program Format: 
  • Classroom interactivity throughout the program - Surrealist writing exercise.
  • Discuss characteristics of European Modernism.
  • Introduce and discuss examples of art movements such as Fauvism, Die Brucke, Cubism, Dada and Surrealism.
  • Explore American responses to European art movements.
  • Listen to finished collaborative Surrealist story, written by the students.
  • Students will understand that during the period of Modernism (1880-1940), the artistic viewpoint changes from representing the way the world looks to the way the world feels.
  • Students will learn that during the early 20th century, artists attempt to define themselves by exploring a variety of forms of expression, including Fauvism, Surrealism, and Cubism.
  • Students will understand that art often reveals an artist's response to the cultural environment within which he or she lives.