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Answering quarantine challenge, Bromfield students recreate famous works of art

There’s a new art movement spreading around the globe, and it has already arrived in Harvard. It apparently began with a Dutch Instagram whose name means “between art and quarantine” and got picked up by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles as a challenge to recreate an iconic artwork using anything found at home. Bromfield School art teacher Elizabeth Hoorneman presented her version, The Bromfield Student Quarantine Challenge, to her students and recently posted the results in a slideshow on the homepage of the school website Hoorneman has thrown down the gauntlet to the Bromfield and Hildreth Elementary School staff members and to the greater community. The challenge must be met by June 10.

Hoorneman said she saw postings in response to the Getty challenge from people around the world, and she knew this was something her students could get into. It would be fun and creative, get them away from their computers, and provide interaction with the family. She knew from the beginning that she would share the students’ work in a slideshow that would bring people together. “We all need a dose of humor, art, and connection these days,” she told her students. The Bromfield Student Quarantine Challenge can be found on the school website; be prepared to be impressed and to laugh aloud.

Students were given the assignment around the middle of April and had two weeks to complete it. The task was to find a famous painting or sculpture and to do some research about the artist and the time period. The challenge was to do a recreation of the masterpiece using at least three objects from around the house, including themselves, other family members, pets, and food. The background was to simulate that of the original work. Hoorneman provided students with a link to Google Arts and Culture, which, she said, allows the viewer to tour any museum in the world. They would take a picture of their chosen artwork and later couple it with a photograph of their re-creation.

“I was impressed by the range of art they chose,” said Hoorneman in a phone conversation. “They didn’t just choose a famous artist; they dug for something they could personally relate to.” She said she wasn’t surprised at the creativity of her students—she already knew about that—and she also knew that “if you give kids a challenge, they rise to that challenge.”

Hoorneman commented that so many of the re-creations reveal the personality of their creator, citing the selfies in “Girl with the Pearl Earring” and “Sleeping Boy” as perfect examples. She said she is amazed that some of her students had just the right black riding outfit or King Charles spaniel or gossamer gown to replicate those that appear in the original paintings. She pointed out that the three figures in the Greek marble relief “east frieze” are triplets, and she admired the creative flotsam in “Approaching Storm, Beach Near Newport,” and the pop art re-creation of Andy Warhol’s “Coke Bottle.” Tenth-grader Robin Miller probably spoke for many others when she lamented in an understated note, “I was faced with the challenge that comes with capturing live animals in a picture, as they move often and don’t always listen to commands.”

Community members looking for inspiration to answer the challenge could search online, but they won’t find any better examples than those in the Bromfield Student Quarantine Challenge slideshow. Please send a Google slide with a picture of the original work of art, your photo re-creation, and a caption with your name and information about the artwork to People unfamiliar with the Google Slides app may send the pieces by email and Ms. Hoorneman will put them together.

Vincent Van Gogh's "Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear" is recreated by Bromfield art teacher Elizabeth Hoorneman. Hoorneman reports that, unlike Van Gogh, she still has both her ears. (Courtesy photos)

Gustave Courbet’s self portrait, “Le Désespéré,” is convincingly recreated by Bromfield junior Dylan Winchell.

Junior Anne Segaloff recreates Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid.” Hey, what’s that in our milkmaid’s basket?

Anne-Louis Girodet’s “Napoleon I in Coronation Robes” is recreated by senior Celeste Keep.

Sophomore Jason Zou recreated Vincent Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait with Pipe.”

Senior Thea Eiland and friends recreate “Girl With Dogs” by Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña.

Did Norman Rockwell use ninth-grader Finn Hobart as the subject of his “Sleeping Boy?”

See all the student recreations HERE 

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