Why We Love Beautiful Things – NYTimes.com

Why We Love Beautiful Things – NYTimes.com.

This article raises interesting questions about the nature (and nurture) of creativity.


  1. Michaela, I do think we can introduce advanced concepts to children, because they notice these things all the time-patterns in leaves, the spiral of a snail shell, or the rhythmic pattern of waves. Children are so aware of the details of life, and it takes adults, in tune with the child’s pace (among other things) to capitalize on those moments–to pay attention, to listen to how they are seeing the world around them. Yet beauty as a value in education–not superficial beauty, but relational beauty, beauty that comes from empathy and grace and attention and love–is not a shared value or a priority in our educational system.
    I believe strongly that the more we notice and give attention and time to beauty, and by that I mean also beautiful processes, not just products, the more tools children will have in their pockets. That also implies raising the language of color, and music, and light, photography, clay, composition, to the same level as math and reading.

  2. “Could Pollock‚Äôs late paintings result from his lifelong effort to excavate an image buried in all of our brains?”

    I like this idea, that the creation is a way of exposing something to the light which is deep within us. I know I’ve felt this while painting something and ‘losing time,’ only to sit back later and wonder from where it really came.

    This article talks a lot about the monetary benefit of good design and how it can help us make our dreary work lives more efficient. I’m interested in the science of the actual creation. How are the connections made in Pollock’s brain that act as the ‘tools’ with which he excavates? How do we identify and understand those tools in order to use them more effectively but still with the hand of an artist? How (this one’s for you, Jen) do we equip youngsters with those tools so that they are as readily accessed as basic math.. driving.. spelling…

    Back in grade school I did an extremely simplified science fair experiment on the golden mean. My dad helped me make some calipers that were set with the ratio, but basically the whole bit was a summary of what it was and some pictures of sunflowers. They gave me a blue ribbon, perhaps merely because they didn’t know what to do with it.

    Do you think we can introduce such ‘advanced’ concepts as fractal geometry and complex patterns in nature early on in a person’s life so that they grow up with them like seeds? Perhaps some delightfully gentle fractals in the shape of animals….. or something…….

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