Didn’t you like to color as a child? Papers, walls, driveways – whatever struck your fancy. Now you have an opportunity to go back to those halcyon days when crayons or chalk were the end-all and be-all of your desires, and, also, to introduce yourself and children to great art.
Museums, archives and library collections around the globe are participating in #ColorOurCollections. They have put up reproduction illustrations from many of their long-hidden print (book, pamphlets, posters) illustrated treasures for all to color in. Then they ask you to send them a photograph of your final masterpiece.
It’s academia and education coming out to play but it ends February 5th.
For example, the University of North Carolina’s J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections put out the classic Tenniel “Alice in Wonderland” illustrations.
(On a side note, “Alice in Wonderland” is currently in the news since the latest version has a teaser narrated by the late actor Alan Rickman.)
The National Academy of Medicine has now over 60 participants putting out coloring books. Parents, teachers and children can often download entire books for later use.
As an example of the international spread of this idea, the University of Oxford’s Bodleian in England, put out a “colouring book” with pages that include angels, demons, illustrated letters and costume drawings.
Some museums also see it as an opportunity.
For example, the Smithsonian Libraries put out a coloring book linked to their upcoming #Color in a New Light exhibit. The Indianapolis Museum of Art has linked theirs to a new exhibit on orchids with their “Color My Orchid” picture.
Stanford University has an exhibit on Jose Guadalupe Posada. The Biodiversity Heritage Library will introduce you to bugs and plants. They say they’ve collected over 1,000 images for you to download and color.
And, just in time for #ValentinesDay, the Jewish Museum of Maryland has a downloadable “kewpie-themed coloring book“. 🙂
Museums, archives and libraries have been doing more outreach in the last few years and this was an inspired idea. It is also an opportunity to see the vast number of museums there are out there.
On a level above just coloring, this is an excellent way to easily introduce children to art and history which might be overlooked in the great swim of the Internet.
You have one more day to get in on it in 2016. Go!