Kindergarten – Education by Design

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The Watermill Center hosts, in conjunction with the Peconic Teacher Center, a lecture by Norman Brosterman, noted author of the award-winning book, Inventing Kindergarten on Saturday, February 4 at 5:00 pm. With images drawn from his extensive collection of antique kindergarten material, including a great deal of design work made by 19th century women teachers, Norman Brosterman will speak on kindergarten’s remarkable history and how it gave women a far greater role in the educational establishment. He will also discuss how the use of Froebel blocks – geometric toys designed in Germany in the 1830’s by Friedrich Froebel, the inventor of Kindergarten – influenced the development of abstract art and modern architecture by introducing the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Vassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Georges Braque to the viability of geometric abstraction.

About Norman Brosterman

Architect, sculptor, and collector Norman Brosterman first became interested in the history of kindergarten while assembling the world’s finest collection of antique building block and construction toys. In 1989, Brosterman’s collection was acquired by the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. Discovering that the famed “Froebel Blocks”, which are well-known to all students of Frank Lloyd Wright, were merely part of a much larger system of elegant, nature-based, design toys, Brosterman embarked on years of research into the history of this lost world, culminating in the publication in 1997 of his award-winning book, Inventing Kindergarten. He is also the author of Out of Time: Designs for the Twentieth-Century Future (2000) and was a contributor to the Museum of the City of New York’s exhibition catalog Drawing the Future: Design Drawings for the 1939 New York World’s Fair (1996).
A portion of Norman Brosterman’s collection of historical kindergarten material will be included in the exhibition Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000, which is organized by New York’s Museum of Modern Art Architecture & Design Department and will run July 26 – November 6, 2012.

Please note that reservations are only through The Watermill Center; Peconic Teacher Center is not taking reservations for this event.