5 Iconic Artists to Teach Your Artsy Child About

When parenting a creative child, get creative with how you deal with them. While you should ensure that your child meets their reading, math, and other developmental milestones, you can also share their love of art with them. If you see that your child is geared toward painting, drawing, and other creative pursuits, introduce them to some famous icons that they may be influenced by.

1. Michelangelo

When it comes to art, even those who aren’t into it have heard of Michelangelo. Michelangelo was one of the standout artists from the Italian Renaissance. If you ever visit the Vatican, see his magnum opus that he painted on the ceiling of the famous Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo wasn’t just a painter whose work featured highly realistic figures, he was also an architect and a sculptor. When in beautiful Florence, Italy, see the famous statue of David.

2. Gordon Parks

In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was created to prevent discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. One of the most influential artists from this period was Gordon Parks. He was a poet, author, composer, and photographer. His standout work was documentary photojournalism from the 1940s to the 1970s. Much of his work focused on topics based on the civil rights issues going on in the country, such as poverty and the lives of African Americans. He worked into the 2000s, and you can see his work displayed worldwide in museums, collections, and books.

3. Alma Thomas

When discussing influential black female painters of the 20th century, Alma Thomas is at the top of the list. Before she became a full-time painter, she worked for 35 years as a school teacher in her native Washington, DC. Her work is characterized by bold, happy, abstract paintings. In 2021, a museum sold a painting of hers, Alma’s Flower Garden, for $2.8 million. Since Alma Thomas died in 1978, the copyright is still enacted on her work. According to Legal Zoom, a copyright lasts for an artist’s life, plus 70 years after death.

4. Vincent Van Gogh

The life story of Vincent van Gogh is a very tragic one. Today, his paintings go for hundreds of millions of dollars and some may even be priceless. Despite the obvious influence Van Gogh had on the art world and pop culture, he unfortunately wasn’t successful during his lifetime. After dealing with years of poverty and mental illness, Van Gogh eventually took his own life after also cutting his ear off.

Today, his work exists in museums and private collections and has been featured in movies. The actor Willem Dafoe earned an Oscar nomination for the highly praised film, “At Eternity’s Gate”. The film focused on the last two years of Van Gogh’s life, a highly influential time in France, where he produced his largest and greatest body of work.

5. Edgar Degas

The Impressionist period was marked by trailblazers such as Edgar Degas, a French artist known for his pastel drawings and oil paintings. He was particularly famous for his representation of dancers and bathing women. As you teach your children about this famous artist, use your parenting skills to tie in the benefits of good health. After an illustrious career and long life, Degas died in 1917 in Paris, France, from cancer. He was among artists like Peter Paul Rubens, Gustav Klint, and Rembrandt to die from the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, the chances of having colorectal cancer are about one in 23 (4.3%) for men in the United States.

As you can see, parenting a creative child can be a learning experience for you both. You can enjoy learning about these famous artists and tour museums and exhibitions that show their work. Find out what inspired them. Who knows, maybe one day the world will also be influenced by your child’s art.