Pablo Picasso, Bullfight and Pigeons, 1890, (age 9)
Malaga, pencil, 5 3/8 x 8", MPB 110.869, Museo Picasso, Barcelona.

When We Were Young:

New Perspectives on the Art of the


Exhibition Fact Sheet

Checklist (click for images)

While frequently studied from the point of view of cognitive psychology and pedagogy, art by children has not been seriously addressed by art historians. When We Were Young juxtaposes selected childhood works of preeminent historical artists with modern and contemporary children's drawings to demonstrate their visual richness and inventiveness and to explore the criteria used for assessing prodigious artistic talent in the very young.

Exhibition Details

Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The Phillips Collections, Washington, D.C.

Jonathan Fineberg

Jonathan Fineberg is Gutgsell Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and Columbia universities and is a trustee of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. In addition to editing Discovering Child Art: Essays on Childhood, Primitivism, and Modernism, he is author of The Innocent Eye: Children’s Art and the Modern Artist, Art since 1940, and Imagining America: Icons of 20th – Century American Art.

46 works

The catalogue includes an introductory essay by Jonathan Fineberg speculating on the criteria for giftedness in visual thinking, an essay by Rudolf Arnheim on child styles and modern art, an essay by Elizabeth Turner on the relation of the childhood drawings of Klee and Miro to their mature work, an essay by Misty Houston (a scholar of Baroque French literature) on the discussion of the childhood drawings of Louis XIII in the Journal of the royal physician, Jean Héroard, an essay by Christine Thompson (a child art specialist) on the impact of culture on contemporary child art, an essay Olga Ivashkevitch (a child art specialist) on the social aspects of the self-initiated children’s drawings, and a comprehensive, 125 page, annotated, chronology with more than 1,200 scholarly notes, surveying the exhibitions and literature on child art (with synopses of key texts) from the earliest examples in the Middle Ages to the present (including the large volume of recent literature).


The Phillips Collection June 17 to September 10, 2006
Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion October 27 to December 31, 2006

Checklist, insurance values, and disc with images are available on request.

Or view Checklist online.

Erin Donovan, Curatorial Assistant