What I’m reading right now….
This is from a great essay on Richard Long by Richard MacFarlane in the Summer 2009 issue of Tate, Etc.:
To my mind, his work is best understood as a set of persistently childish acts: the outcomes of a brilliantly unadulterated being-in-the-world. The word kindergarten was coined in 1840 by the German educationalist Friedrich Froebel (1782â€“1852). Kindergarten, literally â€œa childrenâ€™s gardenâ€: a school or space for early learning. Froebel (less remembered now than Maria Montessori or Rudolf Steiner, for he didnâ€™t lend his name to his method) wanted to create an environment in which children could be childish in the best sense of that word. Banished from his kindergartens was the Gradgrindian sense of the infant as a vessel to be filled with facts. Instead, he fostered an ideal of the child as micronaut â€“ an explorer of the worldâ€™s textures, laws and frontiers, who should be left to make his or her own discoveries through unstructured play. Froebel wanted children to â€œreach out and take the world by the hand, and palpate its natural materials and lawsâ€, as Marina Warner observes in a fine essay on play, â€œto discover gravity and grace, pliancy and rigidity, to sense harmonies and experience limitsâ€.Â
Read the entire piece at tate.org.