"To Delight and Instruct": Children's Education at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston at Midcentury



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This thesis describes and analyzes two programs for children’s education in art museums at midcentury – the Masterson Junior Gallery in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York’s Education Department, which was the leader in art education for children at midcentury. I propose that both programs were modeled on the educational philosophy of John Dewey and his notion of art as an experience. In detailing selected programs from both museums, I trace how they each developed. The Masterson Junior Gallery program had great impact in Houston. It ran from 1958 through 2007, and reached more than a million Houston school children.



Art, Education, Midcentury, America, Uhler, Ruth Pershing, D'Amico, Victor, Dewey, Experiences, Experiential learning, Learning by doing, Experiential learning, Learning, Houston, Texas, Museums, Modern art, Fine arts