Who’s That Artist?

Our 5th grade students have been learning about the research process in library through our Famous Artist biography Project.


In their art class with Mrs. Lustgarten, they learned about a variety of artists. Then in library, they chose an artist as the focus for their research. We got the idea for this project from Mr. Avery in Massachusetts. You can see some of his student videos here.

Students used books and websites to find out out the answers to these questions:

When and where was the artist born?
What interesting event happened during the artist’s childhood?
Did the person ever get married or have children?
Where did the artist live for most of his or her life?
What kind of art is the person known best for?
What other interesting story happened during the artist’s adult life?
What painting did the researcher like the most?

Some students used the information they found to create Wordles. www.wordle.net is a program that uses text to produce a “word cloud”. You can make some words more prominent in size, alter the font and color of the wordle. These can either be saved or shared with friends. Here is an example of a few Wordles the students made:


While the 6th graders made interview videos acting like the artist, the 5th graders wrote biographies in the form of a comment to this post. Their assignment was to leave a comment as if they were their artist, including facts they learned from their research.

This idea is adapted from a biography project that Mrs. Yollis did with her class last year. You can read what her students wrote on this biography bonanza post.

Our blogging buddies and friends are welcome to leave a comment as a famous artist as well! The object is to share some interesting facts, have a comment that is lively and interesting to read, use your own words, and write the comment in the voice of the artist!



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33 thoughts on “Who’s That Artist?

  1. Dear Ms.hembree,
    My name is Jackson Pollock and I am an artist that was born in Cody, Wyoming.
    I was born in the year 1912.
    I did lots of art with my brothers.
    I married another artist named Lee Kransa.
    I lived most of my life in New York.
    Jackson Pollock (Stefan)

  2. Dear Mrs. Hembree,
    I am the famous pop artist, Andy Warhol. Nice to meet you! It is a pleasure to be talking to such a great librarian.
    I was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. I never got married or had any children. That might have been a good move on my part though because it could have distracted my art career.
    As a kid I always loved art. My mother would always make my brothers and I have a drawing competition when we were rowdy. Not to brag or anything, but I would always win. I loved when we would have the drawing competition because the winner gets a chocolate bar.
    Another interesting fact about my childhood is that I used to have the same lunch everyday consisting of Campbell Soup and a sandwich. My favorite and best known piece of artwork is Campbell Soup. You would think eating the same thing would get old but I guess it just never did.
    Another story I can share with you is about my life as an artist. My family was always hurting for money but I got a scholarship to go to Carniege Institute of Technology.
    I hope you learned more about my life!
    Sincerely, Andy Warhol (Emma)

  3. Dear Mrs. Hembree,
    Hello I’m the famous artist M.C. Escher,
    I was born on June 17, 1898. I’m from the Netherlands. I’m known for graphic art. I failed my high school exam and decided to study graphic art, that’s how I got introduced to graphic art. I lived most of my life in the Netherlands. My favorite art I made was drawing hands. I married Jetta Umiker in 1924. I was the youngest child of a civil engineer, George Arnold Escher. My art had mathematical terms that made it like tessellations.

  4. Dear Mrs.Hembree
    My name is Vincent Van Gogh and I was a very not so famous artist until after I died, I was born March 30, 1855, I left school at the age 15 and I was an impressionist also I lived in Paris, France for most of my life. However I never had any children or get married. I had a very hard time selling one of a kind paintings but I am also very well known for Starry Night one of my best achievements.
    Vincent Van Gogh (Angelina)

    • Dear Vincent,

      Although we never met, I really admire your work. I was born in 1881 and you died in 1890 so there wasn’t a chance of us getting to know one another. Plus, I was born in Spain and you were born way over in the Netherlands. Too bad, I would have enjoyed discussing painting with you.

      I had the ability to paint in a realistic way. However, I liked to experiment and invented a style of painting called Cubism. Maybe one of the other artists here will know about my revolutionary style and can share about it. Anyone heard of cubism? 🙂

      (Mrs. Y♥llis)

      • Dear Pablo,
        Thank you so much for writing to us! Your style of cubism is so interesting. It seems very mathematical to me. Did you love math in school?
        Many of our artists are on spring break this week. Perhaps they will write back to you when they return from their adventures!

        Mrs. Hembree

  5. Dear Mrs. Hembree,
    My name is Georgia O’ Keeffe. I was born on November 18, 1887 in Wisconsin. Something interesting about my childhood is that I grew up on a farm. I went to a school in a one room school house, I did not like school but I did enjoy my private art lessons which occurred after school. I wanted to be an artist since I was very young. I got married in 1924 to Stieglitz, sadly he later died in 1946 of heart attack. For most of my life, I lived in New Mexico, I liked it there because ther was a lot of privacy. I am best known for abstract art. An interesting story about my life as an artist is that when I was in my 20’s , I had a terrible time with measles which temporarily effected my eyesight. My best known painting is Apple Blossoms.
    Sincerely, Georgia O’ Keeffe

  6. Dear Mrs. Hembree , I am Faith Ringgold and I’m a famous artist. I was born in Harlem New York, October 8, 1930. As a young girl I spent a lot of time indoors painting because I had really bad asthma. I love jazz so a lot of my paintings consist of dancing and musicians. My painting also had art museums in it to. I’m married to berdett Wallace and I have two daughters Michelle and Barbra. Im so happy i got to leave a comment on your blog. So very, very happy, Faith Ringgold (Kaya)

  7. Dear Mrs. Hembree,
    My name is Geogia O’Keefe and I was born on November 15,1887 on a large Wisconsin farm with my family. When I went to school , I went to a one room school house. I didn’t like school but I did enjoy private art lessons! When I grew up I got married to Alfred Stieglitz and did not have children.Then my husband died of a heart attack.I lived in Mexico for most of my life. I’m best known for abstact art . When I was little I tried dirt to see what it tasted like! Yuck!

    your friend,
    Georgia O’keefe

  8. Dear Ms. Hembree,
    Hi, my name is Jasper Johns. I was born on May 15, 1930. The place where I was born had no artists or art. I never got married but I had 3 kids. For most of my life I lived in Connecticut. I am best known for an art called Post-modernist art. An interesting story about my life is that I hated my first painting I ever did so I destroyed it. I was very happy with my recent paintings that I have done after that first painting because I thought that I should start liking my paintings so that I would be able to say that I am good at painting and I have a lot to sell. My best known achievement is the American Flag.
    From Jasper Johns (Anne T.)

  9. Dear Ms. Hembree,
    Hi, my name is Jasper Johns. I was born May 15, 1930 in Augusta, Georgia. When I was little there was no art in my home town. I was very sad. So my town was not beautiful. Well I never did get married but I did have 3 kids. For most of my life I lived in Connecticut and it was a nice little town. I have always wondered what people thought my art was like. Well they said it was Post Modernists art. I hated the first painting I ever did so I destroyed it. I was happy after I destroyed it. I have a question. Which one of my paintings do you think is the most famous? I think it is My American flag because it really shows what type of material I used.
    Jasper Johns

  10. Dear Mrs. Hembree , my name is Vincent Van Gogh
    And I was born on March 30th 1853. When I was a boy I loved to draw animals and plants that I saw outside. I never got married or had kids. Everyone new me as the postimpressionist. An interesting fact about my life is that I had very bad luck with selling my paintings, I had only sold 1 painting in my lifetime, For most of my life I lived in Paris. For me my best known painting is starry night because of the colors and scenery of that painting.

    From, Vincent Van Gogh


  12. Dear Mrs .Hembree
    My name is Georgia’o Keffe,
    I was born on my family ‘s large farm November 15th 1887.
    When I was five I went to school at our one room school house. I didn’t like school but I did like the private art lessons I took when I was young.
    And yes I did get married, in 1924 with a man named Alfred Stieglistz.
    He died in 1946.
    I lived most of my life in New Mexico.
    The art I am best known for is Abstract.
    I remember when I was little I put dirt in my mouth to see what it would taste like.
    My best known painting for me was “white Camillea”
    From, Georgia!

  13. Dear Mrs. Hembree ,

    Hello, my name is Jackson Pollock. I have written this information to inform you people about my life. I was born in Cody Wyoming in August 11, 1912. I lived in New York most of my life. I used to do abstact art for quite a long time. People like my style of drip painting. I was the youngest of all my older brothers. 5 brothers really. I was best known for my painting Landscape With Steer. I was also married to my wonderful wife Lee Kranser in October 1945. She was an artist just like me. We used to make paintings together sometimes. This is how my artist life was, hope you enjoyed reading this.

    Jackson Pollock ( Susan )

  14. Hi, my name is Roy Lichtenstein. I was born on October 27, 1923 in New York City. When I was a child I used to go to the American Museum of Natural History to explore the exhibits. I lived most of my life in New Jersey. Later on I was known for pop art. One of the paintings I was known for was Whaam!. In the 1970’s and 1980’s my style began to loosen and I expanded on what I did before.

    Roy Lichtenstein

  15. Hi, my name is Georgia O’ Keefe and I would like to tell you a little bit about my life. I was born in Wisconsin on November 15, 1887. I grew up on a farm where I helped my family by cooking,sewing, and growing vegetables. When I was five I went to school. I didn’t like it very much but I did enjoy my private art lessons after. I never had any children but I did I did get married in 1924. Sadly, my husband died in 1916. I miss him very much. I’m best known for abstract art. My best painting is Bleeding Hearts. It’s a pretty picture of a flower. Some people thought that it was weird that I felt funny about people buying my art. Oops late for my meeting! See you and it was great writing on your blog! By: Emma F

    • Dear Georgia O’Keefe,

      As a fellow female, I am so pleased so see that you left a comment here! Nice to meet you!

      I, too, am a famous American artist as well. I was born in Pennsylvania, but lived most of my life in the beautiful city of Paris, France. What a place!

      Art was a passion of mine, and I did a lot of studying of famous paintings on my own. That independent study really helped me progress as a painter.

      I had to persevere to get my work accepted. Many people didn’t value my art because I was a woman.

      Did any of you ever have trouble getting your art work accepted?

      Au revoir from France,
      Mary Cassatt
      (Mrs. Y♥llis)

  16. Dear Mrs.Hembree
    This is Vincent Van Gogh I was born in March 30, 1853.
    And one interesting information I can tell you about my childhood is that I didn’t get to sell many picture of my and I only got to sell only one of my picture in my entire life. Another fact about me is that I never had a children or wife another fact is that I live mostly Paris my whole life. And other thing about me that the known achievement or painting was stormy night that all have for now good bye!
    Sincerely Vincent Van Gogh (Tommy)

  17. Dear Mrs.Hembree,
    My name is Jackson Pollock. I was born in Cody Wyoming in 1912. I was the youngest of five brothers. Me my brothers and wife (Lee Krasna) were all artists. My mother encouraged us to be artists. She didn’t want us to do anything else. I spent most of my life in New York.
    I was best known as a abstract expressionist. My best painting was called “Male and Female”.
    Jackson Pollock

  18. Dear Ms.hembre,
    I am Pablo Picasso. I was born in 1881 in Mlaga, Spain. I died in France in 1933. I was interested in painting, but then my friend died. I painted my wife like a flower. I did not have any kids. I lived in France most of my life. I was a pop artist. I painted art because I felt sad. My style of art is Cubism. My favorite painting was “Woman with a Flower”

  19. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    I was born on March 30th, 1853 in a Dutch village, and I lived most of my life in Paris painting the surrounding landscape. Can you guess who I am? I’m Vincent Van Gogh!
    I got married in Paris out in the middle of nowhere because I loved the beautiful landscape and some of my paintings were based off of it. My most famous painting, Starry Night, was as you can probably tell, was based off of the night sky and was made by using cool colors and smooth curved strokes. The kind of art I was known most for is post-Impressionist.
    An interesting story of my life is when I got annoyed by somebodies jibber -jabber and I cut off my ear after I got in verbal fight.

    Vincent Van Gogh

  20. Dear Mrs.Hembree,
    I really enjoy creating detailed graphic art. Some of my pieces have animals while others sport fantasy creatures. Though most of my works are black and white I sometimes create a vibrantly colored masterpiece in my home in Baarn Netherlands. Ah , that brings back memories about my time at Haarlem school of architecture and decorative arts. Back to my beautiful art, one of my pieces has two hands illustrating each other. I also have a wife, her name is Jetta Umiker. Well if you visit Baarn come and visit me no one else!
    M.C. Escher

  21. Dear, Mrs. Hembree Hello my name is Georgia o’ Keeffe. I was born in west consign November 15, 1887 I was born in a farm. When I was young I loved to paint flowers, Moutons, seashells and animal bones I found. In 1924 I got married to Alfred Stieglitz .I lived in Mexico and panted. I lived for 98 years .I am known four abstract art .At a school in New York I panted a bunny in a pot.
    From, georgia’o’ Keeffe

  22. Dear Mrs. Hembree,
    My name is Vincent Van Gogh. I was born in a Dutch village on March30, 1853. I got married but had no children. For most of my life I lived in Paris. I’m best known as a post-impressionist. An interesting story about my life is when I got annoyed at someone’s jibber-jabbering I cut off my ear. My best known painting was starry night. I didn’t sell to many paintings while I was alive but I sold a ton of paintings after I died.

    Van Gogh

  23. Dear Mrs. Hembree,
    My name is Roy Lichtenstein I was born on October 27,1923 at New York City.
    I went to a public school until I was twelve. I had a easel in my bedroom and liked to draw.
    Once I got a science for Christmas and got interested, in how mechanical things worked.
    So I thought I was going to be a scientist. When I grew up I moved to New Jersey and married Isabel Wilson. We had two sons. Their names were David and Michel. But sadly after that we got divorced .
    Roy lichtenstein

  24. Dear Mrs. Hembree

    This is Jackson Pollock, I was Born 1912 in Cody Wyoming. I was the youngest of all my brothers not cool. I got married to another artist named Lee she was a pretty woman. I lived in new York most of my life. I’m best known for abstract expressionist. All my brothers were artists. My best art is land scape with steer.

    Jackson Pollock

  25. Dear Mrs.Hembree,
    This is MC. Esher I was born June 17,1898 in the Netherlands. Some interesting information I can tell you about my childhood is I was the youngest child of a civil engineer George Arnold Esher.. I got married in 1924 to Jetta Umiker and had no children. I lived most of my live In the barn, Netherlands. I was best known for graphic art. Well I failed my high school exam. Drawing hands
    From MC. Esher (evan)

  26. Dear Mrs.Hembree,
    The artist was Vincent Van Gogh. He was born on March 30 1854 or 3. He had friends that were famous artist.
    Frm Alex.

  27. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    Please, let me introduce myself as I am pretty sure you all will know who I am when I do . I am Leonard Da Vinci as I’m a great Italian painter as well as sculptor, and poet.

    You may know some of my famous paintings which are Mona Lisa, Madonna and child and the Last Supper. The Mona Lisa and the Last Supper are the ones which I tend to be more famous for.

    However my very first painting was called The Virgin of the Rocks which is at the museum of art in Pairs.

    I was born 60 miles from Florence, near a small village called Vinci which are family took its name from as you see. I haven’t always loved to paint as my first love was music and then drawing. However my father showed the art of drawing and the rest is history as they say.

    Some of my original drawings in a book can still be viewed at the Royal Library Windsor.

    Hope you all will get a chance to view some of art works for real some day.

    Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 1519)

  28. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    I write to you from the streets of Salford, near Manchester in the North of England. Today, I’ve been sketching pictures of the Salford working folk leaving the factories, I forgot my pad so I’ve just been sketching on the back of an envelope. Some people say that my style is rather naive, others call my figures ‘matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs’ but they sell for huge sums of money!
    I prefer to draw and paint pictures of working class folk going about their daily lives, and I travel around the industrial parts of Northern England to find scenes I would like to paint. I’m a pretty solitary kind of guy. I haven’t married so far and I don’t think I ever will.
    Good to talk to you! If you want to see my works, you can visit The Lowry in Salford, which celebrates my life and work.
    L S Lowry (1887 – 1986)

    • Dear LS Lowry,
      Thank you so much for writing ot us and telling us about your life as an artist.

      Your love of painting about working class people reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh’s early work. He liked to paint peasants and ordinary life. He also spent most of his life alone. I wonder if that is often the life of such a creative genious?

      Mrs. Hembree

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