Portrait of the Artist

An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers
By Natasha Wing
Illustrated by Julia Breckenreid
(Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2009, $16.99)

 Artists’ biographies for children are usually more about art than life. In An Eye for Color, Natasha Wing and Julia Breckenreid introduce Bauhaus artist Josef Albers – and invite kids to share his fascination with color.

The book follows Albers from his working-class boyhood in Germany, when he marveled at the shapes and colors in the urban landscape, to his triumphant show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Julia Breckenreid’s images include lots of colored squares and rectangles, illustrating Albers’ discoveries about colors and their interactions. In two epilogues, Natasha Wing sheds more light on the artist. One is a more detailed account of his life, while the other describes her childhood friendship with the legendary artist, who lived in the Connecticut neighborhood where she grew up.

An Eye for Color is an excellent teaching tool for parents and educators who want to introduce children to twentieth-century art. The book even includes a list of relevant art projects. Best of all, this biography educates kids, while heightening their awareness of the beauty around them.

© Dorothy A. Dahm

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