Kids recreate The Bowes Museum's paintings with VanGoYourself and Culture Street

By Sarah Jackson | 23 December 2014

The Bowes Museum has teamed up with Culture Street to create a video to encourage schoolchildren to discover art in a new way

a photo of a girl holding a tambourine in front of a portrait of a woman doing the same
Year 9s have a go at recreating Italian Girl with a Tambourine at the Bowes Museum© Culture Street
Pupils from St John’s School & Sixth Form College, Durham, have been recreating seven of the paintings on display at the Bowes Museum, including Water Pets: Goldfish by Lawrence Alma-Tadema and The Emperor Augustus Rebuking Cornelius Cinna for his Treachery by Étienne-Jean Delécluze.

The video of the art escapade (which can be seen on the Culture Street website) was inspired by the VanGoYourself interactive website, which enables users to recreate a diverse range of paintings suitable for friends, families and festive gatherings.

All users have to do is choose a painting, photograph or sculpture from a selection available on the VanGoYourself website that they would like to recreate.

Once an image has been picked and poses perfected, users can take a picture and upload it to the website, which will twin their new masterpiece with the original artwork. All submissions are showcased on the VanGoYourself Tumblr, but the very best recreations are showcased in the VanGo’d gallery.

Paintings available so far include masterpieces such as self-portraits by Van Gogh and Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, as well as lesser known works drawn from fifteen collections in seven European countries.

The Bowes Museum will be adding more paintings from its collection to the VanGoYourself website in 2015, along with a host of others from institutions across Britain and Europe.

Jane Finnis of Culture24, who developed the interactive site with European partner Plurionet, said, "As well as being a fun activity for all ages, VanGoYourself offers an opportunity to engage children in art and even develop performing skills.

"It's great that kids are getting more and more involved - having fun and discovering fantastic artworks at the same time."

For more information on how VanGoYourself can be used for educational purposes or in a classroom setting, check out Culture Street’s VanGoYourself guide.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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