Family First Workshop: Cityscape Sculpture

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Family First Workshop: Cityscape Sculpture

By Julia Hood, Education Coordinator|@LearnReynolda

In a recent Family First Workshop, participants became city planners. We used cardboard and stamps to develop cityscape scenes. To inspire the architects, we began by looking at paintings and sculptures in American Moderns, 1910-1960: From O'Keeffe to Rockwell. Explore along with us and see photos of the workshop in process. For instructions for how to create your own cardboard cityscape at home, download the PDF at the bottom of the page. Below, find suggested conversation starters to prepare for thinking about and creating a cityscape collage.

An example of a cardboard cityscape collage.

Have you ever been to a city? What kinds of things do you find in a city? Think about things large and small.

Look at Herzl Emanuel’s View of Lower Manhattan, a bas relief sculpture on loan from the Brooklyn Museum. Click on the link and take a look at the artwork. Zoom in. Consider the following questions:

  • What do you notice about the artwork?
  • Do you recognize familiar items?
  • What do you imagine when looking at the artwork?
  • If you were the size of this artwork, how would you travel through it?
  • How did the artist create this artwork? (Hint: look at the Medium and Dates listed on the Brooklyn Museum website)
  • How does this artwork make you feel?

Next, explore a different city scene. Compare View of Lower Manhattan to George Ault’s Manhattan Mosaic. Take a look at the artwork. Zoom in. Consider the following questions:

  • What do you notice in this artwork?
  • How is it different from Emanuel’s View of Lower Manhattan? What is similar about the artworks?
  • How does this artwork make you feel?
  • If you were in the artwork, where would you be standing? Is there something you see in the artwork which you would like to explore further?

Now, explore Francis Criss’s City Landscape. Zoom in. Consider the following questions.

  • What items can you identify in this artwork?
  • Where are you standing?
  • Is there anything you expect to see in this city scene but don’t?
  • How do you feel looking at this scene?

Look at Glenn Coleman’s Bridge Tower. Compare this to the other artworks you have seen. Consider the following questions:

  • What colors did the artist use? Does anything about the colors surprise you?
  • What do you imagine when looking at this scene?
  • If you were in the painting, where you would like to be and why?
  • If you are interested in learning more about the Brooklyn Bridge, check out this short video from the History Channel and these facts from

Next, to create your own cityscape scene, download instructions:create_your_own_cityscape_collage.pdf.

Below, see what our Family First participants created during the workshop at Reynolda House.

Participants working on their cityscapes.

Participants using special, hand-carved stamps to embellish their cityscape.

Participants busy at work.

Cutting cardboard buildings.

Stamping texture onto a building.

Cityscapes in development.

Finished Cityscape Collages:


My son Christopher and I have a blast every time we attend one of the Family First Workshops!!

Great to hear! Our education department is an inspiration!

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