Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Howard G. Risatti


Children's art has been acknowledged as an important influence on twentieth-century art. Robert Goldwater states that the interest among artists in children's art during the early years of the Twentieth Century marked "a movement away from the exotic primitive toward indigenous sources of primitive inspiration." This new evaluation of children's art as a source of inspiration can be seen in the work of a number of artists including Joan Miró and Jean Dubuffet; their work, in particular, suggests the accent, freshness and energy inherent in the art of children.

The child’s way of making art, which is not based on illusionism, seems to offer possibilities for communicating new and stimulating ideas. In addition, the use of various figures, symbols and forms from the repertory of children’s art by twentieth-century artists like Miró and Dubuffet represents a desire to return to the child’s world—a world filled with excitement and awe. This return, achieved through the adaptation of children’s devices, has fairly specific visual and emotional meanings; a closer examination of these devices borrowed from children will make clearer the meaning of the work of Miró and Dubuffet.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission