The Classroom as Museum: Our Newly Acquired Collection of Original Vintage Educational Charts

In my recent travels abroad, I came across an incredible find – a rare series of original educational charts from the late 1800s and 1900s. At the end of the 19th century Heinrich Jung (Teacher), Dr. Gottfried Von Koch (Professor) and Dr. Friedrich Quentell (Director), created in common an extensive series of biological, botanical, and anatomical wall charts, each bringing their expertise and talent to the project.

At a time when compulsory schooling and large-format printing technology grew to new levels across Europe, a market emerged for these pedagogical tools. The three saw a need for quality educational tools in the classroom and set forth to create superior series of charts illustrating flowers, plants, animals and the human body. Each man possessing his own set of talents, the combination produced reference material the likes of which had not been seen before and has not been replicated since. Text was never printed on the charts – this way the material maintained its universal accessibility and could be used throughout Europe as a teaching aid.

The lack of text also enhances their ability to be recognized as “objects de art”. Accuracy and artistic perfection are the foundation for the international success of these Charts. A natural approach and attention to anatomical detail are foremost in each chart. The Charts are printed in up to 10 colors and then cold pressed laminated to canvas and fitted with stable wooden rods. The work is done by hand, preventing any loss of color or artistic nuance and guarantees the outstanding quality of each chart.

We learn from the author of Art of Instruction, Katrien Van der Schueren, that these teaching aids were never set to only serve a practical role; an aesthetic purpose was always inherent. For example, she quotes a French minister, Charles Bigot, who reported in the 1800s:

“It is not enough to teach design in schools: we must still make the school itself a museum, a kind of sanctuary where there is beauty as well as science and virtue. Let the child live, surrounded by noble works that constantly speak to him, arousing his curiosity, raise his soul…Art must come to him from almost all sides as the air he breathes.”

In the same spirit of Bigot, why not create your own sanctuary surrounded by beauty, science and virtue? Visit our collection here, or see how some of these well-known interior experts have already done so:

Steven Gambrel in Elle Decor

Andrew and Gemma Ingalls in Design Sponge

About The Ross Art Group

Specializing in original vintage posters, The Ross Art Group opened its doors over 18 years ago, and founder Mickey Ross has been collecting original posters for over 25 years. What started out as a hobby, sparked a true passion and developed into a thriving business.
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