Art @ Home: Strike a Pose

Artists who show humans or human-like figures think carefully about POSE. In art, a pose is a particular way of standing or sitting, usually in order to be photographed, painted, or drawn. And, by choosing a certain pose, it often helps to tell a story or express a feeling.

Take a look at this work of art from the Colby College Museum of Art. Choose all of the words below that you think best match the feeling that is communicated with the pose. Or, come up with your own words!

Elie Nadelman, The Hostess, c. 1928. Bronze, 29 7/8 in. x 10 1/8 in. x 12 7/8 in. (75.88 cm x 25.72 cm x 32.7 cm). The Lunder Collection. © Estate of Elie Nadelman. Accession Number: 2013.216P.

Glad    Calm    Enthusiastic    Joyful     Uncertain    Mad    Sad    Shy    Confident


This work of art is called The Hostess. The artist, Elie Nadelman, was known for creating sculptures that celebrated everyday professions and activities–like the host of a party. His artistic style was one of curving, simple lines and dramatic, physical gestures or poses. In the Museum’s label, it describes what we see in this way: “Here, The Hostess is represented mid-stride, arms outstretched, her head turned to the side perhaps in the act of responding to a request.”

As you are getting some exercise each day, spend some time playing Strike a Pose. There are lots of ways to play:

  • Think about some words that describe an emotion or express a feeling, and then think about how you could express that with your pose. You could even write some words out, cut them out, and put them in a bowl, picking them out randomly.
  • Think about how you could show the pose of certain activities or roles. What pose would communicate that a person was:
    • A boxer?
    • A cook?
    • A gardener? 
    • A caregiver? 
    • A runner? 
    • A carpenter?
  • Add even more complexity to those roles–what pose shows:
    • A cook that burned a pie in the oven? 
    • A gardener seeing the first tomato on the vine?
    • A caregiver expressing their love?
    • A runner who lost a race?

Create your own Strike a Pose game and have a parent, sibling, or friend take a photo. Search our collection for ideas of works of art to emulate. Have fun being creative—we can’t wait to see how this work inspires you! Have a parent tag @ColbyMuseum on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ArtAtHome, and we might share your creation with our followers.