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Decorative Arts

The Decorative Arts of the Fabulous Fox




A Four Week Drawing/ Ceramics/ Art Criticism /Aesthetics Unit for upper Elementary through High Schools

Unit Description

This interdisciplinary unit will focus on architectural elements found in the Fox Theatre's interior and exterior spaces. Using art, history, mathematics, language arts, and social studies, students will explore the cultural and historic themes found throughout the structure's decorative arts. Intended for upper elementary through high school, this unit is divided into four lessons, each lasting five days.


The first lesson will deal with tessellation and geometric patterns found in the Fox's interior design. Egyptian symbols are utilized in lesson two. The students will design and create ceramic relief tiles; attention will be given to the edges of the design so the tiles, when viewed together, will create a repeated pattern like those found in border motifs.

Lesson three will examine art criticism techniques. Students will learn strategies for looking at and talking about art and will devise a task sheet to educate the public on the artistic and historical treasures housed in the Fox Theatre.

The final lesson will focus on aesthetic issues. Students will debate the issue of historic preservation versus urban development.


Each lesson is designed to be flexible and open-ended, opening with background information and a scenario to motivate students. The scenario encourages students to imagine themselves as interior designers, conservators, restoration artists, art educators, docents, historians, and critics (Visual Arts Career Guide). Extension and alternate activities are provided for each lesson, which is intended to fill a one-hour class period. Lessons can be taught individually or as part of the unit and unit lessons can be taught in any order. A visit to the Fox Theatre would be a magnificent introductory or culminating activity to this unit.


Upon completion of this unit, students will:

  • Research the artistic importance and historical significance of the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
  • Investigate the role of the Fox Theatre in Georgia history.
  • Create works of art inspired by the architectural elements of the Fox Theatre.
  • Explore the debate over historic preservation versus urban development.
  • Learn about and recognize historical references used by the designers of the Fox Theatre.
  • Develop strategies for looking at and talking about works of art.


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