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Pop Art Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Nola Bridgens

Nola has taught elementary school and tutored for four years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a master's degree in Marketing, and is a certified teacher.

Who knew you could become famous by drawing soup cans, ketchup bottles, or sunglasses? Many artists became famous in the mid-1900s by creating these types of pop art paintings. This lesson will teach you about the history of pop art and the artists that made the style famous.

What is Pop Art?

Do you like looking at bold images of everyday items painted in bright colors? This type of art is called pop art and it began in the 1950s. Pop art is a style of art that is described as simple, bold images of everyday items, such as soup cans, painted in bright colors.

Surprised Woman
woman

Pop artists created pictures of consumer product labels and packaging like ketchup bottles, photos of celebrities, animals, and comic strips. The surprised woman is an example of a comic strip style of pop art. Notice how it uses bold colors.

History of Pop Art

After World War II ended, people were making and spending more money than ever before. Mass-produced items became more abundant, and the invention of the television replaced radio as the most popular media outlet. These events directly influenced the beginning of the pop art movement that began in the 1950s in Britain. Artists were trying to be new and different and were inspired by the store-bought products and celebrities they painted.

Andy Warhol - Campbell Soup Cans
soup

The term 'pop art' came from a British museum supervisor named Lawrence Alloway. He used the term to describe the new form of 'popular' art that had a modern feel. The term stuck and that type of art is now referred to as pop art.

The popularity of pop art continued to spread throughout America through the 1960s. Many famous artists came out of this movement and became household names.

Famous Pop Art Artists

Andy Warhol is known for his painting of Campbell's soup cans, a consumer product. He also painted celebrities and animals. He used small dots of bright colors to create the paintings and became famous for using the dot method.

Andy Warhol - Cows
cows

Roy Lichtenstein was famous for creating images inspired by comic strips and advertisements. He used a stencil style of painting because he wanted his art to look like it came off a printer. Making paintings look so plain and simple was a big contrast from the art that came before this period.

Jasper Johns is another artist from the pop art movement. His paintings of simple maps, flags, and large numbers were the first of their kind. The simplicity and uniqueness of his creations captured the attention of art enthusiasts. Johns was also skilled in print making and would often make the same images both as a painting and as a print.

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