Lucy Jane’s Completed Research Paper For Children’s

World Famous Historical Art Teacher,

Franz Cizek


In 1885, Cizek entered the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. He was a student of the German painters Franz Rumbler, Josef Mathias von Trenkwald, and Siegmund l’Allemand. While a student, he lived with a family and the children visited him in his room, where he allowed them to use his art supplies and encouraged them to express themselves. He was impressed by their creativity, and showed the work to fellow artists at the university, who encouraged him to start an art school for children. The Juvenile Art Classes were free of charge to children of Vienna. The children were interviewed and selected by Cizek. His teaching method had limited structure, and imagination and free expression were encouraged.

In 1904, he was appointed director of the Department of Experimentation and Research at the Vienna School of Applied Arts. Some of his students became teaching assistants for the children's art classes. One assistant was Erika Giovanna Klien, who later emigrated to the U.S. and employed Cizek’s teaching methods at Stuyvesant High School and the Dalton High School. Another artist, Emmy Lichtwitz Krasso , was an assistant from 1933 to 1935, and later went to India where she started a children's art movement in the Mumbai schools.

In November 1920, the children's art was exhibited at the British Institute for Industrial Art in Kingsbridge, England, and then toured the country. In 1921 Francesca Wilson, a Birmingham teacher, exhibited the child art in London. This exhibition and those for the Save the Children Fund raised interest in the Child Art Movement. They are also early examples of featuring art in raising funds and awareness for humanitarian causes.

Among those Cizek influenced was Johannes Itten, the Swiss painter and Bauhaus leader. Arthur Lismer  , a Canadian artist, was also inspired by Cizek and John Dewy to found a Children's Art Centre at the Art Gallery of Toronto in 1933, and at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1946.

Cizek's life was described by Dr. Wilhelm Viola, his former student who became a lecturer at the Royal Drawing Society.


Personal Life

Franz Cizek was born František Čížek on June 12, 1865 in Litomerice, Leitmeritz in German, in northern Bohemia now in the Czech Rebublic. He came to Vienna at the age of 19. He died there on December 17, 1946.



1.   Franz Cizek short bio

2.   Franz Cizek: liberating the child artist

3.   Portrait of an artist

4.   Inventing child art

Franz Cizek collection, Yorkshire Sculpture Park                                

5.   About BauHaus

6.   Kelly, Donna darling. Uncovering the history of childrens drawing and art. Greenwood publishing group. 2004:84.

7.   Franz Cizek, Austria forum


Further Reading

·      Stasny, Peter. Cizek, Franz. In groove art online. Oxford art online, (accessed February 4, 2012; subscription required).

·      Viola, Wilhelm. Child art and Franz Cizek (New York, Reynal and Hitchcock), 1936.

·      The classes of Franz Cizek, article by Mary V. Gutteridge.


External Links

·      Artist summary at

·      More of Dr. Franz Cizeks students

·      History of art education, wikispaces

·      Art education timeline 1912

·      Entry for Franz Cizek on the union list of artist names



That was all just from Wikipedia! There are a lot more things to Franz Cizek than you might know, but that’s for another time. Right know we will be talking about how he effective difference he has made and what contribution to the world was.


His impact difference: people looked down on child art and thought it was horrible, until Franz said this beautiful, marvelous, true quote:  “What adults call wrong in child art is the most beautiful and most precious. I value highly those things done by small children. They are the first and most pure source of artistic creation”. Those words changed everything. It made people change their thoughts of disgust to wonder. Now child art is known as wonderful beauty.


His contribution: Franz gave the gift of encouragement to child art.