A Nose? A Platypus? A Sack of Flour?

Last year the education department introduced over 19,000 students to the Carter’s permanent collection through our school tours program. The Gallery Teachers use an inquiry-based style of teaching which often includes asking students for their initial observations when discussing a specific work of art. One of our favorite paintings to use with student groups is by Georgia O’Keeffe.

We’ve found that the easiest and best way to approach this work of art with students is simply by asking them “What do you think this is?” or “What are you looking at?” We have compiled a list of the most interesting, most creative, and funniest responses below.
A nose
A platypus
An elephant
Sacks of flour
A shoebox
A couch
A bunch of pillows
Brown grocery bags
Couch cushion forts
An easel
The back of a picture frame
A sand castle
George Washington’s teeth
Secret doors
A fort
A recliner
Peach Jell-O
A pulpit
A trashcan with a garbage bag coming out of it
Marshmallows

Now, it’s your turn”¦what do you see when you look at this painting?

Georgia O’Keeffe, Ranchos Church, New Mexico, 1930/31, oil on canvas, ©Amon Carter Museum.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Ranchos Church, New Mexico, 1930/31, oil on canvas, ©Amon Carter Museum.