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Prospect Archive of Children's Work


  • featured collection
  • featured collection
  • featured collection
  • featured collection
  • featured collection

About (Mick's) Collection

(Mick’s) original collection in the Archive spans eight years, 1975-1983, ages five to thirteen. The full collection contains 2,511 items, which are reproduced on microfiche in the Reference Edition. (Mick’s) persisting preferences include multiple fields of action covering vast expanses, sometimes covering both sides of a large sheet of newsprint; overviews, often with huge sky and tiny figures; and cross-sectional views depicting actions on the surface of the water and below; in writing, stories may be told from two perspectives. Gesture and intensity is depicted in energetic activity with favored motifs being sports and physical activity including kickball, skiers, motorcyclists, soldiers, Vikings, explosions, bursts, and swirls of brilliant color. Action often exceeds the boundaries of the page and ground lines tend to be omitted. In counterpoint, there is a penchant for precision and detail as in maps, diagrams, football grids, insignia, uniforms, and equipment. In play with this attention to detail is an emphasis on practice in both visual and written work. Vikings have a storehouse for their supplies and practice their swordplay. (Mick) himself practices forms and shapes that serve multiple purposes: an extended “v” shape, upright or on its side used for the legs of kicks and the prow of a ship. Ships, houses, and trees recur across the collection. Writing about animals introduces most directly an element of sweetness that can be inferred elsewhere. Humor, verbal play, visual jokes, and verbal facility span the collection. Later works, especially landscape paintings, have a lyricism not visible earlier. Writing as a preferred medium takes off at age nine, producing adventure stories, drama, and descriptive writing.

Extended Image Selection

This set of 206 color reproductions represents all the color images made of (Mick’s) work for the Reference Edition. The selection results from the work of a participant in the Archive Scholars/Fellows project of 1983-85 or of comparable study in later institutes. The participants—generally educators—each went through each item in the child’s collection, organized and numbered it chronologically, and together with others similarly engaged, used Prospect’s Descriptive Processes to make additional collaborative inquiries into the work and the common and divergent threads between the children. The selection of color images for the Reference Edition was made on the basis of this study, to represent characteristic and exceptional themes, motifs, stylistic tendencies, and choices of media, through the duration of the collection.

Concise Image Selection

This sub-set of 60 images was selected based on notes of study of the collection from 2000-2003. It is in certain respects lacking in representation of the full collection. The selection was also somewhat influenced by the quality of reproduction in digital form. Prospect participants have found that 60 images are sufficient, and manageable, for a group of teachers to begin to see how a body of work by a child, created spontaneously and collected over a period of years, reveals persisting patterns of thematic interest and stylistic characteristics and reflects back on how the child thinks and what might support his or her learning. It is Prospect’s hope that this selection will be used by educators for this purpose.

Selected Writings

Selected Writings are transcriptions of a child’s writing. They were made by various people working with the file, at different times, generally in preparation for a workshop or institute at which the child’s work was to be studied. Other than the use of pseudonyms and the removal of other identifying elements, no consistent guidelines for handling spelling, punctuation, or other idiosyncrasies were applied.


The catalogues are year-by-year summaries of (Mick’s) original collection preceded by an overall summary, all prepared by Archive Scholars/Fellows working with the original material.

Narrative Records

The records consist of Prospect School teachers’ weekly notes and semi-annual reports to parents about (Mick) plus, as available, notes of Descriptive Reviews about him and his work (see the Methodology and Resources pages).