What is the mood of this painting? How is the woman feeling? How can you tell?
Draw or paint a self-portrait as a circus performer. Will you be in the middle of performing? Or will you create a more formal portrait as Kuhn did?
Kuhn included bits of red to create emphasis in his painting. Your eye is drawn to the bright red spots first. Create a work of art that uses just a little bit of one bright color to create emphasis.
Have you ever been to the circus? What is your favorite performer? What kind of performer has Kuhn depicted?
Circus performers often wear costumes during their performances. Research the history of the circus and circus costumes. When did performers begin wearing costumes? Find out about the traditional costumes of performers in circus troupes in the United States or in Italy or France.
What are the best-known performing troupes in Europe? Research the Commedia del Arte performances.
Pretend that you are the woman in the painting. What are you feeling? What are you thinking? Write a journal entry about what you did the day this portrait was painted.
Write a poem about a trip to the circus. Make a list of all of the performers and animals you might see at the circus. Be sure to include some of these in your poem!
The title of the painting is Plumes. Plumes are feathers. The woman is wearing a feathered headdress. Have you ever worn a large, elaborate hat? When might somewhere wear a large hat? How does wearing a big hat make you feel?