Math Through Art at Spalding House

Grades: K-12
Tour length: 2 hours
Location: Spalding House 2411 Makiki Heights
Dates: Tuesday – Friday, Feb 4 - May 31, 2015
Times: 10 am
Group Size: 60 maximum
Fee: FREE  
Request this tour:  Spring 2015

​Help your students prepare for the tour in two ways: Have an interactive discussion about museum etiquette. ​Practice looking at art. Click here for more information.​


Less = More is part of a series of academically aligned exhibitions created by museum educators with curatorial support and input from schoolteachers and university professors. These groundbreaking exhibitions are designed to serve as a valuable interdisciplinary resource for the students and teachers of Hawai‘i. 

The process and presentation of art is filled with mathematic concepts. Less = More makes tangible the principles of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication and illustrates how they can be used to transform the simple into the complex.

On view are origami flower sculptures—comprised of a series of carefully calculated folds—by artist Michael Lafosse; sculptures by Chun Kwang Young, who creates highly textured surfaces by affixing enumerable paper triangles onto a large spherical form; and Kumi Yamashita’s portrait of her niece, made with a single nearly kilometer-long thread and thousands of brads. Traditional Japanese hand-cut katagami (paper stencils) demonstrate complexity through subtraction, and the concepts of duplication, multiplication, and exponents come to life in an installation mash-up featuring the work of French post-impressionist Pierre Bonnard and local printmaking collective .5ppi (who will have work in Artists of Hawai‘i 2015). Rounding out Less = More is an exploration into Euclidian geometry through the eyes of artist Kenneth Bushnell and his minimalist paintings.

During this activity-filled tour, the galleries turn into math laboratories as the students use art to explore concepts of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. Students will discover how artists used math concepts to create art. The tour offers multiple opportunities to enjoy art and practice math skills in fun ways! Following the hour-long tour, the students will create a work of art inspired by what they saw in the galleries. 

Students will receive this booklet to use on the tour and to take back to the classroom and a Parent Pass to bring two adults to the museum for a return visit.

All expenses for bus transportation and art-making supplies for Less = More related school tours are provided by presenting sponsor Hawaiian Electric.

Artwork on this tour:

​Michael Lafosse, Oragami sculpture
Chun Kwang, Aggregation 001-MY056   (sphere shaped sculpture)
Katagami  (patterns in two colors)
Kumi Yamashita,  Portrait  (string portrati)
Pierre Bonnard, Child with Lamp


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