To color great works of art

The illustrations for “A Day at the Museum” were made by the American artist Marty Noble, who specializes in this type of book.

There is no better way to spark the imagination in a child or even an adult than with a coloring book. If to this is added the fact that the images in that coloring book are from the most important pieces of the Museo de Arte de Ponce (MAP), learning and a large number of hours of fun will be guaranteed.

For several months, the Ponce Art Museum has been working on the creation of a free book entitled “A day at the museum” where children, young people or adults can color 25 of its best-known works of art from the iconic work “Flaming June ” to the impressionist compositions of Francisco Oller. In addition, it includes excellent representations of Pre-Raphaelite painting by Edward Burne Jones and William Holman Hunt, as well as works by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, José Campe-che, Kostantine Mokovsky, David Teniers, and other great artists.

The illustration work fell to Marty Noble, an experienced artist who has worked on more than 350 coloring books for Dover Publications, specializing in all kinds of coloring books for children, youth and adults.


The notebook was delivered to students at the Lucy Grillasca Elementary School in Playa de Ponce by Cheryl Hartup, director, and Sofía Cánepa, head of Educational Programs and Community Empowerment at the Ponce Museum of Art.


“When they approached me I was very happy and it was exciting, since I am very interested in the cultures of other countries, in addition to the fact that I feel a very particular interest in Pre-Raphaelite art,” said the artist in a telephone interview from her home in Santa Barbara, Calif. “The people I got to work with on this project were wonderful, which made the creative process so much easier for me.” Although she has never visited Puerto Rico, nor seen her works in person, the artist had previously worked with European works of art, including Pre-Raphaelite art, so she was familiar with the pieces she would be working with. . Currently, all the work is done using specialized computer programs, such as Photoshop, however, the works selected for the coloring book are extremely complex, which is why it took the artist longer than expected. In all, it took Noble about four months to complete the project.

For Noble, this type of coloring book has many advantages for people of all ages. “This type of work is very therapeutic and it’s something they do to relieve stress, especially for the elderly, and for people with certain disabilities, it has been used in a wide variety of ways to help them in their therapies,” he said. the artist born in Berkley, California. To facilitate learning, the book also has the images of the paintings in their original colors. In fact, “A day at the museum” is a notebook designed by the MAP specifically with the aim of promoting creative activities on the institution’s collection and responds very well to the mission of the organization that establishes that, through access to art-based experiences, the MAP seeks to promote discovery, stimulate curiosity, and encourage dialogue to improve the lives of its community.

This notebook was made possible by funding from the Joint Task Force on Legislative Funds for Community Impact, which allows for free delivery. “It is wonderful to see how children and young people enjoy ‘A day at the Museum’. This is precisely our mission, to promote discovery and stimulate curiosity through access to art while sharing the diversity of our painting collection with our communities in a fun way. It is very interesting to see how the artist Marty Noble reinterpreted the paintings in the collection by transforming the brushstrokes into black and white lines. This new notebook is an achievement for us,” said Cheryl Hartup, director of the Muse de Arte de Ponce. In total, 1,000 copies of this coloring book were printed and so far it has been distributed to hundreds of children in socially disadvantaged communities. They have already been presented to students from the Lucy Grillasca and Dr. Alfredo Aguayo schools in Ponce Beach, in addition to the Jardínes de Ponce School, where a group of students, guided by their teacher Julio César Torres, made the mural of “ Flaming June” on one of the walls of the institution.



This educational project takes place in the context of the inaugural exhibition “Victorian Art”, presented by the MAP at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR), in San Juan, as part of a historic alliance that will allow the institution have a permanent exhibition hall for two years. The show features great works from the Pre-Raphaelite movement such as “Miss Gladys” by William Holmant Hunt and “The Wild Rose” series by Edward Burne-Jones. In the exhibition of 13 works, the iconic work of the museum, “Flaming June”, stands out. The exhibition is open to the public in the Church’s room of the MAPR until July 3. This “Victorian Art” exhibit is sponsored by the Community Impact Legislative Donations Commission, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Voy Turisteando, and the support of Nicholas Prouty and Kevane Grant Thornton.