Van Gogh and his ear - telling a child? in General Education Discussion Board Posted January 12, 2016 We haven't studied him as an artist yet, although I know a bit about him and can recognize some of his paintings. We will cover Van Gogh while studying modern - about 4th grade. When I was in grade school my teacher told us he cut off his ear...I remember being shocked and concerned, but not remembering the painting or his name or anything else except the fact: 'an artist cut off his ear' Today we had a substitute for co-op that did a quick overview of art, showing random pieces, and when it came to Van Gogh's Starry Night, she said he was famous for cutting off his ear...to a bunch of K-2nd graders. I'm annoyed because I didn't think it was appropriate. Plus it was pointless, mentioned only for shock value. She lingered for several moments after saying it before moving on. My question is, at what age is it appropriate to tell a young child this bit about him, outside of doing a detailed artist study? Should I not care, is it no big deal?