Michael Parsons reviewed the history of theories of artistic development and concluded that the linear models of Piaget and Lowenfeld cannot be defended in postmodern contexts. In its stead, he argued Parsons' change in children's art resembled a tree with many branches rather than a single path of growth, which was shaped by western, modern goals based upon a realistic depiction of the world. "Endpoint, Repertoires and Toolboxes. Development in Art as the Acquisitions of Tools." Tools were used as a metaphor for the diversity of conditions that influenced change in child art.
Children Drawing by Jaqueline Goodnow was a developmental psychologists study of the ways in which children draw the human figure with specific attention given to the relation of the whole to parts. She referred to drawing as "visible thinking" and describes four major features of a child's drawing. Brent and Marjorie Wilson's article An Iconoclastic View of the Imagery Sources in the Drawing of the Drawings of Young is one of the first statements to question the authority of Viktor Lowenfeld and Franz Cizek's contention that any form of copying was detrimental to a full expression of art. The Wilsons claimed that children learn through imitation and begin before the age of six.
As the interests of psychologists in children's drawings began to ebb, connections between art therapy, personal growth and the values of creative processes were being developed by Viktor Lowenfeld, Hanns, Michaelu Straus of Rudolf Steiner of the Waldorf schools, who believed in art's ability to deal effectively with inaugural, emotional, perceptual, and intellectual states of the mind. Mental health was eclipsing artist skill as a major justification for art education. Others thought the most effective way to develop mental health was through intense immersion in experiences that lay in the domain of the artist. Ignored by both psychologists and art educators were the problems relating to the strategies and processes used in art making.
Preparation for Art by June King McFee provided a shift toward the importance of perceptual and environmental issues and authors an art education "classic." McFee also made the case for a link between art and anthropology. Like Read before her, McFee reviewed major theories of child art such as her own perception-delineation theory, the intellectualist (we draw what we know) and the perceptual (we draw what we see) both adapted from Lowenfeld's visual-haptic theory and developmental stages theory of pictorial change.
Viktor Lowenfeld died after suffering a heart attack at a faculty meeting at Pennsylvania State University.
Viktor Lowenfeld wrote Your Child and Their Art. restating his ideas for parents. When a UNESCO seminar The Role of the Visual Arts in Education was held in Victoria, the endorsement of the theories of Herbert Read and Viktor Lowenfeld brought Australians art education into the mainstream of Western thinking.
At the 1951 NAEA conference in NYC, Schaefer-Simmern during the questioning period took the microphone from V. Lowenfeld and gave an extended and uninvited highly critical critique of Lowenfeld's developmental theories.
The modern period in Canadian art education can be characterized by an interest in the organizing principles of art and design combined uneasily with theories of creativity. John Dewey's ideas about art, education and democracy, Herbert Read's call for education through art, and Viktor Lowenfeld's non-interventionist views of child art co-existed with a curriculum and practice that valued Bauhaus theories of art and design.
Henry Schaefer-Simmern, The Unfolding of Artistic Activity, discussed the title of his book in relation to his work with special groups, such as the aged and those with special needs. He relied on Britsch's work (1926) as a basis for his theory of artistic development and took issue with Lowenfeld's theories.
The first edition of Lowenfeld's Creative and Mental Growth is followed by 2nd Edition, 1952; 3rd Edition, 1953.