To explore how children come to adopt cultural forms of representation, three studies are presented. Study 1 asks about children's ability to discriminate between ‘younger’ and ‘older’ pieces of work, with ‘younger and ‘older’ distinguished on the basis of Developmental Drawing Status (Harris 1963). Study 2 asks about children's preferences and the extent to which they match those of teachers. Study 3 asks about the differences between drawings children produce for themselves and those they produce when asked by an adult for a ‘good’ drawing. The underlying assumption is that one condition influencing developmental change is children's exposure to work by adults or by older children. The results point to ways of combining cross-cultural comparisons of performances with monocultural work on processes underlying children's productions. They also raise questions about patterns of exposure in any cultural context and about factors involved in the development of discriminations, preferences, and audience expectations.