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Conflict, Identity, and Place in American Art (2019)

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Cultures +4 Age Levels Primary (5 to 8 years old), Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection contains a selection of artworks related to the themes of conflict, identity, and place.  Teachers can use these artworks for a variety of purposes; here, we use them as a catalyst for discussion, with an extended version of Project Zero's See, Think, Wonder thinking routine.  In small groups or as a classroom, have students select one artwork they find meaningful or interesting and discuss the following:

  1. Why did you pick this artwork?  
  2. What do you see?  Name specific aspects of the artwork you notice.
  3. What do you think about what you see?
  4. What does this artwork make you wonder
  5. Optional: How might the artwork connect to the themes of conflict, identity, and place?

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection contains artwork selected by Phoebe Hillemann, Teacher Institutes Educator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, featured in the 2019 Smithsonian American Art Museum Summer Institute for Teachers, "Teaching the Humanities through Art."  

These artworks serve as foundational museum resources in lesson concepts that are accessible by searching the Smithsonian Learning Lab with the hashtag: #SAAMTeach.

The Speculator

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Taking the Oath and Drawing Rations

Smithsonian American Art Museum

A Visit from the Old Mistress

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Fifth Year

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Electric Production and Direction

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Achelous and Hercules

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Waiting Room

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Way We Was

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Amendment #8

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Requiem for Charleston

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Wiley Family

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Don Jose Mas Ferrer

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Café

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Iceman Crucified #4

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Viet Nam / Aztlan

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Diary: December 12, 1941

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Crow Pot

Smithsonian American Art Museum

SOB, SOB

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Portrait of Mnonja

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Last Stand Hill from the series History

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Smithsonian American Art Museum

A Dog Swap

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Travelling Carnival, Santa Fe

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Tenement Flats

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Woman Eating

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Preamble

Smithsonian American Art Museum