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NHD 2019: Triumph and Tragedy in American Art

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Social Studies +1 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

This collection is designed to support teachers and students exploring the 2019 National History Day theme: Triumph and Tragedy in History. Included in this collection are four prospective topics aligned with the NHD theme, for each of which we have supplied American artworks that could be used as primary source texts and/or inspiration for further research.

Was George Catlin's Indian Gallery an artistic triumph or exploitation of tragedy? How did the expansion of the railroad in the U.S. lead to both triumph and tragedy? How did the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) -- the first New Deal program supporting American artists -- create triumph out of the tragedy of the Great Depression? And finally, how was the fight for African American civil rights shaped by triumph and tragedy?

#NHD2019 #NHD

NHD2019 cover slide

Phoebe Hillemann

Catlin slide

Phoebe Hillemann

Buffalo Chase, Mouth of the Yellowstone

Smithsonian American Art Museum

George Catlin

National Portrait Gallery

Railroad slide

Phoebe Hillemann

The Speculator

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Iron Mine, Port Henry, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Train Load of Logs Measuring 88,568 Feet

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Man with the Cat (Henry Sturgis Drinker)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Peacocks and Peonies I

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Peacocks and Peonies II

Smithsonian American Art Museum

1934 slide

Phoebe Hillemann

Artists on WPA

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Snow Shovellers

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Golden Gate Bridge

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Subway

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Farm

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Civil Rights slide

Phoebe Hillemann

Marian Anderson

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Marian Anderson in Concert

Smithsonian Channel

The Library

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Evening Rendezvous

Smithsonian American Art Museum

From a Birmingham Jail: MLK

Smithsonian American Art Museum