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Santa Claus: Comparing Evolving Imagery and Text

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Language Arts And English +2 Age Level Elementary (9 to 12 years old)

This collection gathers depictions of Santa Claus from ads, paintings, photographs, stamps from 1837 to today. Also, includes analyses of his evolving image from the Smithsonian Magazine and the National Museum of American History blog. How does the description of Santa in the Christmas poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" compare with the images that follow? Includes a discussion question extension: How might you revamp Christmas stories to better reflect the time and country that you live in?

Keywords: Saint Nicholas, holidays, poetry

Effortless! / Lloyd Center

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Recession's Greetings

National Portrait Gallery

Santa Claus

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

St. Nicholas

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Appalshop, Inc. Photo Survey Project

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Artforum International Magazine, December 1987

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Unknown: Santa Claus by Thomas Nast

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Advertising poster for perfumery trade

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Arturo Rodríguez to Helen L. Kohen

Archives of American Art

Christmas cards

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

37c Santa Claus with Trumpet single

National Postal Museum

29c Santa Claus In Chimney single

National Postal Museum

8c Santa Claus single

National Postal Museum

34c Santa Holding Toys single

National Postal Museum

Santa Claus Christmas Ornament

National Museum of American History