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Found 1,267 Collections


District of Creativity: Ira Blount, Washington, D.C. Artist

“Peace of mind comes to me through making things with my hands. An added bonus comes if my efforts inspire others to try the creative process.” 

-Ira Blount, 2009

Meet Washington, D.C. artist Ira Blount. Be inspired by Ira Blount's work. Respond to his call for creativity: Make something!

Creativity brought comfort to Washington, D.C. artist Ira Blount. He hoped others might also find solace in the creative process. He even crafted his artist's statement into a piece of art that can be shared with others.

Ira Blount tried many different forms of art, including wood carving, quilting, calligraphy, basketry, origami, paper cutting, tin punching, beading, and leathercraft. His artistic quest gave him personal satisfaction, but it also connected him with other artists, including the Basket Bunch, a group of basket makers in Prince Georges County, Maryland, and the Daughters of Dorcas and Sons, a quilting guild in Anacostia, a neighborhood in southeast Washington, D.C.  It also linked him to traditions around the world, such as origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

This Learning Lab offers:

  • ideas for making art, including links to instructions for making origami cranesbeaded bracelets, and twined baskets
  • links to additional prompts to facilitate, in the artist's words, trying the creative process
  • discussion questions for "Creative Conversations," including
    • How can the process of creating lead to "peace of mind?" 
    • How can creativity connect us with others, in our communities and beyond? 
    • How can it reconnect us with nature and with ourselves?

Very young children can look, with their families and caregivers, for animals and colors in Ira Blount's artwork. 

School-age children can look for the letters in the two alphabet samplers.

Keywords: Anacostia Community Museum, ACM, African, American, Ira, Blount, artist, creativity, Washington, DC, United States, #ACMTeach

Jennifer Sieck

Autumn Mountains, after Wang Yuanqi (Translation)

Wu’s Landscapes of Southern China: A master of literati painting in the late Qing dynasty, Wu Yunlai, also known as Wu Zhongyuan, was born in Qiantang (present-day Hangzhou). Trained by his mother in painting, calligraphy, and poetry, Wu producedan outstanding array of works in various mediums from landscape painting on paper or silk to painted ceramic panels. The twelve landscape paintings in this album depict the serene and reclusive scenes of southern China, a subject favored by educated elites. Stylistically these paintings illustrate Wu’s study of early masters and his creative individual style, evident in his vivid use of color and his success in poetry and calligraphy.

Xingyu Liu

Visualizing Democracy

This Learning Lab complements the National Portrait Gallery's student program, Visualizing Democracy. 

Students will visualize democracy from the colonial era to the 21st century by analyzing portraits of major figures who played a critical role—as government officials, engaged citizens, or both—in creating a democratic society for the United States. Students will investigate how portraiture can convey democratic ideals and how, as a cultural institution housed in a historic building, the National Portrait Gallery has been and continues to be relevant to American democracy.


Nicole Vance

Easy PZ: The 3 Ys (Theme: Environmental Issues)

Each Easy PZ collection includes an artwork or museum object and a recorded webinar demonstrating how to use it to develop students' skills with a Harvard Project Zero thinking routine. Supplementary resources provide context relevant to understanding the featured artwork or object.

This collection models the routine "The 3 Ys" with a museum resource from the National Portrait Gallery to encourage learners to discern the significance of a topic in global, local, and personal contexts.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Rain or Shine: The US Postal Service

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring the Postal Service. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about the postal service troubles as well as explore videos about how our mail is delivered. Families can learn about a dog that helped deliver the mail. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers

Latinx Portraiture

Collection created by the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center to accompany Found-Object Portraiture Project. Find images of students work at #macceduportraiture
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

Asian Art at Home: Explore Japanese Art

Let the wonder and the beauty of the museum come to you!  Explore Japanese art with educators from the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery with these three lessons.  Each lesson features guided looking at Japanese art and an art-making component.  Each lesson can stand alone; complete one, two, or all three lessons as time allows.  The content needed for each lesson is divided by an arrow; look to the right of each arrow to view the information you need for each lesson.  The lessons are designed for students in 1st through 5th grades.

Did you give one of these lessons a try?  Tag us using #FreerSackler or @FreerSackler on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.  Email us at and we will post your work in the Art Gallery section of this page.

Lesson One: Japan and DC Landscapes

  • Explore the landscapes of Japan! Young learners will see, think, and wonder about Japanese landscape paintings as they think about their favorite landscapes of DC.  After seeing and wondering about the landscapes of Japan, learners will sketch their favorite DC landscape. This lesson will take 30-60 minutes to complete depending on skill level and supplies available at home.  For grades 1st through 4th.  Especially designed for the DCPS 3rd grade spring ELA unit on DC landmarks:  Students learn about various monuments, historical and cultural landmarks, and neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. They deepen their understanding of D.C.’s famous cultural and historical landmarks. 

Lesson Two:  Exploring Japanese Landscapes

  • Young learners will zoom in and explore two works of art by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1839).  Learners will be invited to make two sketches:  a symbol to represent themselves and a sketch of their favorite month or season.  This lesson will take 20-60 minutes to complete depending on skill level and supplies available at home.  For grades 1st through 3rd.  Especially designed for the DCPS 1st grade spring ELA unit on symbols:  Students learn about common American symbols [...]. Things and figures can be symbolic and have meaning to people. They make connections to the texts [works of art] by thinking about their values and what symbols best represent them.

Lesson Three:  Make a Mini Japanese Folding Screen

  • Daydream and get crafty!  Learners will create a landscape of their dreams.  After a guided meditation, learners will use collage to create a miniature Japanese folding screen using a cereal box or other items found around the home.  The lesson includes modifications if supplies are limited.  Time needed:  40 minutes - 2 hours, depending on supplies on hand and skill level.  For 1st grade through 5th grade.

Freer and Sackler Galleries

Crossing the Delaware Collection by Ashley Naranjo

This collection highlights variations on a theme through works of art: George Washington Crossing the Delaware, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware and Shimomura Crossing the Delaware. Comparisons of these works could serve as springboards for discussions about identity, immigration, "master" or dominant narratives in history, and hero myths.

“History matters because it has contemporary consequence,” declared historian Jennifer Guiliano, explaining to an audience how stereotypes affect children of all races. “In fact, what psychological studies have found, is when you take a small child out to a game and let them look at racist images for two hours at a time they then begin to have racist thoughts.”

The assistant professor affiliated with American Indian Programs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis went on to explain what that means to parents who have taken their kid for a family-oriented excursion to a sporting event with a racist mascot.

“We’re taking children who are very young, exposing them to racist symbology and then saying ‘But don’t be a racist when you grow up,’” Guiliano says. “This is the irony of sort of how we train and educate children. When we think about these issues of bringing children up, of thinking about the impact of these things, this is why history matters.”

Guiliano was among the speakers at a day-long symposium, “Mascots, Myths, Monuments and Memory,” examining racist mascots, the fate of Confederate statues and the politics of memory. The program was held in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in partnership with the National Museum of the American Indian.

Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the African American History museum, says this all came about after a conversation with his counterpart Kevin Gover at the American Indian museum. Bunch says he learned that the creation of Confederate monuments and the rise of racist Indian mascots in sporting events occurred during the same period in American history, between the 1890s and 1915. This gathering was one way to help people understand the how and why between that overlap.


Sher Anderson Petty

Mystery and Fantasy

These artworks are enigmatic - "mysterious, puzzling, hard to understand, mystifying, inexplicable, baffling, perplexing, bewildering, confusing, impenetrable, inscrutable, incomprehensible, unexplainable, unfathomable, indecipherable."   They are open to interpretation.  

Look at one or more of these artworks. How did the artist create a sense of mystery or fantasy? What do you think it could mean?  

Jean-Marie Galing

Community Murals

These images come from murals that depict people at work.  What jobs do you see them doing? How does each job help the community?

Jean-Marie Galing

Jacob Lawrence

Paintings by artist Jacob Lawrence of people working and playing in their community.

Jean-Marie Galing

Collisions in Portraiture

Collisions in Portraiture highlights the ways in which artists and sitters use portraiture to reveal what happens when cultures collide. By analyzing portraiture, students will consider how cultural collisions are visualized from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. Students will explore the powerful contributions to the history and culture of the United States through portraiture.

Objectives: After completing this lesson, students will be better able to: 

  • Examine how modern and contemporary artists use portraiture to reveal aspects of a sitter’s individual, community/cultural, and national identity. 
  • Identify key components of a portrait and discuss what one can learn about the sitter through these components. 
  • Discuss the artistic choices that portrait artists make and consider how such decisions can reveal the artists’ viewpoints and also influence the viewers’ understanding of the sitters’ identity. 
  • Use the museum’s collection as a gateway to investigating and exploring of the visualization of colliding cultures.



Portraiture, Collisions, Harriet Tubman, Civil War, Stonewall, Roger Shimomura, Chief Joseph, Robert Rauschenberg, United Farm Workers

Nicole Vance

Smithsonian Social Studies Online: What happens when cultures collide? / Smithsonian Estudios Sociales en Línea: ¿Qué ocurre cuando dos culturas chocan?

This collection contains lesson plans and resources from across the Smithsonian to help students critically examine this essential question through multiple Social Studies content areas. 

Esta colección contiene planes de lecciones y recursos de todo el Smithsonian para ayudar a estudiantes a examinar críticamente esta esencial pregunta a través de múltiples areas de contenido en Estudios Sociales.

National Museum of American History

Montana Landscape

Montana Landscape through pictures and paintings.

Jim Blow

The Art of the Vintage Ride

Art of a Vintage Ride – Photographs by Tim Higgins

 Exhibited  at Texas Folklife, Spring 2020


Artists Statement:

 The photos represented in this exhibit were taken over a period of seven years at the Lone Star Round Up and The Austin Speed Shop in Austin Texas.

 Like many kids growing up in the 50's and 60's I have always had a fascination with cars of that era and those of the decades before.

 Photographing these vintage cars rekindled my fascination with the spirit of a past era and the beauty of iron and oil.

 Of these cars, some are in a glorious state of decomposition, others artistically modified by their owners or professionally restored. They all represent the Art of a Vintage Ride. 

This exhibit is supported in part by the board and members of Texas Folklife, and by a grant from the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Learn more:

Texas Folklife

Art To Go/ Arte en tu casa (Middle School)

Artworks and Activities for Middle School Students Learning at Home. We hope that these artworks can give you a way to get creative, connect with something in the wider world, or just keep your beautiful brain busy. Use the activities in any order. All activities work with all artworks - there’s no wrong way to use this packet.

Obras de arte y actividades para estudiantes de la escuela intermedia que aprenden en casa. Esperamos que estas obras de arte te ayuden a aumentar tu creatividad, a relacionarte con el resto del mundo o, sencillamente, a ocupar tu maravilloso cerebro. No importa el orden en que hagas las actividades. Todas pueden hacerse con cualquiera de las obras de arte: no hay manera de equivocarse cuando usas este conjunto de actividades. 

Elizabeth Dale-Deines

Exhibition Spotlight: After Icebergs

In the summer of 1859, Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900)—the most celebrated American landscape painter of his time—journeyed to Newfoundland and Labrador, in the far Northeast of Canada, to study and sketch icebergs. More than one hundred and fifty years later, Church's studies remain poignant and relevant. In this collection, explore Church's studies, featured in exhibition After Icebergs at Cooper Hewitt. 

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Please Do Touch the Paintings: Hands-on Art Projects from NMAAHC (Landscape)

This Learning Lab from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will explore the landscape painting through Grafton Tyler Brown's piece View of Lake Okanagan (1889). 

Landscape provides an avenue for exploration and observation unlike any other genre of visual art. Studying landscape can be a great introduction to close looking and appreciation of natural lands for young minds. 

Visitors to this Learning Lab collection will have the opportunity  to learn more about nineteenth-century painter, Grafton Tyler Brown, and his approach to landscape painting while trying their hand at their own landscape! The questions, prompts, and information provided in this Learning Lab will help students develop their ability to follow instructions and hone their skills in drawing, observation, and creative expression. 

The guiding questions of this Learning Lab are

  • What is landscape painting?
  • How can artists express themselves and tell stories through landscape?
  • What can we learn about landscape painting as an art though making our own landscapes?
  • How do Americans engage with nature?

If you are new to Learning Lab, visit to learn how to get started!

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Subject: Popular Music since 1960


This is a selection of photographs from the Photographic History Collection related to popular music.

For additional images, search

Keywords (subject): performer, singer, rock star, rock band, folk music, rap music, pop music, boombox, listening to music, Victor Maymudes, Elvis Impersonator, Woodstock, Altamont

Keywords (photography): album cover, portraiture, color photography, documentary photography, fine art photography, photojournalism, Glen Friendman, Janet Moscasca, Ethan Russell

Performers and bands included in this Learning Lab Collection include:

  • Almas Fronterizas
  • Beatles
  • Chuck Berry
  • Beastie Boys
  • Black Flag
  • Judy Collins
  • David Crosby
  • Clive Davis
  • Bob Dylan
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Art Garfunkel
  • Bill Graham
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • George Harrison
  • Mick Jagger
  • Janis Joplin and Big Brother Holding Company
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • John Lennon
  • Lovin' Spoonful
  • Paul McCartney
  • Nico
  • Yoko Ono
  • Carl Perkins
  • Purple Haze
  • Otis Redding
  • Lou Reed
  • Keith Richards
  • Rolling Stones
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Run DMC
  • John Sebastian
  • Frank Sinatra
  • The Byrds
  • The Who

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Television


This is an assortment of photographs from the Photographic History Collection related to television. This collection has three groups of photographs. 

  1. Photographs of television content. These are photographs of images on television screens.
  2. Photographs of televisionsThese are photographs of televisions and people watching television.
  3. Photographs of television production. These are photographs depicting the making of television content and in television studios.

For additional images, search

Keywords:  TV, television, tv shows, watching tv, television furniture, making tv, television repair, television and news events, breaking news, television camera, television personalities, late night television, comedy, sport TV, sports television, ABC, NBC, CBS, cable television, Christmas trees, living room

Keywords (people): Richard Nixon, Johnny Carson, Joe Garagiola, George Wallace, Elliott Erwitt, J. Ross Baughman, Ken Regan, Roone Arledge, AV Weston, President William Clinton

Keywords (photography): snapshot, press print, documentary photography, fine art photography, photojournalism

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Musical Instruments


This is a selection of photographs from the Photographic History Collection of people with musical instruments. This Learning Lab collection includes conductors, orchestras and bands. It includes professionals, amateurs, communities, school, and military associations. 

For additional images, search

Keywords (subject): guitar, electric guitar, steel guitar, banjo, lute, mandolin, piano, piano forte, saxophone, trumpet, tuba, ukulele, harp, zither, drum, snare drum, drum kit, violin, fiddle, cello, bass, harmonica, squeeze box, harpsichord, dulcimer, clarinet, kazoo, marimba, tambourine, stringed instruments, brass instruments, woodwind instruments, concert, band, orchestra, music, musicians, performers, conductors, soloist, pianist, violinist, fiddler, sheet music, music stand, high school band, military band, all-women band, Taps, famous people, celebrity, folk music, community dance, classical music, entertainment, school performance, musical instruction, practice, performance, art made with musical instruments, musical instrument made with scrap metal, musical instruments depicted in artworks

Keywords (photography): carte-de-visite, cabinet card, press print, portraiture, head shot, advertising, collectible, color carbro, gelatin silver print, fine art photography, documentary photography, snapshot, real photo postcard, stereoview, stereograph, digital photography, translucent composite, tintype, cyanotype, color photography, printing out process

NMAH Photographic History Collection

#ColorOurCollections at the National Portrait Gallery

This Learning Lab collection has been created to encourage learners of all ages to #ColorOurCollections and engage with our portraits! Each coloring page is followed by the portrait in our collection that the coloring page is based on. We invite you to compare and contrast your creation with our collections! What might you add to your portrait? What colors would you use? What choices did you make that were the same as  the choices the original artist made? What choices did you make that were different?

#NPGteach #myNPG

Caitlin Blake

ABC Easy As 123

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring the alphabet. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they wonder, and compare how they are alike and different. Families can check out alphabets and consider how each of the letters are designed. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers

Title: Comedy and Humor


This is a selection of photographs from the Photographic History Collection related to comedy (attempted, performed) and humor (happens, experienced). This Learning Lab consists mostly of four themes:

  1. Professionals who make others laugh (comedians, stand-up comics, actors, writers, vaudevillians),
  2. People laughing or sharing a joke,
  3. Photographs in which the title or subject of those depicted is related to humor, being funny or silly,
  4. Clowns.

For additional objects, search

Keywords: humor, comedy, funny, comedienne, comedian, funny people, stand-up comedy, performance, stage, show, clothes, clown, clowning around, make-up, costume, skit, The Laughing HusbandFunny Business, vaudeville, colorful personality

Keywords (people): Imogene Coca, Phyllis Diller, Sid Cesear, Bob Hope, Ed Wynn, Bert Lahr, Charlie Chaplin, Robert Klein, Bing Crosby, Henny Youngman, Johnny Carson, Jack Benny, George McGovern, Thomas Eagleton, Sargent Shriver, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, President and Mrs. William Clinton, Palidor the Clown

Keywords (photography): press print, film still, portrait, gelatin silver print, toned print, real photo postcard, mounted photograph, snapshot

NMAH Photographic History Collection
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