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Found 964 Collections

 

Alaska Native Technologies: Bolas

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
 

Learning through Games

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
 

Nature: Botanical Expressions

At the turn of the 20th century, the intersection of botanical study with design practice stimulated an array of plant forms and motifs in furnishings, glassware, ceramics, textiles, and more. Botanical Expressions reveals how designers, inspired by nature and informed by scientific knowledge, created vibrant new designs in America, Britain, France, and the Netherlands. Blossoming vases, plantlike stuctures, fanciful garden illustrations, and a diversity of vegetal and floral patterns reveal how nature and design dynamically merged.

An increasing number of designers, trained as botanists, advocated for the beauty and order of nature’s systems, colors, and patterns. Many manufacturers operated in proximity to gardens for natural study and stocked books of botanical illustrations as resources for their designers. These primary sources, on loan from Smithsonian Libraries, appear alongside the objects they influenced.

Since the 19th century, the garden was often seen as a refuge from industry and a natural source of plenty and pleasure. This history of botanical expressions in design illuminates a reflection on the critical role of nature within our world.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
67
 

Dorothy Wright Liebes: Unorthodox Textiles

Dorothy Wright Liebes (1893-1972) was a textile designer who is known for having developed a distinctive look, including vibrant colors and patterns that became synonymous with the Modernist movement in California in the 1940s and 1950s. Widely traveled, Liebes often drew inspiration from the places she visited around the world for her unique textile designs. Her designs often include bold colors associated with California Modernism. Liebes experimented with materials, aside from traditional materials such as silk and cotton, she was also know to incorporate cellophane and plastics as well as metals and metallic yarns into her designs. Fiercely determined and career driven, when her husband Leon Liebes suggested she quit working she divorced him, choosing herself and her career over the marriage. Her designs were so successful and sought after that they inspired many imitations.

Contributions of Liebes can be found in the Archives of American Art, the National Portrait Gallery as well as the Copper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, this collection included examples across the Smithsonian but primarily focuses on content from the Cooper Hewitt.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
70
 

Trude Guermonprez: Breaking Boundaries with Design

Trude Guermonprez (1910-1979) was a highly regarded textile designer born in Germany. Guermonperz immigrated to America and began teaching weaving at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina until the weaving program there ended. Trude Guermonperz then went on to teach at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), and finally at California College of Arts and Crafts (now known as the California College of Art & Design) where she became chair of the department. Through her teaching Guermonperz had an enormous impact on American weavers, many cite her as an influence and inspiration. Trude Guermonprez's work includes designs that were completed for clients and industry as well as broad collection of highly experimental pieces. This collection includes examples of functional designs for clients, experimental designs and samples, as well as a selection of her beautifully rendered sketches for designs.

This collection focuses on the objects within the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum collection from Trude Guermonprez, yet also includes photographs of the designer from the Archives of American Art.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
49
 

Eva Zeisel: A Lifetime of Design

Eva Zeisel (1906–2011) was born in Budapest and only immigrated to America in 1938 after having been imprisoned by the NKVD in Russia for an alleged plot on Stalin's life. She lived in America for the rest of her life though she continued to work internationally and worked until she passed away in 2011 at 105. Zeisel created designs for American, German, Italian and Japanese companies and her list of clients includes Sears, Roebuck as well as more recent clients such as Crate and Barrel. Zeisel was the recipient of many honors and awards, including an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in l947 and a Lifetime Achievement award from the Cooper Hewitt in 2005. This collection includes sketches for designs as well as finished ceramic pieces. Note that her most colorful and loudly patterned pieces are designs for German companies.

Includes a video that is roughly 58 minutes long, introductions last about 4:40 then talk begins.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
56
 

Sharing Resources: Athabascan Potlatches Today

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
 

Local Materials: Yup'ik Ingenuity

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
 

Herbert Bayer

Herbert Bayer (American, born Austria, active Germany and USA, 1900–1985) was a student and teacher at the Bauhaus. This famous German art and design school, which operated from 1919 to 1933, sought to integrate art, design, and daily life. At the Bauhaus, Bayer experimented with geometry, photomontage, and functional typography to help forge a new approach to graphic design. He applied Bauhaus theories of art and design to commercial practice and promoted the Bauhaus legacy to the public during a prolific career spanning over six decades and two continents.

As a student during the early years of the Bauhaus, Bayer utilized hand-drawn letters and basic geometry to create posters, postcards, and murals. In 1925, he became a "young master" at the Bauhaus and established a modernized print shop in the school's new building in Dessau. Here, he deployed photography and machine-based printing to promote the school and its products, such as furniture, housewares, and wallpaper.

After leaving the Bauhaus in 1928, Bayer worked in Berlin and in 1938 he left Germany for New York City. He eventually moved to Aspen, Colorado, a town he helped transform into a thriving cultural center. In the United States, Bayer created information graphics, books, advertisements, exhibitions, architecture, and magazine layouts for diverse clients, and he pioneered the field of corporate design.

This exhibition marks the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, in 1919.

Many of the objects displayed in this exhibition, including all the works from the Bauhaus period, have been generously loaned by Merrill C. Berman. In 2015, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum acquired over 500 pieces documenting Bayer's later career, made possible through a gift from the Taub Foundation. They are presented here to the public for the first time.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
56
 

Willi Smith

Willi Smith (1958-1987)

Willi Smith was an African American fashion designer whose street wear line known as WilliWear was and experiment of democracy in fashion. WilliWear designs were known to be bold, blurring the lines between high and low culture, and his work often involved collaborations with other artists and designers. The openly gay designer's career was cut short when he died in 1987 from complications from HIV/AIDS.

This collection is a representation of the 2020 exhibition Willi Smith: Street Couture at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, which features over 200 pieces from Smith’s work and career and his numerous collaborations with artists, dancers, choreographers, graphic designers, architects, and more. The works on view include video, sketches, patterns, photographs, and garments.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
67
 

Contemporary Muslim Fashions

This collection explores the significance of the Contemporary Muslim Fashions exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. Contemporary Muslim Fashions includes an ongoing trend in modest fashion that extends beyond strictly Muslim audiences. The collection also examines examples of fashion from various regions, including streatwear and couture fashion, as well as current trends in overcoming the obstacle of athletic wear for modest and Muslim women. Finally the collection includes news articles that discuss the exhibition as well as the impact of contemporary Muslim fashion on the global community.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
62
 

Uncovering America: Faces of America/Portraits

What is a portrait? What truths and questions does a portrait communicate?

What might a portrait express about the person portrayed? How does it reflect the sitter’s community, setting, family, or friends? What does the portrait reveal about the artist?

Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States.

National Gallery of Art
4
 

Uncovering America: Manifest Destiny and the West

In what ways was the US settled and unsettled in the 19th century?

What role did artists play in shaping public understandings of the US West?

Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States.

National Gallery of Art
4
 

Which One Doesn't Belong

This collection includes digital museum resources and models the listening and speaking strategy Which one Doesn't Belong.  The collection can be copied and adapted for use in your own classroom. 




#EthnicStudies


Jennifer Smith
8
 

Uncovering America: Gordon Parks Photography

How does Gordon Parks use photography to address inequities in the United States?

How do Gordon Parks’s images capture the intersections of art, race, class, and politics across the United States?

What do photographs in general—and Gordon Parks’s photographs more specifically—tell us about the American Dream?

Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States.

National Gallery of Art
4
 

Exploring Ava DuVernay's "Selma": History as Visual Culture

The guiding questions of this Learning Lab are

  • What is visual art’s connection to historical events? Why is it important that we recognize these connections?
  • What does studying art add to our understanding of historical events and time periods?

The goals of this Learning Lab are

  • Bridge the gap in understanding between art analysis and historical analysis
  • Explore the inherent ties between art pieces and their surrounding historical context
  • Introduce the foundations of formal art analysis and develop close looking skills for visual art pieces

If you are new to Learning Lab, visit https://learninglab.si.edu/help/getting-started to learn how to get started!

#NPGTeach


Special thanks to National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Smithsonian Folkways, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) for inspiring this learning lab and for their resources.

Keywords: Portraiture, African American, American, Selma, Alabama, visual art, Civil Rights Movement, United States, visual literacy

Ashleigh Coren
45
 

Medieval Manuscript

Collection of Medieval Manuscripts from anywhere in the world. 

Ty Torrence
7
 

The Third Dimention

A collection of sculptures created with various material. 

Larry Johnson
8
 

Black Art History

Artists to support Black (Art) History Month, February

Jamie Cosumano
29
 

The Haida People and Their Culture

By Jeane Breinig (Haida), 2009

(This is shortened version of a longer essay from the Smithsonian book Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska.)

Sea, Land, Rivers

It’s an endless cycle – gathering food, putting it up, sharing it among the people. Subsistence is fundamental to our being, even for city-dwellers. Every summer since the kids were little, we would return to Kasaan to join in harvesting activities with family and friends. Our traditions pass on through the foods, the seasons and the generations. I am Haida Yáahl-Xúuts (Raven–Brown Bear), of the Taslaanas clan (The Sandy Beach People) at Kasaan, Alaska. By the custom of our matrilineal society, I trace my descent and clan affiliation through my mother, her mother and a long line of Raven women going back through the centuries.

Haida identities are linked to the history of our people. Alaskan Haida look south to Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada) as their ancestral homeland. The present villages of Masset and Skidegate were the only settlements that remained after a smallpox epidemic ravaged Haida Gwaii in 1862. Survivors from at least seventeen other communities found refuge there. Alaskan Haida are the descendants of emigrants who left Haida Gwaii sometime before European contact. Residents of Old Kasaan, one of the original Alaskan villages, moved to (New) Kasaan in 1902, and people from Howkan, Klinkwan, and other early Alaskan Haida settlements consolidated at Hydaburg in 1911. The distance from northern Haida Gwaii to Prince of Wales Island is not great, only about thirty-five miles. It is easy to imagine our forebears going across in their canoes: the Haida are justly famous as seafarers and boat builders. Our red-cedar canoes, some large enough to carry forty passengers, traveled up and down the coasts of Alaska and British Columbia and were sought in trade by Tlingit, Tsimshian and other peoples.

When the salmon start jumping in Kasaan Bay, it’s time to begin gathering the foods of our land. We pick sghiw (black seaweed) during the minus tides of May, when you can get out to the rocks where it grows. They spread it out on flat rocks to dry in the sun, took it home in gunnysacks, ground it up, and stored it as a savory food for winter. We love to eat it by the handful or sprinkle it on fish soup. As the summer goes on we fish for halibut and the different species of salmon that arrive in our waters. Sockeye from the Karta River, a staple of the diet in Kasaan, are smoked and preserved using an endless variety of family recipes. Clams, abalone, “gumboots” (chitons), crabs and shrimp are also harvested, and salmonberries, blueberries and huckleberries are picked as they ripen in succession. The men go deer hunting in the fall. Another staple is hooligan (eulachon) oil or “grease,” called satáw in the Haida language. Haida traditionally bartered for fish grease and soapberries from the Tsimshian in exchange for our dried seaweed and halibut. That kind of trading still goes on at the annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention every October, when everyone brings specialties from home to exchange for favorite foods from other places.

Family and Community

In a traditional Haida village, cedar-plank longhouses stood side by side, each paired with a tall pole displaying the crest animals of the clan members who resided there. An opening through base of the pole, representing the mouth or stomach of the lowest crest figure, served as the doorway to some houses. Like other southeast Alaskan peoples, the Haida are socially divided between Ravens and Eagles, each half (moiety) composed of numerous matrilineal clans. Traditional marriages were always between a member of a Raven clan and a member of an Eagle clan. The residents of a longhouse included multiple generations of male clan members and women of other clans who came there to live with their husbands.

Much of a child’s education was the responsibility of clan mentors outside the nuclear family: for a boy, this was his maternal uncle, and for a girl, her maternal aunt. On their pathways to adulthood, children received the names of ancestors, as well as piercings and tattoos that signified their clan and rank. Children still learn through watching and participating in the activities of the community. Our oral tradition is another participatory way of learning. Elders teach through stories, although the message may be indirect. If you seek an elder’s counsel, you might hear a tale about another place and time. It is up to you to think about the meaning and apply it to your own life.

The worst horrors of Haida contact with the West were waves of epidemic disease – smallpox, influenza, tuberculosis, whooping cough and others – that consumed the aboriginal population, unchecked by natural immunity. Perhaps fourteen thousand Haida in the 1780s had withered to six hundred by 1915. It is hard to imagine loss on that scale, not only of life, but also of culture and heritage. Most of the clan leadership was gone, and consolidation of the widespread population into just a few villages almost destroyed the complex social system as it had functioned until then.

Haida oral literature is renowned for its epic tales of battles and migrations, transformations from animals to human beings and vice versa, and journeys to spirit worlds in the sky and underwater. Other Haida tales, especially Raven stories, are simply fun with a touch of mystery. Raven, the comical trickster is always in trouble. Elders say that he turned black by getting stuck in the smoke hole of a house and being too fat and lazy to escape.

Today there are fewer than a dozen fluent Alaskan Haida speakers. I am fortunate that my mother, Julie Coburn, is one of them. Her Haida name is Wahlgidouk, “Giver of Gifts,” meaning a person who brings in presents to be distributed at a ceremonial giveaway, or potlatch. She has been giving the gifts of language and literature throughout her life. Keeping her language was a kind of heroism under all the pressures for acculturation. Her parents, concerned about their children’s survival in Western culture, spoke Haida to them at home but asked them to answer in English. At her boarding school in Sitka, speaking Haida was harshly punished. But as an adult in her fifties, she recognized that the language was fading away, so she relearned it and now has had the good fortune also to teach others. She participated in the Haida Society for the Preservation of Haida Language and Literature and contributed to work accomplished at the Alaska Native Language Center when Haida elders developed a standardized writing system.

Ceremony and Celebration

In 1880, Chief Son-I-Hat built Neyúwens ("Great House") near Kasaan Bay, a mile from the location where New Kasaan was later founded. That structure, today called the Whale House, was restored in 1938 by Haida craftsmen working for the Civilian Conservation Corps. The restoration included the house’s crest pole and carved interior posts, which portray Coon-Ahts, a legendary figure who captured the monster Gonaqadate and put on his skin to hunt whales. Surrounding the house are additional totem poles brought over from Old Kasaan and restored, along with copies of several more. The Whale House is the only surviving traditional Haida clan house in Alaska.

The English word potlatch has been used for traditional Haida ceremonies that centered on feasting, dancing and the distribution of property by chiefs and other leaders. The Haida word is 'wáahlaal. The largest potlatches marked the completion of a new clan house or the death of a chief and succession of his heir. Chief Son-I-Hat, one of the wealthiest Haida leaders, hosted numerous potlatches before his death in 1912. Potlatches were outlawed by the Canadian government in 1884, and they were discouraged by Christian missionaries who came to the Haida region in the 1870s and 1880s.

Despite attempts to suppress of our traditional ceremonies, we still hold feasts and memorial potlatches, but now in transformed ways. Traditionally, potlatches represented a time for the deceased person’s clan to repay those from other clans who had helped them at the time of the death. In many respects, a potlatch can be viewed as a social occasion but with very formal aspects, acknowledging the sadness of the loss but also marking the end of mourning. Potlatches are also the time to repay those who have served as witnesses for naming ceremonies. By accepting a gift, recipients acknowledge that the name is legally granted within the traditional Haida system.

We are celebrating and revitalizing Haida culture in southeast Alaska. Teaching the language and rebuilding the Whale House are just a part of it. Every summer in Kasaan, a culture camp for the kids is held, with storytelling, dancing and subsistence activities. They want to learn and are so proud of their heritage. What does it mean to be Haida? The answer now is different from that of the past, obviously. We need to know our history and learn from it. We need to know our culture and draw strength from it. We need to make it work for us today.

Tags: Haida, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
20
 

Virginia History Tour

From Jamestown to the present, explore some of the people, places and events that tell the story of the history of Virginia. 

( Curated to support Virginia Standards of Learning for the  Virginia Studies course.)


Nancy Butler
56
 

Uncovering America: Immigration and Displacement

Why do people migrate to and within the United States?

How might works of art help us understand personal experiences of immigration and displacement?

Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States. Encourage creative, critical, and historical thinking in your students as you examine works of art from the country’s creation to the present day.


National Gallery of Art
4
 

Uncovering America: Activism and Protest

Why and how do people protest?

How might works of art show support or advocate for a cause?

How are people, communities, and events affected by works of art?

Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States. Encourage creative, critical, and historical thinking in your students as you examine works of art from the country’s creation to the present day.

National Gallery of Art
4
 

Uncovering America: Transportation

How does transportation affect our daily lives?

What can we learn about transportation and travel from works of art?

Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States. Encourage creative, critical, and historical thinking in your students as you examine works of art from the country’s creation to the present day.

National Gallery of Art
4
1-24 of 964 Collections