Found 378 Learning Lab Collections
This collection is adapted from a collection created by Tess Porter - National History Day: Abolitionists.
In support of research related to American abolitionists, resources - including portraits, articles, primary source documents, videos, and websites - highlight four abolitionists profiled in American Experience film The Abolitionists and the National Youth Summit on Abolition: William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown. Additional resources related to abolitionism and other important abolitionists are located at the end. Refer to each collection tile for summaries of individual resources.
By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.
The resources in this collection are pulled directly from the National Gallery of Art’s online course Teaching Critical Thinking through Art. Based on the popular Art Around the Corner professional development program for teachers in Washington, D.C., this five-unit online course provides everything you need to begin creating a culture of critical thinking and collaboration for any classroom, subject, or level. You do not need an art background or museum access to successfully integrate the course materials into your teaching. Your willingness to experiment with new teaching practices is all that is required.
Find demonstrations, lesson plans, and videos here on the edX platform! Now in English, Español, Français, and 简体中文
This collection provides a brief introduction to the Vejigante tradition practiced during the month of February in Puerto Rico, in observance/celebration of Carnival.
This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories
These resources were developed for use with the Smithsonian's exhibition Narwhal; Revealing an Arctic Legend. For more information about this traveling exhibition, please visit the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).
This collection contains information and teaching resources on the Terracotta Army, a group of approximately 7,000 life-size terracotta figures created for the tomb complex of China's First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BCE). Resources in this collection cover a wide range of topics, including: the discovery of the Terracotta Army, Emperor Qin Shihuang, the unification of China, Qin dynasty (221 – 206 BCE) spiritual beliefs, how the terracotta warriors were made, the different types of terracotta warriors, and the types of bronze weaponry found in the Terracotta Army pits. This collection also contains three interactives: a timeline of ancient Chinese history, a map of the tomb complex, and maps of battle formations in the Terracotta Army pits.
Objects found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s elaborate tomb complex, which covers a total area of 17.6 square miles, make up the majority of surviving objects from this significant period in Chinese history.They are some of the best archaeological evidence researchers have for understanding the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history.
Authors of this collection are the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.
Tags: archaeology; archaeologist; ancient history; artifact; afterlife; funerary practices; burial; death; religion; military; soldier; sculpture; chinese; world history; asia; asian; xi'an; empire; terra cotta; qin shi huang; shihuangdi; shi huang di; earthenware; ceramics
The Native Americans who lived in this area prior to the establishment of Fort Tejon are generally referred to as the Emigdiano. They were an inland group of the Chumash people. Unlike their coastal relatives, however, the Emigdiano avoided contact with European explorers and settlers, and were never brought into one of the missions or even incorporated into the Sebastian Indian Reservation. Once Fort Tejon was established, the Emigdiano often worked as independent contractors for the army, providing guides for bear hunts and delivering fresh fruits from their fields for sale in officers row.
In 1852, President Millard Fillmore appointed Edward F. Beale to the position of Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California and Nevada, and sent him to California to head off further confrontation between the Indians and the many gold seekers and other settlers who were pouring into California. After studying the situation, Beale decided that the best approach was to set up a large Indian reservation at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and to invite displaced Indian groups to settle there.
In order to implement his plan, Beale requested a federal appropriation of $500,000 and military support for the 75,000 acre reservation he had selected at the foot of Tejon Pass. Colonel Ethan Allen Hitchcock, commander of the Pacific Division of the U.S. Army, supported Beale's plan and agreed to set up a military post on or near the Indian reservation. The army was eager, in any case, to abandon Fort Miller (near Fresno, California) in favor of a more strategically advantageous site in California's southern San Joaquin Valley.
In August 1854, Major J.L. Donaldson, a quartermaster officer, chose the present site in Canada de las Uvas. The site was handsome and promised adequate wood and water. It was just 17 miles southwest of the Sebastian Indian Reservation, and it was right on what Major Donaldson was convinced would become the main route between the Central Valley and Southern California.
For almost ten years, Fort Tejon was the center of activity in the region between Stockton and Los Angeles. The soldiers, known as Dragoons, garrisoned at Fort Tejon patrolled most of central and southern California and sometimes as far as Utah. Dragoons from Fort Tejon provided protection and policed the settlers, travelers and Indians in the region. People from all over the area looked to Fort Tejon for employment, safety, social activities and the latest news from back east.
How did colonialism affect the lives and livelihoods of Africans? The kinds of money people used can provide some clues. This collection contains coins and notes introduced by the colonial powers which Africans received in return for the sale of produce and used for paying taxes. It also includes cowrie shells, kissi pennies and manillas, which Africans often used to buy everyday goods in local markets despite colonial government policies banning them.
Starting in the late 1950s, African nations became independent from European colonial powers. They used their new currencies to demonstrate their sovereignty by replacing European heads of state with national leaders. The new national coins and banknotes also depicted indigenous currencies like cowrie shells in Ghana and kissi pennies in Liberia, celebrating African cultural heritage.
World War II was a global conflict affecting all regions of the world, including West Africa. Africans from British and French colonies fought all over the world in the militaries of their colonizers. When Germany invaded France in 1940, Africans in French colonies were divided between the Vichy government in West Africa and the Free French resistance in Central Africa. The currencies issued by the two separate governments illustrate this divide.
In celebration of Black History Month 2020, we have put together a gallery of 106 images of everyday black history meant to celebrate, inspire, and encourage exploration of the diversity of the African American experience. These images may be viewed leisurely, or for a deeper dive, use the questions provided under the "How to Analyze an Image" square. We also suggest you watch "The Danger of a Single Story" TEDtalk by Chimamanda Ngozi and think about its overall message. Once you have finished viewing the images, make sure to consider the final reflection questions located in a square at the end of the Learning Lab.
Keywords: African American, NMAAHC, images, every day, black, history, month, analyze
The Alaska Office of the Smithsonian’s Arctic Studies Center hosted an Iñupiaq language and culture seminar in January 2011, bringing together eight fluent speakers: Sylvester Ayek, Bernadette Alvanna-Stimpfle, Alvira Downey, Herbert Foster Sr., Willie Goodwin Jr., Jana Harcharek, Faye Ongtowasruk and Rachel Riley. They met for four days to discuss Iñupiaq cultural heritage objects in the Smithsonian exhibition Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska at the Anchorage Museum.
During the seminar, the Iñupiaq language was documented, including three different dialects, and language and culture teaching materials were written for use in schools and homes throughout Alaska and beyond. Six objects from the Smithsonian collections – with links below – are featured in the guide and lessons presented here. These resources pair with six video lesons that offer teachers, students, parents and lifelong learners access to Iñupiaq language and lifeways.
Tags: Alaska, Native art, museum, education, language, Indigenous, Iñupiaq, Inupiaq, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
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.
Elaine Lustig Cohen (1927-2016) built a career specializing in book cover design, museum catalogs and building signage, most of which she inherited from her husband's business after his early death at age 40. Cohen was never formally trained as a designer, and worked as a production artist for her husband, after his death she took over the business and built a successful and highly regarded career. Much of the work she did in this phase included graphic design and signage for architectural spaces, having taken over a project for Philip Johnson upon her husband's death. In addition to signage Cohen's design work included idnity design and advertising as well as museum catalog designs, though most prolifically she produced work as book designer. Cohen closed her business in 1969, choosing instead to focus on painting, though she continued to take design jobs occasionally from clients and she designed catalogs for the rare book company, Ex-Libris, she founded with her second husband Arthur Cohen, while all of Elaine Lustig Cohen's work can be viewed as experimental it is the work she did for herself and her husband as clients at Ex-Libris that is exceptionally so. Some of her longest running clients included Meridian Books and the Jewish Museum, examples of work from both can be found in this collection along with catalog designs for Ex-Libris. Cohen earned recognition within the graphic design community with awards like the 2011 AIGA Medal.
This is a collection highlighting the career of graphic designer Elaine Lustig Cohen as part of the American Women’s History Initiative.
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.
By Beverly Faye Hugo (Iñupiaq ), 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
There’s ice and snow, the ocean and darkness – darkness in the winter and twenty-four hours of daylight in the summer. Barrow was originally called Utqiaġvik (meaning, “the place where ukpik, the snowy owl, nests”). That’s where my people, the Iñupiat, have survived and lived, and I am doing as they have done. On the Arctic coast you can see vast distances in all directions, out over the ocean and across the land. The country is very flat, with thousands of ponds and lakes, stretching all the way to the Brooks Range in the south. It is often windy, and there are no natural windbreaks, no trees, only shrubs. Beautiful flowers grow during the brief summer season. The ocean is our garden, where we hunt the sea mammals that sustain us. Throughout the year some seasonal activity is going on. We are whaling in the spring and fall, when the bowheads migrate past Barrow, going out for seals and walrus, fishing, or hunting on the land for caribou, geese, and ducks.
Whaling crews are made up of family members and relatives, and everyone takes part. The spring is an exciting time when the whole community is focused on the whales, hoping to catch one. The number we are permitted to take each year is set by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and the International Whaling Commission. Whaling is not for the faint of heart. It can be dangerous and takes an incredible amount of effort – getting ready, waiting for the whales, striking and pulling and towing them. But the men go out and do it because they want to feed the community. Everyone has to work hard throughout the whaling season. People who aren’t able to go out on the ice help in other ways, such as buying supplies and gas or preparing food. You have to make clothing for them; they need warm parkas, boots, and snow pants.
We believe that a whale gives itself to a captain and crew who are worthy people, who have integrity – that is the gift of the whale. Caring for whales, even after you’ve caught them, is important. After a whale is caught and divided up, everyone can glean meat from the bones. Each gets his share, even those who don’t belong to a crew. No one is left out.
We are really noticing the effects of global warming. The shorefast ice is much thinner in spring than it used to be, and in a strong wind it will sometimes break away. If you are out on the ice, you have to be extremely conscious of changes in the wind and current so that you will not be carried off on a broken floe. We are concerned as well about the effects of offshore drilling and seismic testing by the oil companies. They try to work with the community to avoid problems, but those activities could frighten the whales and be detrimental to hunting.
Community and Family
Iñupiaq residents of Barrow, Wales, Point Hope, Wainwright, and other coastal communities, are the Taġiuqmiut, “people of the salt.” People who live in the interior are the Nunamiut, “people of the land.” The Nunamiut used to be nomadic, moving from camp to camp with their dog teams, hunting and fishing to take care of their families. They packed light and lived in skin tents, tracking the caribou and mountain sheep. My husband, Patrick Hugo, was one of them. For the first six years of his life his family traveled like that, but when the government built a school at Anaktuvuk Pass in 1959 they settled there.
My parents, Charlie and Mary Edwardson, were my foremost educators. They taught me my life skills and language. When I came to awareness as a young child, all the people who took care of me spoke Iñupiaq, so that was my first language. Our father would trap and hunt. We never went hungry and had the best furs for our parkas. Our mother was a fine seamstress, and we learned to sew by helping her. My mother and grandmother taught us to how to care for a family and to do things in a spirit of cooperation and harmony.
I was a child during the Bureau of Indian Affairs era, when we were punished for speaking Iñupiaq in school. My first day in class was the saddest one of my young life. I had to learn English, and that was important, but my own language is something that I value dearly and have always guarded. It is a gift from my parents and ancestors, and I want to pass it on to my children and grandchildren and anyone who wants to learn.
Ceremony and Celebration
Nalukataq (blanket toss) is a time of celebration when spring whaling has been successful. It is a kind of all-day picnic. People visit with friends and family at the windbreaks that the crews set up by tipping the whale boats onto their sides. At noon they serve niġliq (goose) soup, dinner rolls, and tea. At around 3:00 P.M. we have mikigaq,made of fermented whale meat, tongue, and skin. At 5:00 they serve frozen maktak (whale skin and blubber) and quaq (raw frozen fish). It’s wonderful to enjoy these foods, to talk, and catch up with everyone at the end of the busy whaling season.
Kivgik, the Messenger Feast, was held in the qargi (ceremonial house). The umialgich (whaling captains) in one community sent messengers to the leaders of another, inviting them and their families to come for days of feasting, dances, and gift giving. They exchanged great quantities of valuable things – piles of furs, sealskins filled with oil, weapons, boats, and sleds. That took place until the early years of the twentieth century, when Presbyterian missionaries suppressed our traditional ceremonies, and many of the communal qargich in the villages were closed down.
In 1988, Mayor George Ahmaogak Sr. thought it was important to revitalize some of the traditions from before the Christian era, and Kivgik was started again. Today it is held in the high school gymnasium. People come to Barrow from many different communities to take part in the dancing and maġgalak, the exchange of gifts. You give presents to people who may have helped you or to those whom you want to honor. Kivgiq brings us together as one people, just as it did in the time of our ancestors.
Tags: Iñupiaq, Inupiaq, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
"Sometimes I feel that I can hardly wait till the time comes to escape from city life, to the free air of the everlasting hills." -Mary Vaux Walcott, Letters to Charles Walcott, Feb 19, 1912.
This collection contains personal selections from the nearly 800 botanical illustrations by Mary Walcott held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, but available in the public domain to use by anyone, using CC0.
From Wikipedia (March 5, 2019): Mary Morris Vaux[a] was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a wealthy Quaker family. After graduating from the Friends Select School in Philadelphia in 1879, she took an interest in watercolor painting. When she was not working on the family farm, she began painting illustrations of wildflowers that she saw on family trips to the Rocky Mountains of Canada. During the family summer trips, she and her brothers studied mineralogy and recorded the flow of glaciers in drawings and photographs. The trips to the Canadian Rockies sparked her interest in geology.
In 1880, at the age of nineteen, Vaux took on the responsibility of caring for her father and two younger brothers when her mother died. After 1887, she and her brothers went back to western Canada almost every summer. During this time she became an active mountain climber, outdoors woman, and photographer. Asked one summer to paint a rare blooming arnica by a botanist, she was encouraged to concentrate on botanical illustration. She spent many years exploring the rugged terrain of the Canadian Rockies to find important flowering species to paint. On these trips, Vaux became the first women to accomplish the over 10,000 feet ascent of Mount Stephen. In 1887, on her first transcontinental trip via rail, she wrote an engaging travel journal of the family's four-month trek through the American West and the Canadian Rockies.
Over her father's fierce objections, Mary Vaux married the paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott, who was the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, in 1914, when she was 54. She played an active part in her husband's projects, returning to the Rockies with him several times and continuing to paint wildflowers. In 1925, the Smithsonian published some 400 of her illustrations, accompanied by brief descriptions, in a five-volume work entitled North American Wild Flowers. In Washington, Mary became a close friend of First Lady Lou Henry Hoover and raised money to erect the Florida Avenue Meeting House, so that the first Quaker President and his wife would have a proper place to worship. From 1927 to 1932, Mary Vaux Walcott served on the federal Board of Indian Commissioners and, driven by her chauffeur, traveled extensively throughout the American West, diligently visiting reservations.
When she was 75, she made her first trip abroad to Japan to visit lifelong friend and fellow Philadelphia Quaker, Mary Elkington Nitobe, who had married Japanese diplomat Inazo Nitobe.
She was elected president of the Society of Woman Geographers in 1933. In 1935, the Smithsonian published Illustrations of North American Pitcher-Plants, which included 15 paintings by Walcott. Following the death of her husband in 1927, Walcott established the Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal in his honor. It is awarded for scientific work on pre-Cambrian and Cambrian life and history. Walcott died in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.
#fivewomenartists #5womenartists #BecauseOfHerStory
Photographs are often replete with words that remain unheard. “In Mid-Sentence” presents a selection of photographs from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s collection that depict moments of communication: intimate confessions, public speeches, exchanged jokes, political confrontations, lectures and more. Photographs featured in this exhibition encapsulate pivotal moments, such as John F. Kennedy’s televised speech for the 1960 Democratic National Convention or Walter Cronkite’s clandestine 1971 meeting with Daniel Ellsberg at the time of the publication of the “Pentagon Papers.” The exhibition provides the missing script for these otherwise silent voices, granting another means for understanding these interactions by placing them within their socio-historical contexts. The exhibition is curated by Leslie Ureña, associate curator of photographs, National Portrait Gallery.