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Found 4,769 Collections


Solar System

Marin Layne Williams

Using the Smithsonian Learning Lab

The items in this collection will help interns in using this resource and in planning online field trips and lessons.

Natalie Thomas

Greek Art

I find ancient Greek art and history very interesting to learn about. Not only is it beautiful and pleasing to look at but it id also interesting to learn about. 


Shannon Despres

The music of the Harlem Renaissance told through portraiture and paintings

A collection of photography and paintings that highlight the beauty of the music and art that took place during the Harlem Renaissance within Harlem, New York. A birthplace to one of the greatest black cultural and artistic explosions known to date. 


Tasia McCoy

Greek Civilization: Art, Literature, Music, and Philosophy

In this collection I am exploring the themes of  art, literature, music, and philosophy  of Greek civilization. I think this is interesting topic to explore because I have always enjoyed learning about Greek civilization and how they invented many things in antiquity. Ancient Greece had many different times period starting from Geometric to Archaic then to Classical and ending in the Hellenistic Period. Throughout these periods many types of art was created.


Odalys Torres

Beauty in the Ancient World

This collection is meant to showcase the different kinds of beauty in the Ancient world, specifically from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. The collection demonstrates that some beauty ideals from fashion to make-up adapted to fit each culture and are still present today. #AHMC2019

Steiny Gomez-Jimenez

Gender Portrayals in Ancient Greek Art

The focus of this collection is gender and how it was portrayed in Ancient Greek art.  We're going to be exploring the role that women served back in the time period of Ancient Greece compared to men. We'll be looking at different statuary and comparing how women appear in them compared to men, as well. From viewing different pieces in this collection, you will be able to notice how in nude statues, the women were mildly nude because they couldn't bare it all, while men could. It shows how society had no issue with the nude male body, but when it came to the female nude body, it couldn't be fully exposed. It was appropriate to be a little exposed, but any more than that and it would be distasteful. This collection will also explore how men were known to have such brute strength, while the role of women was that of seductresses and causing trouble for men by tempting them. 

This collection is great for people who are interested in the subject of gender portrayals and how men and women are perceived differently. It is an interesting learning aid, because people may only believe that women and men were just treated differently in society, and perhaps didn't know that the divide between male and female was also seen in pieces of art work and in writings. 


Nicole Scopa

Ancient Greece Uprise

This collection will explore the subdivided phases of the history and culture of Greece. Around 1000 B.C.E the Greeks mainland began to forge a new civilization that would culminate in the fifth century in the achievements of Classical Athens. Greece in the intervening centuries was subdivided into several phases: the Geometric period, the Orientalizing period, a period of Greek colonization and contact with the East, and the Archaic period. Greek culture was finally able to flourish and that cultural, artistic, and political foundations of modern western civilization were laid. 

Tiles in this collection will show different aspects of each historic phase of Greece. Greek mythology played an enormous role in much of their art, culture and music. Many cultural traditions come from this such as Greek myths that served as the basis for religious cults, which created a sense of community among disparate groups that comprised the Greek populace. Oral tradition of lyric poetry was well known before the first verse was written down. Lyric poetry was originally sung, accompanied by the stringed instrument and the lyre. The art in Greece was constantly showcasing their beliefs and culture throughout all forms of art. 

This collection is meant to be a helpful tool for anyone who is interested in learning about how the Greeks saw the beauty in all things. For anyone that reads it they will hopefully see the creative ways they showcased many different aspects of their culture. 



Classical and Hellenistic Greece

This collection of art, music, philosophy and literature explores the culture of Ancient Greece, but specifically the Classical and Hellenistic periods of Ancient Greek culture.  The purpose of this particular collection is to show an audience how special and influential the Ancient Greek culture was when it existed and also to show how influential their culture was to our values in the world today.  The intended audience for this collection is anybody who truly appreciates the arts.  This collection shows one of the most influential cultures every known for art, music, literature and philosophy, therefore anybody study art or anybody who just simply enjoys art should be intrigued by these selections.

Sculpture was so important to Ancient Greek artwork, therefore, this collection contains a healthy portfolio of sculptures that does not only show off the art form itself, but also shows one extremely significant figure of the time period, Plato.  Plato was and still is (though obviously deceased) one of the most philosophical and influential figures of the world.  One sculpture is a bowl made with that face of maenad.  Maenad is a term learned to mean female followers Dionysus, who is the greek god of grape-harvest.  This particular piece was quite interesting because it differed from the rest of the sculptures in the way that it does not portray a head or body, but yet the practical significance of the piece still exists.  The Boy with Thorn was profound to me because it's symbolistic of something simpler than the rest.  The sculpture portrays a young boy that it trying to remove a large thorn from the sole of his foot.  Perhaps the unknown artist of this ancient piece was trying to reach a much deeper meaning for their audience or perhaps the artist was reminiscing on childhood memories, but either way, I find the piece to be quite impressive in it's uniqueness. 

The final two pieces of this particular collection differ from the other four in that they are not sculptures, but instead paintings.  These paintings give us a bit of insight into classical and hellenistic greek society, specifically literary and musical aspects.  The first is portraying Greek musicians playing what is called a hydraulis.  The hydraulis was similar to what we now know as an organ piano.  The instrument would have been extremely loud and is thought to have been used primarily for outdoor entertainment.  The final piece of this Classical and Hellenistic Greek collection is a painting that is portraying the Ancient Library of Alexandria.  In the painting one can see men carrying and reading scrolls throughout the room while one man, perhaps a librarian, is up on a ladder either removing a scroll from the shelf or putting scrolls away.  I believe this painting is quite important to understanding Ancient Greek society because it shows how important literature was to noble people who had the resources to learn the arts of reading and writing.  Intelligence, literature and philosophy had come along way since then but this ancient society had an impressive amount of influence on the way the world has developed today.



Britannica, T. E. (2016, March 10). Hydraulis. Retrieved from

Classical Greek society. (n.d.). Retrieved from

El-Abbadi, M. (2018, September 27). Library of Alexandria. Retrieved from

Ferguson, J. (2016, October 07). Hellenistic age. Retrieved from

Mark, J. J. (2019, February 08). Plato. Retrieved from

Sakoulas, T. (n.d.). History of Ancient Greece: Classical Greece. Retrieved from

Sakoulas, T. (n.d.). History of Greece: Hellenistic. Retrieved from

                                                                     Photo Credits

Nathan Renaud

Performance Art

This collection is meant to showcase and demonstrate the importance and impact of performance arts throughout history. Music will be the focus but any type of performance may be used to establish the value of performance arts.


Sean Duggan

The Portrayal of Powerful Egyptian Women Through Visual Art

I come from a family of very strong and independent women, and I was raised in a feminist household and was taught that there is power in femininity. When I began at UMASS online, I immediately chose Gender Studies as one of my concentrations as I am fascinated with woman’s evolution through time. While we are only just now on the brink of true equality, there are some examples from specific cultures in history that show the power of women. I chose to look closely at Egypt from its earliest cultures through the New Kingdom. My hope is that this collection will exemplify the power that was evident in a woman in this time period. My main sources of study were Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities, and the Smithsonian Lab.

Visual art can be an influential force. I feel that it is a direct and tangible example of how the artist sees it’s subject (person, place, object, thought or idea), and that perception is molded by culture, values, lessons, and history. Reactions to visual art can spark debate, deeper thought, an emotional response, or even desire to learn more about the culture or time period it was created. I hope what I have put together here will spark one of those things in my viewers. I really hope that it will put our view of women into perspective. We have evolved so much since this time in our thoughts of equality, worth, capability, representation and I hope to show that in following collections with examples from different cultures and time periods.

In Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities there is a section in Chapter 1 about Queen Hatshepsut and how she was viewed as a powerful and important ruling figure in a male dominated world. I think this is important to note as we don’t read very much about women figureheads during this time. She was respected, trusted, and listened to. She was valued by her people which is exemplified in her tomb. It is described in the text as, “constructed of repeated elements- colonnaded terraces with columnar porticoes…halls, and private chambers. The three terraces are connected by ramps to the cliff…These chambers are chapels to the god Amen; to the cow-headed goddess Hathor, who protects the dead; and to the queen herself…sculpture was used lavishly; there were perhaps two hundred statues in Hatshepsut’s funerary temple” (Benton 27). It bears noting the love and respect for one woman in 1458 B.C.E. Women were also praised in the form of goddesses, ruling over things such as truth, justice, order, hunt, etc.

What I have put together in this collection represents the significance of women at this point in history.    

Benton, Janetta Rebold, and Robert DiYanni. Arts and Culture: an Introduction to the Humanities. Pearson, 2014.


Dana Cox

Evolution of religion through art

From the beginning of mankind, since our lives began on this earth, humankind has preserved its norm of following a system of faith and worshipping something, whether it be some deity or something materialistic existing in the world with us with hopes of some kind of personal gains. Religion has certainly evolved massively from the beginning of our existence in this universe, and art has had and still has a significant impact on our relationship with religion and it helps us make connections between the belief in some kind of God, atheism, and all other forms of beliefs. It helps to understand religion in ancient times versus modern ways of following religion. This collection will be looking at the evolution of religion through the perception of art in various forms, throughout the different ages of mankind and the way religion has developed over the course of time.

#AHMC2019 #Arts&Religion

Fariha Hashmi

Presidents Day

Items that I can show during President's Day observational activities
Eileen Winfrey

Ancient Egyptian Culture and the Natural World

This collection will explore many of the different ways that the civilization of Ancient Egypt, and its people, understood nature and its importance to their way of life. Ancient Egyptians were known for worshiping various gods, and many of them were believed to be in total control of the weather and the natural environment of Egypt. It was very important to these people that they lived their lives in such a way that would please the gods so as to be able to live in harmony with the gods and also with their environment. Astronomy was a large influence on their building designs and many structures were created to be aligned with stars and constellations. 

Tiles in this collection will show that the Ancient Egyptians were also very interested in the natural environment around them and figured out ways for using things such as flooding to their advantage. They used plants such as papyrus reeds to form a type of paper that could be used to write on and they also made instruments from reeds that grew along the Nile River. Hieroglyphics were created as a language used to communicate and write important things down, and within these hieroglyphics we can see reeds, birds, and other things found in nature. The art in this part of the world was consistently showcasing everyday life and a large part of that had to do with animals and the land the Ancient Egyptians called home. 

This collection is meant to be a helpful tool for anyone who is interested in learning about how humans, specifically Ancient Egyptians, respected nature and worked with it, not against it. It will hopefully serve as a reminder to anyone who reads it that this respect for our environment should be just as important now as it was to the Ancient Egyptians. 


Renee Hawkins

The Four Freedoms

The "Four Freedoms" speech, as the 1941 State of the Union address came to be known, were goals outlined by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on January 6, 1941 to Congress and the American people. He proposed four fundamental freedoms that people everywhere in the world should enjoy and described the "unprecedented" threat that Nazi domination of Europe presented to the security of the United States. This Learning Lab collection includes four Norman Rockwell paintings, alongside a portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a stamp with this iconic phrase. An audio excerpt of the speech is available via the National Archives and included here.
Ashley Naranjo


The picture in question reminds me of the story of genesis such as when the earth was young, and there were no living creatures and when the light and the dark were still one before god separated them.

Alex Stall

Math Talks

I am using these photos/paintings paired with the "Claim, Support, Question" thinking routine as a springboard to have deeper class and group discussions about difficult math problems. 


Amy Taylor

Classical Art Styles

Utilizing from the text of Janetta Rebold Benton and Robert DiYanni’s Arts & Culture, An Introduction to the Humanities (Prentice Hall, 2012), Smithsonian Learning Labs and other resources, the focus of this collection will be on the classical art styles, particularly in sculpture.  

Let's begin this journey with a glimpse of Classical Greece.  Greek values included a pursuit of perfection and the love of beauty.  Also known for their philosophical impact today, the Greek philosopher Plato's beliefs are reflected in the sculpture of this time.  "Plato postulated that ideal Goodness, Truth and Beauty were all One, in the realm of Ideal Forms.  Thus all actions can be measured against an ideal, and that ideal standard can be used as a goal toward which human beings might strive.  According to Plato, human beings should be less concerned with the material world of impermanence and change and more concerned with the spiritual realm of Perfect Forms."  (Benton & DiYanni, Arts & Culture, Prentice Hall, 2012, Pg. 73).  Increasingly lifelike, sculpture in the Classical Greek period reflects these ideals.  

Changes came about during this time in the function and style of sculpture.  The rigid form of years past was replaced with more natural, realistic form.  The sculptures/statues began to reflect what the human body can look like at its peak.  The technical skills of the sculptors evolved greatly as well, showing the human form in various poses.  These poses, which came to be known as the contrapposto pose, included characteristics such as the head slightly turned and a shift in weight onto one leg.  Some sculptors also utilized mathematical calculations to achieve these perfectly portioned forms.  

The first sculpture to utilize the contrapposto pose was the Kritios Boy (Sculptor Kritios) with his weight slightly shifted to one leg raising one hip causing an "S" curve at the spine.  The head was also slightly turned.  This piece shows a more natural form and mirrors the Greek's growing knowledge of how bone, muscle, flesh, etc. work together in the anatomy.  This was considered the transition from the Archaic to Classical periods.  The contrapposto pose achieved a perspective of fluidity in movement and a more relaxed appearance. 

Doryphoros or Spear-Bearer, by the sculptor Polykleitos, shows the ideal of perfection better still.  It was while working on this statue that Polykleitos created a set of written rules instructing how to sculpt the perfect human form.  Each part of the body was taken into  consideration allowing the sculpture to be fashioned in perfect proportion.  There is also the likes of Discobolus (Discus Thrower) by Myron of Athens.  A sculpture reflective of the perfect human form that incorporates the physical stature of the sporting contest that is still known today in the Olympic games.  Another great sculptor of this period, Praxiteles, is best known for the Aphrodite of Knidos.  Aphrodite is born from the sea and is known as the goddess of love.  While common for the male form to be nude, this piece illustrating Aphrodite in the nude, was rare for its time.  The art of the female nude became a more prominent theme for the Hellenistic period artists that followed.   



Pauline Kalil

Existentialism and the Absurd in Ancient Art and Culture

In this collection I explore the theme of Existential Philosophy and the Absurd in Ancient Cultures. I think this is interesting because I believe there are many aesthetic and cultural existential elements in Ancient Art that are central to many dilemmas and fundamental questions in modern Literature, Philosophy and Art: the right way to live, how to treat people,  the need for proving oneself, the character of justice, the search for meaning in life, the quest for immortality, the elusive nature of youth, our legacy after death etc. 

The main motivation for this theme comes from my reading of this article:

The Foundation of Existentialism in the Oldest Story Ever Told - The Epic of Gilgamesh by Micah Sadigh

In this work the author makes a compelling case for existentialist elements in Gilgamesh's story:

"In Gilgamesh, we see that the key to living life is to integrate the lower and the higher in order to gain the needed strength so as to deal with the great and ominous challenges of life. Indeed, this is a story that reveals much about the constant struggle between the intellect and the passions, and the transformation that emerges when the two are united. It is a story about arrogance, humility, life, ethics, love, friendship, the absurd, the meaning of life, or its meaninglessness, and death. The multitude of messages of this epic are just as poignant today as they were for Gilgamesh, or whoever told his story. In a way, I propose that Gilgamesh is the perplexed seeker, wanderer who lives within all of us, who has a timeless message. The message he shares with us was brought forth in the midst of uncertainty and despair when he had to learn to rely on his naked self to grapple with the absurd. It echoes the words of Sartre who once suggested that ‘...human life begins on the far side of despair’ (Sartre, 1955, p.123)."

Another important element in my collection is the Greek Myth of Sisyphus, the king of Corinth that was punished by Zeus to roll a rock uphill and then rolling it down and repeat this sequence for eternity. He was punished this way because of his avaricious and deceitful behavior. It represents an example of the Absurd Hero according to Albert Camus, a central figure in the Absurdist Movement which emphasizes the fleeting nature of human happiness and the inevitability of death. 

Camus wrote:

"The rock is still rolling. I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."

Through this collection I will explore those topics across cultures and link them with modern versions of them in contemporary Art and Culture.

Elizabeth Burzinski

On the Pillars

The Romans conquered the world in the middle of the third century B.C. and gained the sovereignty over the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.The Roman Empire is militarily successful, but compared with the remarkable achievements in politics and literature, its achievements in visual art seem to lack an independent and complete feature.The main reason is that the Romans highly admire and carefully imitate Greek art. They not only import a large number of works from Greece, but also imitate them. Even in their own works, the sign of Greek art can still be seen clearly.

On the other hand, because the Romans greatly emphasize the practicality of art rather than creativity, Roman art, whether in architecture, sculpture, or painting, is often copied from Greek works or takes what is good and puts it to its own use. The only ones that can be said to have Roman style are the portraits of people after the late republican period. Different from the aestheticism and elegance of Greek portraits, these Roman portraits resemble real people and are mainly used for memorial purposes. Although they have no profound aesthetic expression, they have left a vivid look of contemporary Roman celebrities.

In the early Rome, the country was founded on agriculture, so the whole society advocated such virtues as diligence, endurance, frugality, etc. However, it constantly invaded the outside world in the republican era,so the discipline of the army derived the requirement for obedience and law-abiding. Among which, the emphasis on the law and the achievements of the rule of law had a great contribution to the civilization of later generations.

Such a character is a practical spirit shown in life, thought, and art.Therefore, among the works of art left over from the Roman period, it is its public works that are best known, such as the roads, water supply pipes, public bathhouses, coliseums and so on.These huge and magnificent buildings were all built for practical purposes, and have all kinds of ingenious architectural techniques. Even in today, their ruins still make people amazing.

Bowen Zengyang

Egyptian Art: The Great Pyramids

This collection explores the importance and significance of pyramids in the Egyptian culture. Throughout this collection, not only will we learn about the pyramids, but we will also realize the connection that runs between religion, music and art that can be found in relation to the early Egyptian pyramids. My collection explores the Early Egyptian culture and the important aspects of the culture that stem from the significance of pyramids. It contains the structure of the pyramids (exterior and interior), religious texts found in the pyramids, the funeral procession and what that entails (music, prayer/priests and dancing) and the different types of pyramids. (I added a few extra pics just for reference).

Sydney Johnson

Polytheism and the Arts in the Ancient World.

This collection explores the roles of art, architecture, music, literature and philosophy in the polytheistic cultures of the Ancient World. It contains examples of the influence of polytheism throughout the Ancient world and is targeted towards those with a curiosity towards this concept. 

Societies as early as the Sumerian and Mesopotamian cultures express ideas of polytheism. Sculpture from these early cultures depicts anthropomorphic versions of their gods, and ruins of ziggurats, or early Sumerian temples, also provide evidence of polytheistic values. The Sumerian people constructed individual temples to worship their gods with each one housing a statue of the honored god.

The idea of architecture and sculpture as homages to the gods continues throughout antiquity. The Ancient Greeks erected the Erichthonius Temple, with its exquisitely carved caryatid support sculptures, on the Acropolis in Athens Greece to honor the Goddess Athena and the magnificent Roman Pantheon initially served as a place of worship of the gods by the Roman people. 

Literature and music also depict themes of polytheism in the Ancient World. Evidence found on ancient vessels, ruins and artwork suggests that music was performed as part of religious ceremonies in Ancient Egypt. The Greeks utilized music in their theatrical performances and religious rites going so far as to develop various modes of music still employed today. Various musical modes would be performed to reinforce themes of theatrical performances or religious ceremonies. The emergence of early Greek drama helped to reinforce polytheistic ideals with performances intended to celebrate and appease the gods. Earliest examples of Greek drama are plays that were performed in celebration of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility and other Gods. 


“Polytheism.”, Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.

“An Introduction to... Ancient Greek Theatre.” An Introduction to... Ancient Greek Theatre | APGRD, Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.

“An Introduction to... Ancient Greek Theatre.” An Introduction to... Ancient Greek Theatre | APGRD, Accessed 3 Feb. 2019.

Benton, Janetta Rebold, and Robert DiYanni. Arts and Culture: an Introduction to the Humanities: Combined Volume. 4th ed., Prentice Hall, 2012.

Black, J. A. Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 119, no. 4, 1999, pp. 698–698. JSTOR, Accessed 2 Feb. 2019
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Erechtheum.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2 May 2016, Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.

Cartwright, Mark. “Caryatid.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 9 Feb. 2019,

Lloyd, Ellen. “Mysterious Sumerian Statues With Big Blue Eyes - A Sign From The Gods.” Ancient Pages, Ancient Pages, 6 Jan. 2019, Accessed 3 Feb. 2019.

Nasios, Angelo, and Angelo Nasios. “The Hearth of Hellenism: Did the Philosophers Believe in God?” Patheos, Patheos, 2 Oct. 2017, Accessed 3 Feb. 2019.

Image Credits

Funerary scene:
Stele (Wood; painted; ht. 12").. Artstor, https://corvette.salemstate.ed...

Sumerian statue: 
Statue (gypsum, shell, lapis lazuli, bitumen; ht. 36 1/4").. Early Dynastic IIIb; 2500-2400 B.C.. Artstor, https://corvette.salemstate.ed...

Greek Lyre:
Vessel (krater; red-figure).. ca. 420-400 B.C.. Artstor, https://corvette.salemstate.ed...

Maerten van Heemskerck. Frontal View of the Pantheon [Ansicht des Pantheons von vorn]. ca. 1532-36. Artstor, https://corvette.salemstate.ed...

Artstor, https://corvette.salemstate.ed...

Epidaurus Theatre: 
Ronny Siegel [CC BY 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons, 2/10/19 



Music and Dance in Visual Art

Music and dance have probably always been an integral part of life. They serve to unite and harmonize people, and inspire our lives. There are many types of music and dance, some of which are highlighted in this collection. It starts with Ancient Egyptians and works its way up. There are many purposes and reasons why people dance, with each type of dance either exhibiting a message, or simply imparting inspiration and happiness. Visual images such as these, have given us knowledge that dancing has probably existed for all of human existence. 


Jessica Covert
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