Skip to Content
  • Language
  • End User
  • Educational Use
  • Time Required
(36)
(21)
(57)
(55)
(57)
(4)
(46)
(33)
(9)
(28)
(9)
(10)

Found 57 Collections

 

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, Smithsonian Design Museum
57
 

Henrietta Lacks: The Mother of Modern Medicine

This Learning Lab from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will explore the connection between visual art and history. 

When studying history, it is important to remember that all historical sources do not look the same. Visual art, being an active response to a stimulus, serves as a mirror to the contemporary landscape. Art engages in a conversation with history while acting as a visual expression of contemporary thoughts and ideas.

The new portrait of Henrietta Lacks by contemporary artist Kadir Nelson sheds new light on the story of a woman who gave so much and was given so little in return. Through a visual exploration of her portrait, students can learn more about Henrietta Lacks and her legacy in medical miracles, bioethics, and racial history. The questions, prompts, and information provided in this Learning Lab will help students hone their skills in visual literacy competency. Students can use this Learning Lab collection to help sharpen their historical thinking skills and expand their conceptions of historical sources.

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?
  • How do contemporary events shape artists’ responses in their art making?
  • 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!

#becauseofherstory

National Museum of African American History and Culture
10
 

Exploring Mickalene Thomas's Portrait of Mnonja

In this activity, students will explore Mickalene Thomas's process, artistic influences, and art historical context. Students will examine Thomas's Portrait of Mnonja (2010, Smithsonian American Art Museum) in depth, and use three supporting resources to build context.

1. Have students look at Mickalene Thomas's Portrait of Mnonja. Give them 2-3 minutes to do a quick sketch of the painting.

2. Next, ask them to note the part of the painting their eye went to first on their sketch with a star.

3. Next, ask students to draw a line through their sketch to show the path their eye used to travel through the painting. Use arrows to indicate direction.

4. In pairs or as a class, ask students to share where their eye went first, and why they think it went there. Was it the color? Light? Lines? The placement in the composition?

5. Next, students should write a list of 8-10 words and phrases describing the painting. Ask for volunteers to share out.

6. As a group, discuss students' impressions of the painting. Ask for visual evidence to back up claims. (e.g. A student says, "she looks powerful." You ask, "what do you see that makes you say she's powerful?")

7. To further the conversation, share some background information about the painting: the title, the date, and the artist. Explain a little about Mickalene Thomas's process: posing live models in sets with props and furniture, taking photographs, then painting from the photographs.

8. Next, break students into small groups. Each group should receive a printout of ONE of the three supporting resources in this collection. Ask them to compare and contrast their image with Portrait of Mnonja.

9. After 4-5 minutes, ask each group to share out the main idea from what they discussed. The teacher should add additional information as it is useful.

a. Mickalene Thomas set photograph: Shows the artist's process, how she uses real models and sets. Note patterns and 1970s motifs.

b. Romare Bearden collage: Thomas has cited Bearden as one of her artistic influences. Students should note similarities in color, pattern, and flatness.

c. John Collier painting: An example from the early 1900s of the "reclining woman" in art history. Students should discuss the passiveness/agency of each of these women, and how a male artist's depiction of a woman differs from a female artist's in this case. Thomas was well versed in art history and was consciously making reference to precedents like this.

10. Writing Activity: In small groups, have students write a dialogue between Mnonja and someone else. It could be the artist, the viewer, or someone from one of the supporting resources.


Optional: Have students view one or both of the short videos of Mickalene Thomas discussing Portrait of Mnonja

#BecauseOfHerStory

Phoebe Hillemann
6
 

Emma Tenayuca: La Pasionaria

Emma Tenayuca was just sixteen years old in 1932 when she joined a strike of women cigar makers. By 1937, when she was twenty-one Emma held a leadership role with the Workers Alliance of America, a group that sought to unite organizations of unemployed and industrial workers.

In January 1938, when pecan shellers in San Antonio walked out of their jobs, they looked to Emma for leadership. Their ranks swelled to between six and eight thousand strikers. Emma was arrested and released along with hundreds of others. Although she took a background role for the duration of the strike, she continued to write flyers and provide support behind the scenes.

Then a dispute over leadership arose between the Workers Alliance and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).  Emma’s communist affiliations were used to discredit her.

Emma was supposed to meet with Communist Party members in the municipal auditorium in 1939 when a riot broke out. A crowd stormed the building, smashing windows and attacking participants. Emma managed to escape, but she never again led a major labor protest. Employers blacklisted her. As a result, Emma was unable to find work in San Antonio.

She moved to California in 1946, where she earned a college degree and stayed for many years. Returning to San Antonio in the late 1960's, she was amazed to find herself hailed as "some sort of heroine." She earned a master's degree in education at Our Lady of the Lake University and taught in San Antonio public schools until retiring in 1982. She died of Alzheimer's disease in 1999. People still remember her as La Pasionaria for her fierce defense of the working poor.

#ethnicstudies #NHD2020 #BecauseOfHerStory 

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Melanie Schwebke
30
 

Nicholasa Mohr and New York's Puerto Rican Migration

This topical collection explores Antonio Martorell's portrait of prolific Latina author Nicholasa Mohr, and is displayed with a range of resources that offer a view, through art, portraiture, and literature, into the lives of Puerto Rican migrants to the continental United States in the early to mid-twentieth century. The images and resources can be used as discussion or writing prompts in a variety of courses, including history, culture, literature, and language.

The portrait itself,  one of a series of 45-minute portraits that Martorell made of his artist friends, captures Mohr's spirit, much in the way that Mohr's writing brings to life the people, sounds, and activities of New York's Puerto Rican migrants in the twentieth century. The collection also includes a bilingual video with National Portrait Gallery curator Taína Caragol, as well as the first page and a review of "Nilda," one of Mohr's most well-known novels, about a Puerto Rican girl coming of age in New York during World War II. This book was selected as an "Outstanding Book of the Year" by the New York Times, and a "Best Book of 1973" by the American Library Association.

The collection includes images and a bilingual podcast by Martorell speaking about a different work in the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection, "La Playa Negra" ("Tar Beach"), which is the term used by Puerto Rican migrants for the rooftops of tenement buildings. As the label describes, in this painting, "a fashionable woman wears a fur-collared coat and sits in front of a New York City skyline. Her hardworking double on the left sits behind a sewing machine. In his "Playa Negra" ("Tar Beach") series, Martorell juxtaposed migrants' prosperous self-image with a glimpse of their tiring labor."

The collection also includes a series of photographs from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, by Hiram Maristany, a resident and photographer of the El Barrio neighborhood. Maristany grew up with eight siblings on East 111th Street. In addition, the collection includes links from PBS Learning Media on Puerto Rican history and migration.

#LatinoHAC #BecauseOfHerStory #EthnicStudies 

This collection supports Unit 2: Culture and Resistance, Expressions of culture and values, of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part B course. "How do expressions of culture reflect assimilation and resistance to assimilation? How do distinct expressions of culture reflect specific values for various ethnic groups?" 

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. 


Philippa Rappoport
24
 

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields/Revolución en los Campos

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields/Revolución en los Campos shares the compelling story of legendary activist and leader Dolores Huerta (b. 1930) and the farm workers movement of the 1960s and 70s. It is a quintessentially American tale of struggle and sacrifice, of courage and victory.

As a complement to the exhibition, these educational resources explore Huerta's public life as an activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers  (UFW) and what led her to become a Latina civil rights icon. In her life as a communicator, organizer, lobbyist, contract negotiator, teacher and mother,  Huerta's unparalleled leadership skills helped dramatically improve the lives of farm workers.

Users will broaden their understanding of the farm workers movement through a careful look at Dolores Huerta's significant - but often under-acknowledged - contributions. The exhibition and educational resources also explore how workers of different ethnic and racial backgrounds came together to empower the movement and how the arts played an essential role. In addition, users will come to understand Huerta's far-reaching impact and important legacy.

The resources in this collection include a bilingual community engagement resource to promote dialogue on issues that relate to social justice, activism, leadership, etc. A few activities that can be used in the classroom or when you visit the exhibition at your local museum.  In addition, you can learn more by listening to Dolores Huerta by downloading the free downloadable App "Dolores Huerta" on Google and Apple.  Please remember that the App takes a few minutes to download.


#NHD #NHD2020  #BecauseOfHerStory


Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
61
 

People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture - Collection 2 - Méndez v. Westminster 1947 - National Postal Museum

In this collection, designed for a Spanish-speaking classroom, students will explore how art reflects culture while studying Méndez v. Westminster 1947, a groundbreaking WWII-era legal case in which a group of Hispanic parents in California successfully sued to end segregation in their schools. The collection includes a teacher's guide in English and suggested authentic resources both in Spanish and English to be adapted by teachers of multiple disciplines. 

Students will investigate how the Méndez v. Westminster 1947 case helped pave the way to desegregation in schools in the United States. Among other activities, students will follow the script for the re-enactment of this case. Students will take action and contribute in their inner circle, their community/country, and/or the world by designing a stamp on a past or present global issue (social, environmental, or cultural), from Latin America or Spain, that matters to them.

This collection is one of three that explore “People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture.” Products, practices and perspectives displayed in Latinx art, show how our place and history (past) influence who we are (present) and who we want to be (future) in geographical, social, economic, and/or historical contexts. In the three collections, Latin American works of art illustrate how culture shapes the way we see the world, others, and ourselves, and they also raise awareness about Latinx diversity.

The three collections were created by Marcela Velikovsky (Bullis School) and Vicky Masson (Christ Episcopal School) as part of the  2018 Smithsonian Virtual Teacher Curricula Creation Opportunity with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA), and thanks to the Smithsonian Latino Center's Latino Initiative Pool funds. The three collections highlight Latino history, art and culture, and use Harvard Project Zero Thinking Routines and Global Thinking Routines strategies.

The Smithsonian Learning Lab collections provide an opportunity to invigorate the World Language (Foreign Language) curriculum as it allows to effectively integrate online museum resources (authentic resources) towards a 21st century curriculum. They facilitate student-centered activities within a variety of themes such as, family and communities, personal and public identities, social values and customs, holidays and celebrations, immigration, ethnic groups, Hispanic Heritage,  image and stereotypes, inequality and discrimination, global issues, religious practices, etc. They also provide the opportunity to analyze art, read portraiture, and investigate art media.

These collections also consider ACTFL standards (Communication, Connections, Comparisons, Communities and Culture), Asia Society Global Competence skills, the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals), Teaching Tolerance Social Justice standards, the Framework for Developing Global and Cultural Competencies to Advance Equity, Excellence and Economic competitiveness, and Participate Global Competencies.

#Arago #Rafael Lopez #Spanish / English #Mexican-American #California #Latino Civil Rights #Empathy #Desegregation #Critical thinking #Curiosity #Stamps #LatinoHAC #BecauseOfHerStory

Marcela Velikovsky
62
 

People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture - Méndez v. Westminster 1947 - National Postal Museum

In this collection, designed for a Spanish-speaking classroom, students will explore how art reflects culture while studying Méndez v. Westminster 1947, a groundbreaking WWII-era legal case in which a group of Hispanic parents in California successfully sued to end segregation in their schools. The collection includes a teacher's guide in English and suggested authentic resources both in Spanish and English to be adapted by teachers of multiple disciplines. 

Students will investigate how the Méndez v. Westminster 1947 case helped pave the way to desegregation in schools in the United States. Among other activities, students will follow the script for the re-enactment of this case. Students will take action and contribute in their inner circle, their community/country, and/or the world by designing a stamp on a past or present global issue (social, environmental, or cultural), from Latin America or Spain, that matters to them.

This collection is one of three that explore “People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture.” Products, practices and perspectives displayed in Latinx art, show how our place and history (past) influence who we are (present) and who we want to be (future) in geographical, social, economic, and/or historical contexts. In the three collections, Latin American works of art illustrate how culture shapes the way we see the world, others, and ourselves, and they also raise awareness about Latinx diversity.

The three collections were created by Marcela Velikovsky (Bullis School) and Vicky Masson (Christ Episcopal School) as part of the  2018 Smithsonian Virtual Teacher Curricula Creation Opportunity with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA), and thanks to the Smithsonian Latino Center's Latino Initiative Pool funds. The three collections highlight Latino history, art and culture, and use Harvard Project Zero Thinking Routines and Global Thinking Routines strategies.

The Smithsonian Learning Lab collections provide an opportunity to invigorate the World Language (Foreign Language) curriculum as it allows to effectively integrate online museum resources (authentic resources) towards a 21st century curriculum. They facilitate student-centered activities within a variety of themes such as, family and communities, personal and public identities, social values and customs, holidays and celebrations, immigration, ethnic groups, Hispanic Heritage,  image and stereotypes, inequality and discrimination, global issues, religious practices, etc. They also provide the opportunity to analyze art, read portraiture, and investigate art media.

These collections also consider ACTFL standards (Communication, Connections, Comparisons, Communities and Culture), Asia Society Global Competence skills, the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals), Teaching Tolerance Social Justice standards, the Framework for Developing Global and Cultural Competencies to Advance Equity, Excellence and Economic competitiveness, and Participate Global Competencies.

#Arago #Rafael Lopez #Spanish / English #Mexican-American #California #Latino Civil Rights #Empathy #Desegregation #Critical thinking #Curiosity #Stamps #LatinoHAC #BecauseOfHerStory

Vicky Masson
60
 

Mary Vaux Walcott, Artist

"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.[3] During the family summer trips, she and her brothers studied mineralogy and recorded the flow of glaciers in drawings and photographs.[4] The trips to the Canadian Rockies sparked her interest in geology.[3]

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.[5] 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.[4] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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[5] 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.[3]

#fivewomenartists #5womenartists #BecauseOfHerStory

Darren Milligan
44
49-57 of 57 Collections