Skip to Content
  • Language
  • End User
  • Educational Use
  • Time Required
(327)
(615)
(821)
(749)
(915)
(28)
(420)
(350)
(187)
(428)
(163)
(172)

Found 942 Collections

 

Tell Me a Story: The Human Imperative for Narrative

In this collection, I am exploring the connections between storytelling and art.  I will also look at the connection of storytelling to neuroscience and the effects of storytelling on the human brain. I will be referencing the work of Will Storr (The Science of Storytelling), neuroscientists, psychologists and resources from institutions such as the Smithsonian, The National Gallery of Art, The British Museum, National Geographic, and the J. Paul Getty Museum.  I will look at how artists use content, meaning, and context to create narrative within their particular medium.

Research suggest that language developed as a way to convey "social information", gossip. Furthermore, it is documented that curiosity kicks the dopamine reward signal in the human brain.  Will Storr in his 2019 book, gorgeously researched and perfectly titled The Science of Storytelling tells us that psychologist Jonathon Haidt says the brain is a 'story processor' not a 'logic processor'.  All of this tells us that humans are hardwired to tell and receive stories.  

How do artists tell stories?  Both Storr and Kidd tell us that psychologist Dr. George Lowenstein asserts there are four ways to induce curiosity in the human brain: questions or puzzles; a sequence of events without revelation of the "end"; "violation of expectations that triggers a search for an explanation"; or knowing that someone else knows something and you want to know it too.  One could almost use these as headings to categorize art and and artistic movements.  Artist capture a moment in time that prods human curiosity, in some cases for thousands of years, to create the rest of the story of that suspended juncture.

The audience for this collection might be students of psychology or English.  It could be of interest to creators of story including novelists, playwrights, actors, screenwriters, musicians, and visual artists.  And anyone interested in what Storr termed as "the science of the human condition".

Will Storr writes, "One benefit of understanding the science of storytelling is that it illuminates the 'whys' behind the 'rules' we're commonly given...Knowing why the rules are the rules means we know how to break them..."

Sources:

Dunbar, Robin et al. Evolutionary Psychology. One World Publications, 2005.

Kidd, Celeste, and Benjamin Y Hayden. “The Psychology and Neuroscience of Curiosity.” Neuron vol. 88,3 (2015): 449-60. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.09.010

Storr, Will. The Science of Storytelling. London: William Collins, 2019.


#AHMCFall2019

krambow
33
 

Telling Myth with art

An in-class activity for a college level Intro to Mythology course that has students consider how mythology is not only passed on through oral or written word, but also through art.  #MCteach

Megan Howard
7
 

Tennessee Williams: Examining Portraiture

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Tennessee Williams, an American playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  

Consider:

  • What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?
  • How are these portraits both fact and fiction?
  • How do these portraits reflect how they wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created (such as Time Magazine, stamp, etc.).
  • Having read one of his plays, does the portrait capture your image of Tennessee Williams? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Tennessee Williams, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: mississippi, ms, play, author, streetcar named desire, writer

Tess Porter
7
 

Textured Portraits

Students will analyze portraits for the message or expression communicated through portraits with exceptional texture. Contributing to a discussion with the 30 second look, students will look at an image from the 2016 Outwin exhibit to look deeper and explore and infer the artist's intent and interpret meaning. Students will utilize previously made photobooth self-portraits to begin exploration of Photoshop filters. Each student will create a new and originally produced textured portrait. Further extensions to analyze portraits include: conversation extender and contrast and compare. #NPGteach
Jennifer Fox
16
 

Thanksgiving menu

MrsK Shealy
2
 

The 1960s--A Decade Collection

This is a topical collection about American life and politics in the 1960s. Resources in this collection might be helpful to students and teachers working on projects about the decade. It is not meant to be completely comprehensive, but rather includes highlights of the Smithsonian's collection spanning art, popular culture, social trends, leadership, and technology.

Teachers and students might copy and adapt this collection to suit their needs; highlighting a specific aspect of life in the 1960s and adding annotations and additional resources.

tags: Sixties, Kennedy, Camelot, civil rights, Vietnam, politics, decade

Kate Harris
97
 

The 1960s--A Decade Collection

This is a topical collection about American life and politics in the 1960s. Resources in this collection might be helpful to students and teachers working on projects about the decade. It is not meant to be completely comprehensive, but rather includes highlights of the Smithsonian's collection spanning art, popular culture, social trends, leadership, and technology.

Teachers and students might copy and adapt this collection to suit their needs; highlighting a specific aspect of life in the 1960s and adding annotations and additional resources.

tags: Sixties, Kennedy, Camelot, civil rights, Vietnam, politics, decade

Susan Ogilvie
97
 

The 1960s--A Decade Collection

This is a topical collection about American life and politics in the 1960s. Resources in this collection might be helpful to students and teachers working on projects about the decade. It is not meant to be completely comprehensive, but rather includes highlights of the Smithsonian's collection spanning art, popular culture, social trends, leadership, and technology.

Teachers and students might copy and adapt this collection to suit their needs; highlighting a specific aspect of life in the 1960s and adding annotations and additional resources.

tags: Sixties, Kennedy, Camelot, civil rights, Vietnam, politics, decade

Lisa Mcclinchie
103
 

The ART of AFRICAN TEXTILES

African textiles have long served as communicative notations and expressions of identity.  An extraordinary array of weaving and dyeing fashioned into textiles  transforms into works of art.  Embedded in various textiles are symbolic patterns of rank and status, color codes, and embroidered symbols.  New forms are being added by the current digital generation through the vast fabric of data, information, and rapid communication systems.  We see contemporary cloth printed with cellphones, computers, and other devices making modern visual statements! 

Deborah Stokes
23
 

The Art of American Industry

This collection explores the growth of American industry as seen through the lens of artistic production throughout the twentieth century. It can be paired with a multi-day lesson plan on American industrialization in a Social Studies, History, or Economics context. Students can begin to explore and understand the layered narratives and consequences involved within the rapid chances in mechanized American life. The lesson would begin with students examining the first row of resources to become acclimated to expansive impact of American industry. Students would then be able to use the Connect/Extend/Challenge thinking routine to examine how these fluctuations profoundly reformed societal, familial, and personal relationships. By considering multiple perspectives and outcomes, participants can begin to better identify their connection to broader industrial trends today. 

#SAAMteach

Evan Binkley
33
 

The Art of Portraiture

How do artists create portraits? Students will take a close look at modern and contemporary portraiture through the lens of artists’ decisions, paying particular attention to the different approaches that artists take to their subject matter and the different processes that they use in making their art.

#NPGteach

Briana White
15
 

The Art of West Virginia

Art and photography of the Mountain State
Pamela Curtin
45
 

The Art of Writing and Calligraphy

This collection includes a variety of resources representing styles of writing from around the world. It encourages viewers to consider writing not only for its ability to communicate through letters and symbols, but also for its artistic value. The collection includes a video on Sumerian writing, a website on African writing systems and art, and artifacts that are examples of the writing of East Asian, Arabic, Cherokee, Hebrew, and Modern European alphabets. In addition, a few tools used for writing are included. There is some background material on each type of writing as you read through the collection.

Questions for classroom discussion and research might include:
-What is the purpose of writing? Why use hand-writing or calligraphy instead of using a computer?
-How do alphabets differ?
-How can a style of calligraphy (or font change) the interpretation of a written work?
Kate Harris
29
 

The Arts Today

Inspiration for our young artists and scholars.

Christina Ratatori
15
 

The Athabascan Peoples and Their Culture

By Eliza Jones (Koyukon Athabascan), 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

When I was growing up in the 1940s and ’50s, our family moved in every season – to spring camp for ducks and muskrats, to fish camp in summer, and to hunting and fur-trapping sites during fall and winter. That kind of traveling life was once universal in Athabascan country, from the Arctic Circle to Cook Inlet in Alaska and across the western interior of Canada. It’s a vast territory, hundreds of thousands of square miles covered by boreal spruce and birch forest. The rivers that cross it were highways for dog sledding in winter and canoe voyages in summer. Today the rivers, along with air and snow machine travel, still link our scattered communities, but roads reach only a few.

Athabascan peoples are an ancient family that spread out across the land and gradually grew apart. Koyukon, Gwich’in, Han, Holikachuk, Deg Hit’an, Upper Kuskokwim, Tanana, Tanacross, Upper Tanana, Dena’ina, and Ahtna communities occupy different areas of interior and southern coastal Alaska. Their languages share the same complex grammar yet have developed different vocabularies. The people have varying subsistence practices, customs, ceremonies, and clan structures. The Eyak, who live on the southern Alaskan coast around the mouth of the Copper River, are more distant relatives.

In Athabascan belief, everything around us has life. The land and trees have spirits, and we treat them with respect. If we need to cut a tamarack, which has the best wood for making fish traps, it is Koyukon courtesy to explain our need to the tree and to leave an offering of a bead or ribbon behind. Animals and fish are given the same kind of care. Before bringing a mink carcass into our cabin, my mother or stepfather would rub its nose with grease so that its spirit would not be offended by the human scent inside. If they trapped a fox, they put a bone in its mouth, because the animal was seeking food when it met its death.

Community and Family

Western cultural influence came to Athabascan country in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when Russian fur traders set up forts in southern Alaska and the Hudson’s Bay Company built a post at Fort Yukon. Later in the century, the U.S. government and the Alaska Commercial Company took over from the Russians. The gold rushes of the 1880s and 1890s brought a flood of miners, settlers, and traders into the region. Our communities became less nomadic, more tied to trapping and a cash economy, and increasingly dependent on clothing, guns, food, and tools from the company stores. Through the efforts of missionaries most Athabascans adopted Christianity by the early 1900s. The twentieth century brought new technologies, mass media and Western schools where the teaching was in English only.

One of the biggest changes in my lifetime has been in the way that our children learn. I grew up in an oral tradition in which all our teachers were family and kin. Story telling time, as we called it, began in October after freeze-up. We would be home in our small cabin, chores finished for the day, our mother sewing by the light of an oil lamp. My stepfather would tell a kk’edon ts’ednee, a story in our language about ancient times when animals were human beings. It would include a lot of repetition to make it easier to learn and remember and a lesson about living in harmony with nature and people. Before he continued the next night, we had to repeat the story back to him, line by line. At other times we listened while adults talked and reminisced but were not allowed to interrupt. If we had a question we asked our grandmother or someone else about it later.

I was taught to read and write in English by my mother, Josie Peter Olin, who was educated as a child at the Allakaket Episcopal mission school. I was fourteen when the first one-room government school was built in our village, and I attended it for three years to finish the work of all twelve grades. I moved to Koyukuk to marry Benedict Jones, and there we raised our children. I worked as a volunteer health aide, and he was village Chief. In 1970 we moved to Fairbanks, where I worked at the Alaska Native Language Center editing a Koyukon Athabascan dictionary compiled by Jules Jetté, a Jesuit priest who came to the region in 1898 and learned to speak our language fluently. That dictionary turned into my life’s work. It contains detailed information about Koyukon culture as well as language, including knowledge that no longer exists in our communities. After we retired and came back to Koyukuk, I taught Koyukon in the school, hoping that a new generation would know and continue our culture despite the huge changes and challenges that affect their young lives.

Ceremony and Celebration

Our midwinter celebrations take place between Christmas and New Year’s. There are church gatherings, children’s programs, snowshoe races, dogsled races and dances. On New Year’s Day we finish with a celebratory potlatch. People save and prepare special foods and make new clothing and beaded moccasins to wear for the dances. Spring Carnival takes place in early April at the end of beaver trapping season. We do a lot of traveling to other villages to share in their celebrations. It’s a wonderful and exciting time, with high-stakes dogsled races, snowshoe competitions, ice-picking contests, Athabascan fiddling and dancing every night.

Today, Athabascan communities hold potlatches on various occasions. Some are informal festivities to celebrate holidays, and others are formal and spiritual occasions to recognize turning points in the lives of community members. Potlatches can mark a first successful hunt, a homecoming, recovery from an illness or settlement of a grievance.

The most important and universal events are memorial potlatches held a year or more after a death to honor the memory of the deceased and to repay those who assisted the family during their time of grief. These are the helpers who built the casket, dug the grave, provided food for the vigil or sewed traditional clothing to dress the body. To prepare for a memorial potlatch, the hosts make, buy and gather large quantities of gifts and food. Often several families join together to share the financial burden. Hosts are not trying to show off their wealth. It is our way of thanking those who generously gave service. The protocols, songs, and dances for memorial potlatches vary among the different Athabascan peoples, yet the fundamental idea of the whole community marking the passage of a human soul to the world beyond is the same for all.

In Koyukuk, a memorial potlatch takes place over a three-day period. Residents and guests from other villages arrive with food for a gathering in the community hall. Friends and relatives sing songs they have composed for the deceased to commemorate his or her unique accomplishments, personality and service to others, and with the songs there is dancing. It is an emotional and difficult time for the family. To lift their spirits everyone joins afterward in singing old familiar songs and dancing to fiddle music or rock and roll. On the last day all of the guests sit down for a feast of special foods, including dishes that the deceased person most enjoyed. After the meal the hosts distribute gifts to everyone in attendance, with the finest presents reserved for the funeral helpers and composers of memorial songs.

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

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
20
 

The Black Arts Movement

“Sometimes referred to as 'the artistic sister of the Black Power Movement,' the Black Arts Movement stands as the single most controversial moment in the history of African-American literature—possibly in American literature as a whole. Although it fundamentally changed American attitudes both toward the function and meaning of literature as well as the place of ethnic literature in English departments, African-American scholars as prominent as Henry Louis Gates, Jr., have deemed it the 'shortest and least successful' movement in African American cultural history."--"Black Creativity: On the Cutting Edge," Time (Oct. 10, 1994)

This topical collection includes background information as well as examples of poetry and art from the Black Arts Movement. Two excerpts from essays are also included. There are also some examples of works from artists who rejected the premise of the Black Arts Movement.

Students could use this collection as a starting point for further research or to create an illustrated timeline of the movement. Works could be analyzed for their reflection or rejection of themes like: black nationalism, self-determination, "the black is beautiful" movement, and liberation. Students could also evaluate the merits of the arguments for and against a "black arts movement" as articulated by Karenga and Saunders in the text excerpts.

This is a work-in-progress based on the digitized materials within the Smithsonian Learning Lab's collection--it is not meant to be wholly definitive or authoritative.

Kate Harris
41
 

The Boggs Collection

Art inspires us to appreciate, enjoy and reflect.  While no longer here to speak to that, Mae Helene Bacon Boggs generously gave us her collection of California paintings to find our own perspective in these matters. The art collection at Shasta is as unique as the collector, Mrs. Boggs, who not only collected the works, but was also instrumental in the development of Shasta as a California State Park.  She donated a fine library and archives to provide intellectual support for this collection. 

The legacy and philanthropy of Mrs. Boggs---her contributions to history and art---reside in Shasta State Historic Park, the only designated art gallery within California State Park System.  In 1871, at the age of eight, Mrs. Boggs had moved with her mother from Missouri to Shasta.  Her uncle, Williamson Lyncoya Smith, cared for them.  Smith was the division agent for the California State Company from 1853 through 1888 and, in this capacity, established the first stage line along the Sacramento River.  In honor, his name is assigned to the gallery as Mrs. Boggs wished.

            In her later years, Mrs. Boggs moved to San Francisco, established a successful business, and in 1902 married Angus Gordon Boggs, an important mining businessman.  Upon entering the social scene in San Francisco, she devoted herself to local and statewide improvements.  The list of those is long.

 

            Her correspondence, always signed “Faithfully, Mae Helene Bacon Boggs” has allowed us to appreciate, enjoy and reflect on both art and history.  Those of us familiar with the story of Mrs. Boggs and her art collection develop a deep respect as well as a fervent desire to further her preservation efforts.

Shasta_ranger
42
 

The Boundless World of Art

These are various artworks done by many movements and concepts from the East and the West to demonstrate the relationships of various art movements that have shaped their surroundings and the world.

Tyler Rodriguez
5
 

The Brown Sisters: Forty Years in Forty Portraits

This collection includes a unique series of portraits of four sisters. Every year, for forty years, one of the sisters' husbands captured the four women in a black and white photograph. A New York Times article introduces the project, paired with the forty photographs and some discussion questions considering elements of portraiture that are captured in these images.
Ashley Naranjo
43
 

The Changing Image of American Classrooms

The artworks in this collection exemplify just how rapidly classrooms and their students have changed over the past century. What can we learn about the Civil Rights Movement and America's historical challenge of diversity? How might these works allow us to better understand ongoing societal issues in addition to the valuable roles teachers play? 

This Learning Lab collection is intended for a multi-day lesson plan for middle school students. A lesson based off of this collection could be begin with a discussion of the similarities and differences between schooling a century ago and classrooms today. Using a number of individual and group thinking routines, students could then begin to identify historical precedents of discrimination which have existed and/or continue to exist in the American educational system. A close reading of attached articles incorporated with additional thinking strategies would allow students to consider ongoing efforts of activism related to the classroom. 

#SAAMteach


Evan Binkley
36
 

The Character of Man

Understanding the nature of our own species has been one of the greatest mysteries addressed in the history of human art, philosophy, literature, and culture. This collection will present a history of man’s search for the meaning of his own character—what impulses drive man, what morals and desires construct his life, and what artwork is produced as a result of this character. Does culture impact the character of man? Does it influence the men of one culture towards a particular mindset that distinguishes it from other men, or are there foundations of character that run throughout all of mankind? By examining the way that authors, artists, and philosophers approach the study of their fellow men, we can understand not only the cultural influences that drive these questions but also the nature of the men doing the questioning.



#AHMC2019

Briana Hanratty
19
 

The Cultural Side of the Chicano Movement

The art pieces in this collection is an overview of the cultural side of the Chicano Movement.

Dianna Millan
5
 

The Democratization of Portraiture: Prints and Drawings of all the People by the People

This collection serves as a preview for the first seminar session of the 2018 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “We the People: America’s Grand and Radical Experiment with Democracy.”

National Portrait Gallery curator Asma Naeem and educator Briana Zavadil White will present an engaging and interactive examination of the democratization of portraiture in the United States, and model close looking techniques that Fellows can use with their students. Included within are a presentation description, participant bios, a "reading portraiture" guide, and images and articles for participants to consider in advance of the session.

#MCteach

Christopher Columbus, Yarrow Mamout, Charles Mingus, Lena Horne, Leonard Roy Harmon, Bill Viola


Philippa Rappoport
10
 

The Edward H. & Rosamund B. Spicer Photos of Yaqui Culture

The Rosamund B. and Edward H. Spicer of photographs of Yoeme (Yaqui) documents lifeways, culture, ceremonies, and families from the mid-1930s to the early 1940s in the villages of Old Pascua, Arizona and Potom, Sonora, Mexico.

#LatinoHAC

Arizona State Museum
21
793-816 of 942 Collections