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Found 5,016 Collections


Nikola Tesla - Forgotten Genius

A collection about the unique personality and work of Nikola Tesla.

Phoenix Bright

Visual Connections between Buddhism and Ancient Greece

Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "See Think Wonder," this activity investigates the cultural connections between Ancient Greece, Rome, and Gandhara* as seen through a sculpture of the Buddha created in the 2nd century CE. Buddhist sculptures from Gandhara are significant not only because they show the extent of Alexander the Great's influence on Asia, but also because they are some of the first human depictions of the Buddha in the history of Buddhist art.

Even without a deep knowledge of the art of this period, students can make visual observations and comparisons that reveal the blending of Asian and Greco-Roman culture in this particular region.

*Gandhara is a region in what is now modern Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Keywords: greek, kushan, mathura, india, inquiry strategy, classical, roman, gautama, siddhārtha, siddhartha, shakyamuni, lakshanas, signs of the buddha


Tess Porter

Gender in Art

Let us stop for a minute and think of how gender is portrayed around the world. Women were always seen as the beautiful creatures who mainly relied on their beauty alone to get what they want/need. Men, on the other hand, are the strong tough guys who can take on anything with their incredible strength. The woman stays at home doing housework and cooking, while the man is out there in the world working hard to provide for his family. These are all things we were brought up to believe about the two genders. There is a clear divide between male and female. There always has been and there always will be. However, let's shift our brain to think about how gender is portrayed in different pieces of art. With art, we are able to visually see how each gender is portrayed differently. With nude statues, the males embrace their masculinity and can openly display themselves, while the women are always needing to be more secluded and have items such as cloth covering their more "intimate" parts. Men are also visually depicted as having great strong bodies which shows that they are supposed to be the dominant character, while when a woman poses it's more graceful. These are just a few examples of how the two differ. 

Through this collection we will be looking at various time periods. We will first be looking at Ancient Greek art, observing male and female nude statues, and again, seeing how they are portrayed differently. As mentioned earlier, men were fully nude while women were mildly nude. It was appropriate for women to bare some of their naked body, because women's bodies have always been seen as gracious and beautiful, but for a woman to be fully exposed would be distasteful. This concept is still seen in the modern day, for society has a problem with women showing so much skin and body and will get called derogatory names, while it's totally acceptable for a man to show all he wants. We will also see a little bit as to how men were sometimes held captive by a woman because women were portrayed as very manipulative and acting in the role of being a seductress to get what they wanted from a man with temptation. 

Taking a turn, but not a turn too far away from Ancient Greek art, we will be looking at the Renaissance era. Renaissance means rebirth, and many pieces of art show this. For women, they were shown as a little bit more chubby because in that time, being more voluptuous meant you were wealthy, and wealth was considered very beautiful. Not only wealth, but also fertility. Women are child bearers, they are bringing life into the world, and that is also a beautiful thing. Women were still viewed for their beauty, and men were still viewed for their strength, but they had more of an "athletic intelligent" portrayal. They were still strong and muscular, but they were shown to not only be physically strong, but also intelligent and healthy. The biggest difference from earlier times, though, is that women were starting to be more appreciated. I feel like they were getting more light shone on them and they were displayed with children a lot, and I believe that is to show the beauty of them being able to give life to new beings in the world. 

We'll also be taking a quick glance at a couple pieces of Baroque art in which women were appearing even more powerful and overshadowing men by showing that they could be just as strong as them. With women being so inferior to men in Ancient times, we can see how as times move on, they really want to grab the power from the man and become superior. 

The last collection features works of art that were created during the postmodernism era in the mid-late 20th century. During this time feminist art was a big thing and was becoming more popular. Women artists were becoming more recognized and feminist groups such as the Guerrilla Girls formed to fight things such as sexism and racism in art. Much of the art during this time was geared towards showing what women can do. There was a lot of female empowerment shown in the arts, really breaking that barrier between male and female, showing that a woman can do everything that a man can do. You'll notice that a few of these works are done by feminist activists and were made for the purpose of campaigning for women's rights. A big thing that's different about this collection of art compared to the other two is the fact that they are all geared towards women. The work of art by Winslow Homer is the only one that features a man, and even then, the man is not the important subject of it; the woman is. This is because during this era, again, feminism was booming. 

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. It's also a great representation of what gender was like in Ancient times and how it's changed as the years and centuries progressed. It's amazing to see how, women especially, have went from not having any attention brought to them, to turning into very powerful figures in society. 


Nicole Scopa

PZ Perspectives Conference

While they may be little, young children are capable of deep thinking, perspective taking, sharing ideas and taking action; all skills necessary to be an active participant in society. Not only should young children be included and respected as citizens of both the local and global community, fostering these skills encourages the next generation to be invested in the betterment of society. Art is an effective and engaging catalyst to build these civic skills with young children. In this collection, educators from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center and the Quaker Valley School District share their use of artwork and thinking routines in their practice with young children. Through hearing stories, seeing examples, and engaging in model lessons, participants will experience relevant thinking routines, have opportunities to reflect on techniques presented and work cooperatively with peers as they create lessons inspired by provided artworks modeled techniques. Participants will leave the session feeling inspired and confident to incorporate art into their practice to build civic skills using demonstrated techniques.

Andrea Croft

SSYAC 2018/2019 Meeting 6 - National Museum of African American History and Culture

The final meeting of the third cohort of the Smithsonian Secretary's Youth Advisory Council takes place on April 24, 2019 in Washington, D.C. SSYAC Affiliate teens will join local teens, along with the Secretary at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The group will visit the Supreme Court in the late morning, before heading to NMAAHC to meet with Dr. Skorton, and founding director Dr. Lonnie Bunch, and tour the museum.

This collection displays the history of NMAAHC, and a very important connection to the Supreme Court in American History--Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)--the landmark ruling which overturned a previous decision that education for Blacks in America could be "separate but equal". Thurgood Marshall successfully argued the case before Chief Justice Earl Warren;  Marshall would go on to become the first African American Supreme Court Justice. This collection also highlights Smithsonian resources featuring the female justices of the Supreme Court: Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hon. Ellen Kagan, Hon. Sonia Sotomayor, and Hon. Sandra Day O'Connor.

Tracie Spinale

American Response to the Holocaust in the Media

With America's memory of the holocaust slowly fading away, now it is more important than ever to spread information about the holocaust. In the words of George Santayana "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." We must continue to teach the next generations of Americans about this horrific event so that nothing of its kind will ever happen again. This collection is centered around America's response to the holocaust. It has a focus around media and public opinion. Within this curated exhibit are photos and artifacts pertaining to this topic. 

Maggie Heuer

Culture, Art and Representation

This collection explores the importance and significance of religion, music, representation and art in varying cultures and races. Throughout this collection, not only will we learn about the above topics, but we will also realize the connection that runs between different cultures and the different ways these topics can be seen in each culture.

Sydney Johnson

America & the Holocaust Museum Curation Project

The Holocaust was a horrific genocide that killed 6 million Jewish people. It is one of the best documented genocides, but many people do not understand the small role that America played in aiding the Jews during the Holocaust. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was the president during World War II took minimal efforts to help the Jews in concentration camps throughout Europe. The American government passed Immigration Policies that prevented Jews from immigrating to the United States and covered up the severity of the atrocities that were being committed in Europe during the Holocaust. Anti Semitism was prevalent in the United States and many americans fought against aiding Jews in the Holocaust because they did not accept them. Finally, the American Media made efforts during the Holocaust to help the people of the United States become aware of the horrendous treatment of Jews that was occurring in Europe during the Holocaust. However, the media’s efforts like those of some Americans, who tried to sway public opinion to support American intervention in the Holocaust, were unsuccessful in bringing the United States to help Jews during the Holocaust.

Meaghan Rossignol

America and the Holocaust

This collection will take a deeper look into anti semitism in America juxtaposed to the upstanders who fought back.  By looking at the Holocaust in American society through this dual lense, it illustrates the two extremes in the society.  Bitter and severe hatred was seen on one side as anti semitsm was fueled by racist and elitist attitudes.  But this does not tell the whole story; many efforts were taken by Americans, specifically the Jewish American community, to raise awareness for the cause and in many instances take active steps to help those suffering in Europe.

Allie Doyle

America and the Holocaust

This collection serves as an exploration of America’s direct involvement in the Holocaust. Through the use of American propaganda, stories of the rescue and liberation of Jewish people in Europe, and images of remembrance and memorial, this exhibit intends to shed light on the bleak but often romanticized narrative that is the United States’ response to the Holocaust. The exhibit focuses on America’s role in helping to stop the Holocaust, or at certain points their lack thereof, though the nation’s contributions to the situation through their belief systems, actions, and policies. The exhibit seeks to explore the contrast of anti-Semitism in American citizens and those who fought to free the victims of anti-Semitism in Europe, in addition to However, what is drawn from this idea is what we remember in our collective memory. While remembering those who suffered, as well as those who rescued the suffering, the United States must not dismiss the prevalence of anti-Semitism in America at the time of the mass genocide, whether it was in the form of anti-Jewish rallies or in the form of legislation.

sarah afromsky

The Story of America in the Holocaust

Through this curation, one can see a clear story path. It all begins with the struggles that started in Europe that forced these refugees to attempt to flee to asylum. Getting to America, for those trying to escape, was a very difficult feat due to new legislation and American stubbornness towards immigrants. For those lucky enough to get to America, they soon discovered that this “sanctuary” held many of the same prejudice and anti semitic beliefs that were forged in Europe. Overall, this curation was made to track the struggles of Jews through all stages in their journey to America.


Museum Curation Project: America and the Holocaust

When Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi party, took power in Germany, the nation undertook an effort to purge itself of non-Aryans in order to "purify" the German state. In the process, 11 million people belonging to minority groups, 6 million of which were Jews, were exterminated in one of the worst genocides in human history. What became known as the Holocaust was addressed differently by the nations of the world. For various reasons, the United States' public attitudes and foreign policy decisions demonstrated a general attitude of indifference towards the Jewish genocide. Widespread anti-Semitism bred contempt for the Jewish cause, while the media called little attention to the genocide, and public opinion remained apathetic to the refugee cause. Worse still, official United States government and foreign policy was at best indifferent and at worse actively hostile to aiding rescue efforts. Although some Americans made heroic efforts to save  persecuted European Jews and aid their immigration process to the United States, their work, while by no means insignificant, is sadly not a reflection of the United States as a whole. The country had great power to make a difference, but unfortunately it did not act on it.

Jeremy Grunat

MOLAA Docent Training: Articles

Further Rreading Material


America and The Holocaust

While Americans were consumed by the task of declaring war and mobilizing for World War II, millions of European Jews were being transported to camps and slaughtered in what would later be known as the Holocaust. This collection focuses on the period leading up to and during the Holocaust, and analyzes the different types of American responses. More specifically, this collection views the two ends of the spectrum. It will include the anti-semitic movements, who advocated against helping Jewish people abroad, and the Jewish Organizations advocating for action to be taken to help the European Jews. Both of these views had powerful advocates and followers among the United States public. These ideas made their way into people's opinions of the government, as well as their policies. Proponents of both sides utilized different forms of media to portray their message and find varying degrees of success.

Payton Angus

America and the Holocaust

This collection addresses the issue of antisemitism in the United States leading up to and during the Holocaust.  Anti semitism was displayed in America through cartoons, preferences of American citizens, discriminatory policies, as well as support for the Nazi party. There was anti semitism present throughout America, and such anti semitism became obvious through a lack of action during the Holocaust.  Juxtaposed against this striking anti semitism are the American people and groups that worked to help Jews and fought for their equality.  Despite the inaction promoted through anti semitism, many groups did work against discrimination and the Nazi goal.

Fiona Mulla

The Women Who Made a Difference

This collections displays notable women from the ancient times who made an impact on history, starting with the first Queen of Egypt, Hatshepsut

Though most rulers in the ancient (and classical) world were men, some women wielded power and influence. 

Some ruled in their own name, some influenced their world as royal consorts, but they all made an impact during the ancient times.


Activity Collection: CUPCARS!

The Smithsonian and Lenovo want to inspire you to tinker! In this collection, you will learn how to create your very own CUPCAR! Follow steps two through five to create a balloon-powered cupcar, and steps six through eleven to create a motor-powered cupcar. 

Some steps have a yellow “paper clip” icon in the top left corner of the browser. Clicking this icon will reveal extra “Pro-Tips” for helping you build your cupcar.

Once your cupcar is moving, get creative! Try different placements of the parts for more efficiency. Decorate the outside with decals and markers. Race it with your friends!

Dawn Quill

Greek Influence on Future Evolutions of Art and Culture

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, along with the art periods, cultures, and artists long after Greek art had flourished. For anyone that reads it they will hopefully see the creative ways that artists have showcased many different aspects of their culture. 


Kelsey Harrigan

Virginia History Tour

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

( This supports Virginia Standards of Learning for the  Virginia Studies course.)

Nancy Butler

Migrations in American History: The Making of "Many Voices, One Nation"

This collection serves as a preview for the fourth of six seminar sessions in the 2019 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “The Search for an American Identity: Building a Nation Together.”

National Museum of American History colleagues Steve Velasquez and Lauren Safranek will discuss the making of the exhibition, "Many Voices, One Nation," and its accompanying educational website, "Becoming US." Together the exhibition and educational website aim to explore not only how the many voices of people in America have shaped our nation, but also to guide high school teachers and students in learning immigration and migration history in a more accurate and inclusive way.

Resources included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore before the seminar itself.

Philippa Rappoport

Roman Architecture's Influence on Future Civilizations and the Evolution of Style

The focus of this collection is architecture around the world. Ancient Roman architecture in particular, has influenced the way more modern architects design buildings all around the world. My interest in architecture comes from the time I spent in Italy in 2016. I visited Rome, Florence, and all around Tuscany. As I saw during my stay there, and also what we have learned in class, is that the most important features in Roman architecture were arches, columns, and very thick walls. Columns were erected to show victories in wars and arches were pivotal in Rome’s success. Without arches, they wouldn’t have been able to build expansive buildings or roadways from Britain to the Middle East. Aqueducts contain arches which serve as a nice physical feature, as well as hold a strong material in place for many many years. Romanesque style influenced Gothic style, which contained high pointed vaulted and a more vertical appeal. There is so much detail in every piece of architecture and every building tells an individual story. Much of the architecture standing where we are today, tells a story of what we know about Romans. 


Sydney MacPherson

Henry David Thoreau and IBM (Civil Disobedience & Thoreau's Journals also discussed.)

Thoreau inspired posters were created in the late 1970s by graphic designer Ken White, to hang in the IBM headquarters. This written response follows an earlier lesson analyzing "Civil Disobedience," and learning about Thoreau's life in Concord, Mass., and his contribution to the Transcendentalism movement. 

A Google Doc is attached featuring the directions for the students, as well as links to two Smithsonian Magazine articles, one addressing his journals and the other the lingering impact of Civil Disobedience. 


Annette Spahr


Lan Hsuan


Videos and images of artifacts from the RMS Titanic disaster. Life vest, Brownie camera

Andrea Bisordi
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