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Oral history interview with Josef Albers, 1968 June 22-July 5

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 24 pages An interview of Josef Albers conducted 1968 June 22-July 5, by Sevim Fesci, for the Archives of American Art.
This interview was conducted in New Haven, Connecticut. Albers speaks of his childhood in the industrial area of Westphalia, Germany; his father's influence as a house painter and set designer; his young interest in technical toys; his educational history, beginning at the Royal Art School, an art teacher prep school; his education in art history in conjunction with fine arts; his brief experience teaching in public schools; his time studying at the Applied Art School in Essen while living and teaching in Berlin; and the beginning of professional career after having passed his exam in Berlin in 1915.
He discusses the influence of the European movements/artists, Die Brucke; Schmidt-Rottluff, Heckel, and Kirchner; his move to Munich and time spent working with Stuck (the teacher of Kandinsky and Klee); his eventual shift to the Bauhaus working in collage and stained glass under Itten; his refusal to do the traditional apprenticeship at the Bauhaus and surprising success with stained glass while striking out on his own; his initial experiments while working in the new studio for stained glass at the Bauhaus with frosting (a.k.a. thermometer style); his move from collage to montage; his disbelief in the use of past art as a source for current art; his distaste for the concept of art as self-expression; his use of repetitive forms in his painting as a method of "solving the problem;" his belief that the spectator makes the vision of the artist more lively; his belief that he teaches philosophy (how to see) not technique (how to paint); the fine line between influencing students and creating disciples; color as the most relative medium in art and a study of ourselves; his use of squares (the most man-made form), beginning in 1949; the role of art in society to reveal visually the attitude of our mentality; and his belief as to the future of art as being a further consideration of order.

Teacher Lesson: "Jumping In" Strategy for Examining Art & Portraiture

National Portrait Gallery
Briana Zavadil White, School and Teacher Program Coordinator at the National Portrait Gallery, models the "Jumping In" strategy for teachers, in this professional development workshop. Integrating portraiture into the classroom can provide exciting opportunities to connect students with history, biography, visual art, and many other subjects. Presented at the "Learning to Look with the National Portrait Gallery" Summer Teacher Institute, July 30, 2014.

The Teacher

Smithsonian American Art Museum

How to Count to 100,000 STEM Teachers in 10 Years

Smithsonian Magazine

On January 25, 2011, President Obama set a clear goal in his State of the Union Address regarding STEM education. “Over the next 10 years, with so many baby boomers retiring from our classrooms,” he said, “we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science and technology and engineering and math.”

One group was already in the process of delivering on the president’s call to action. By June of that year, representatives from 28 organizations—including corporations, foundations, museums, school districts, universities and nonprofits—took to the stage at a Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Chicago. There, the group of partners officially kicked off 100Kin10, a movement to meet the ambitious challenge, with an initial pledge of $20 million.

Talia Milgrom-Elcott, a program officer in urban education at Carnegie Corporation of New York, where 100Kin10 is housed, is co-leader of the project, which has since grown to include more than 150 partners, ranging from Sesame Street to NASA, and the Girl Scouts to Google. She believes that the key to training and retaining superb STEM teachers is to have organizations, in a wide range of fields, contribute to the cause in ways that they are uniquely suited to do so. For a company like Intel, that means developing online instruction for teachers. And, for GOOD magazine, it is committing to featuring bi-weekly stories on its website about the efforts of 100Kin10 partners.

“Truly, almost any of us—and right now it is at the organization level, but we hope that as we grow this, at some point it can be at the individual level as well—can look at what we do well, find a bridge between what we do and this need, and do something that is critical to hitting the goal,” says Milgrom-Elcott.

Everyone is talking about the shortage of STEM teachers. How would you describe the crisis we are in?

What we have seen around the country is that even in districts that are laying teachers off or that have hiring freezes, STEM teachers remain in high demand. When we talk to partners, like the associations of physics teachers or chemistry teachers, they can’t place their teachers fast enough. We talked to districts that are hiring, and they can’t hire enough of these teachers.

Can you take us back to the beginning? How did you launch this movement?

In September 2010, the president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology put out a report. That report listed a few things that really needed to happen for the country to accelerate STEM learning for all students. The lynchpin of the report was this call for 100,000 excellent STEM teachers. The report was nonpartisan; many economists, some business folks and some academics put together this recommendation. The president, in early October 2010, followed up with a call for 10,000 teachers in two years. 

We heard that call and thought, well, here is an urgent and critical call for action by the president—and it is doable. This is something that we can and should do.

We thought here is an opportunity to try to map out a different way of doing business. Can we bring together a diverse array of organizations, all of who might have something to contribute to this goal, and move them to action? We brought together 28 organizations, ranging from corporations and foundations, universities and school districts, to museums, federal agencies and nonprofits. We met in January, the day after the president’s State of the Union. He literally spoke the night before, and this group came together that next morning.

100Kin10 has a three-fold plan (to train teachers, to retain existing teachers and to build a movement) in place to tackle this ambitious goal of training 100,000 new STEM teachers in a decade. Can you explain the thinking?

When we think about the 100Kin10 goal, we don’t see that as just increasing the supply of good teachers. You don’t want to just send 100,000 great teachers into a broken system, where half of them leave by five years and pursue other careers. What a waste of their talents and the financial resources that it takes to get them there. So, we have folks both thinking on the front-end, the supply side, about how to recruit and prepare more teachers better, but also on what we call “retaining excellence.”

How do you do the variety of things that will help great teachers stay and help more teachers become great? How do you hire and pay them differently? How do you place them and support them differently? How do you provide them mentorship, internships, opportunities to work with STEM professionals, the resources do the types of scientific experiments and other learning opportunities that they really want for their kids?

Then, we have organizations making commitments to build the movement. It was clear to us that if you are going to sustain an effort like this over 10 years, that you needed people to focus on changing policies, telling stories, creating materials, spreading and sharing those materials, and funding the organizations doing this work.

Can you describe the structure of 100Kin10?

100Kin10 is a networked approach to solving this big challenge. We set out to basically build a national platform that would allow a diverse array of organizations to make specific commitments to action and to work in coordination with each other. This networked approach would allow us to maximize on talent, to tap into resources and visions we would never have thought to pick ourselves.

It is trying to take the best of crowdsourcing and a bottom up, network approach but to balance it with excellence. This is not a “let 1,000 flowers bloom.” It really is trying to have a broad invitation to anyone in theory; anyone is eligible to take action, to step up, but you have to be nominated and vetted. To be funded, you have to meet and match with a particular funding partner whose vision you align with.

How are partners selected?

Every year in the late summer and early fall, we have nomination rounds. We invite any partners to nominate new organizations, who they believe can do important work in the space and do it well. Then, the University of Chicago has a team of vetters who review all of the applications against a rubric, basically based on organizational capacity, boldness of commitment, STEM knowledge and  fit with 100Kin10. Are you providing something that we need in terms of the whole effort? They do that over the course of a few months, and new partners are announced in January.

Can you give an example of a particular organization applying its strengths in a creative way? is a web-based platform in which teachers can propose something that they want to do, but don’t have the funds for. Anybody can fund it, whether it is buying scissors for classroom art projects, to taking kids on their first trip to Washington, D.C. to see the U.S. Constitution.

They made a commitment to a STEM project. That commitment was to inspire 50,000 citizens to deliver $15 million in STEM classroom resources to teachers. So, teachers would propose work that they wanted to do in the STEM space, and would catalyze 50,000 folks from around the country and around the world to provide the resources to make that possible.

To us, it is not only important that students are getting to do STEM experiments, meet with scientists and take trips to NASA headquarters or to collect rocks in a way they wouldn’t before, but also that the teachers who have inspiration and ambition could get the resources to do that. The teachers would do better work, and they would stay longer because they could do the type of teaching that they wanted to do in their classrooms.

What about in training new STEM teachers?

The American Museum of Natural History is a partner, and it has actually brought a cohort of aspiring teachers in house, to train them using their faculty, scientists and researchers and the space of the museum. Over the five years of their commitment, they are training a tiny number of teachers, under 50. So, it is small, in that sense, against the goal of 100,000. But if it works, it is a totally revolutionary model about where teachers can learn. If you think about all the science-rich institutions in our country—museums, aquaria and science centers—and you imagine what it would look like for teachers to get trained with the hands-on science that these institutions excel at, you’ve got an amazing path to 100,000.

How do you measure progress in this movement?

How we will know how many teachers we are training and if they are excellent, if they are staying and if they are improving? We are designing a system and participating in it will be a requirement of partnership. If people self-report their data, the system will be totally confidential, so there is no risk of being judged or exposed.

The University of Chicago will be able to review all of the data. They can also find organizations that are doing something really spectacular. For example, we might see that this organization is able to recruit 10 applicants for every spot it has. What are they doing? And how can we spread that learning? Or this set of applicants is producing far and away more physics teachers than anybody else, and most of those teachers are getting incredible results in the classroom and they are mentoring other teachers. What is happening there?

The target for the first three years was 20,000 teachers. Almost two years in, how is the progress?

We have a conservative estimate of commitments from partners for more than 35,000 teachers over five years. That number continues to grow.

These aren’t just commitments of numbers, they are commitments that organizations are making to excellence, to excellent teachers, to understanding what that means and chasing after it to the best of their capacity and to learning from each other to improve.

Artist and Teacher

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black-and-white photograph of Jacob Lawrence. He wears a jacket, tie, and sunglasses.

Japanese Doll Maker: Anne Cox (Interview)

Smithsonian Education
Art teacher Anne Cox explains how she came to be a maker of Japanese dolls. She also discusses Japanese Girls Day and some of the history behind her craft. Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Family Day 2010: The Art of Gaman May 1, 2010 Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Oral history interview with Edna M. Lindemann, 1994 Dec. 1

Archives of American Art
2 sound files (1 hr., 21 min.) digital, wma Transcript: 33 pages. An interview with Edna Lindemann conducted 1994 Dec. 1, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Lindemann's home, West Falls, N.Y.
Lindemann discusses her childhood in Buffalo as the daughter of Nason and Carl Meibohm, who established an art gallery, frame shop, and art supply store early in the 20th century. She remembers living above the shop and summers spent in the country in the house that is now her residence. She talks about the effect of growing up surrounded by Stickley furniture, leaded glass, and Roycroft objects and the importance of the family's church, the conservative Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
Lindemann remembers her love of school, although there was no art instruction until high school where she was strongly influenced by Marie Colburn, a serious painter who summered in the art colony of Rockport, Mass. She recalls the encouragement of both Colburn and of Henry Jacobs, supervisor of art instruction in the Buffalo public schools, to pursue her art interests. Lindemann recalls the necessity during the Depression of combining technical instruction at the Albright Art School (diploma, 1936) with vocational training in art education at the State University of N.Y., at Buffalo (B.S., 1936). She talks about her early teaching positions in local public schools.

A life drawing class taught by Giacomo Patri at the California Labor School

Archives of American Art
1 photographic print : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm.

Oral history interview with Robert S. Neuman, 1991 May 1-June 19

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 106 p. An interview of Robert S. Neuman conducted 1991 May 1-1991 June 19, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Neuman discusses his childhood in Idaho; art training in Idaho and San Francisco; California artists Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, Hassel Smith, and Nathan Oliveira; WWII service; the School of the Pacific vs. Euro-centric New York; studying in Germany on a Fulbright scholarship; the influence of work by Willi Baumeister and Wolfgang Wols; moving to Boston and the art community there in the 1950s and 1960s; studying in Barcelona on a Guggenheim fellowship; the evolution of his painting in overlapping phases; and his preference for being outside the mainstream art world.

Integrating Art in the Online Classroom

Smithsonian American Art Museum
ThumbnailMichael Hristakopoulos teaches high school social studies at a virtual school in Florida. This July, he participated in one of SAAM's summer teacher institutes, offered for English and social studies teachers interested in integrating American art into their curricula. This summer, 59 teachers from 22 states and Washington, D.C., participated in one of two week-long sessions. Michael fills us in on how he applied his experience here to his online teaching environment.

Howard Pyle and his students

Archives of American Art
1 photographic print : b&w ; 9 x 11 cm.

Identification on verso (handwritten): L to R, "The younger members"; Harding, McCouch, Oakley, Wyeth, True; Pyle; Wilmington, Del.

Linda Armstrong letter to Toshiko Takaezu

Archives of American Art
Letter : 2 p. : handwritten ; 25 x 16 cm.

Letter from Armstrong, a former student, thanking Takaezu for her generosity and guidance as a teacher.

Cecilia Beaux in cap and gown

Archives of American Art
1 photographic print : b&w ; 12 x 9 cm.

Beaux dressed in a graduation cap and gown, presumably for a Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts graduation or convocation, where she became an instructor in 1895.

Developing Historical Thinkers with American Art

Smithsonian Education
Session Description: Building on the familiar jigsaw method (, teachers will apply knowledge gleaned from a pre-reading to an artwork. They will learn an easy-to-deploy strategy for looking deeply at an artwork, discovering how an artwork can be used not as an illustration but rather a text rich with historical, cultural, and geographical influence. Complementary Learning Lab collection with the strategies and artworks mentioned available here: Presenters from the Smithsonian American Art Museum: -Elizabeth Dale-Deines, Teacher Programs Coordinator -Peg Koetsch, Distance Learning Coordinator This is the first of three online sessions in spring 2016 created to support Smithsonian Learning Lab workshops for middle school teachers in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, funded by the Grable Foundation and in partnership with Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Oral history interview with Ralph Rosenthal, 1997 February 10-April 7

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 65 pages. An interview of Ralph Rosenthal conducted 1997 February 10-April 7, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, at Rosenthal's home, in Brookline, Mass.
Rosenthal discusses his childhood in the South End of Boston; first art training at age of 10 under Bill Tate, Dudley Pratt, and Anthony DiBona; attending the Boston public schools' Saturday art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, headed by Alma LeBrecht, Blanche Brink, and Alice Morse, 1924-29; his years at the School of the MFA (1929-35) and the dominant influence there of Philip Hale; his further training in education at Boston University (Ed.M., 1936); his early teaching career; receiving a Carnegie Fellowship in 1938 to study at the Fogg Museum, Harvard University; studying ceramics at Alfred University in 1940; and his founding with Herbert Kahn in 1941 of ROKA, a ceramics supply company.
Teaching in the Boston public schools, 1936-1976, rising from teacher of sculpture to supervisor of art for the entire system in 1966; his work in sculpture, painting, drawing, and ceramics; and former students at the various places he has taught.

Marguerite Wildenhain to Hal Fromhold

Archives of American Art
Letter : 1 p. : typescript ; 28 x 22 cm.

Wildenhain expresses agreement with Fromhold's position that the American Craft Council should support students directly rather than the teachers of the craft, because the craft teachers and craft schools have proven themselves ineffectual.

Teacher Benares

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Students and Faculty, Stone City, 1933

Archives of American Art
1 photographic print : b&w ; 21 x 25 cm.

Identification on verso (handwritten): Students and faculty, Stone City, 1933 John Steuart Curry of Kansas is in the right foreground.

Will Barnet teaching

Archives of American Art
1 photographic print : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm. Will Barnet teaching in the League Goapher Room, ca. 1939.
Published in: Archives of American Art Journal v. 13, no. 2, p. 26

Advertisemant for Philip L. Hale's summer class

Archives of American Art
1 brochure : ill. ; 14 x 21 cm., folded to 14 x 11 cm.

Brochure for the Philip L. Hale's summer art classes.

"Once Upon A Time A Man Named Peter Voulkos"

Archives of American Art
Essay : 2 p. : typescript ; 28 x 22 cm.

Satirical essay by Pyron about Voulkos and the art of throwing pots.

Grant Wood and his class at Viola

Archives of American Art
1 postcard : ill. ; 9 x 14 cm.

Identification on verso (handwritten): Grant Wood and his class at Viola

Water Colour Lessons

Archives of American Art
1 announcement ; 8 x 13 cm.

On verso of postcard is a water colour lessons advertisement.

Thomas Eakins and J. Laurie Wallace posing at water's edge

Archives of American Art
1 photographic print : platinum print ; 7 x 10 cm., on sheet 9 x 12 cm.

Photograph thought to be taken during the time that Thomas Anshutz and Thomas Eakins worked together at the Pennsylvania Academy and the University of Pennsylvania, 1880-1886.
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