Found 1,022 Learning Lab Collections
Older generations of Alaska Athabascan (Dene) peoples tanned moose hides using time-tested methods to make strong, supple leather for sewing beaded or quill-embroidered tunics, jackets, mittens, bags and moccasins, as well as everyday essentials such as dogsled harnesses. Because traditional tanning is time-consuming and requires technical knowledge that has declined in recent generations, most moose hides are now sent out to commercial tanneries for processing with synthetic chemicals. Commercial tanning produces a lower quality hide, but more importantly, it displaces the passing on of Athabascan tanning knowledge. Recognizing this, contemporary artists Joel Isaak (Dena'ina Athabascan) and Melissa Shaginoff (Ahtna Athabascan) have been learning traditional methods for tanning moose hides from elders Helen Dick (Dena’ina Athabascan) and Jeanie Maxim (Ahtna Athabascan) and adding tested, contemporary tools.
The Alaska office of the Arctic Studies Center worked with these committed artists and elders from September 2017 through June 2018 to carry out moosehide tanning work in communities and backyards in Kenai, Chickaloon, and Anchorage, and a sewing and beading residency at the Anchorage Museum. The collaboration resulted in the set of twenty-three educational videos presented here. Links to a selection of Athabascan objects from the Smithsonian collections made from moose hide are included below.
Tags: Alaska, Native art, museum, education, Indigenous, tan, tanning, moosehide, moose hide, smoking, sew, bead, Athabascan, Dena'ina, Ahtna, Dene, Melissa Shaginoff, Joel Isaak , Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
Athabascan peoples harvested porcupine to eat and also carefully processed its quills into a fine material to beautify special items. Some artists continue to use quill in their work. In 2013, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska hosted the Dene Quill Art project, bringing together Athabascan artists Shirley May Holmberg and Emma Hildbrand with ethnographic Nancy Fonicello conservator to share quillwork techniques and develop new ones by studying historic museum pieces. They shared their expertise with students, museum visitors and local Alaska Native artists, along with conservators who learned how to better care for quillwork objects in museum collections. The video set presented here introduces participants and provides detailed demonstrations of how to work with quill from cleaning and dying, to sewing, wrapping folding and weaving. Links to a selection of Alaska Native objects from the Smithsonian collections made with porcupine quill are included below.
Tags: Alaska, Native art, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Athabascan, Dene, museum, education, Indigenous, quill, porcupine, conservator, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
Athabascan territories cover nearly half the state of Alaska, and these lands have diverse environments and wild resources that Athabascans respect, harvest and share. Wild resources are used for food and for raw materials to make things. For example, Athabascan peoples harvested porcupine to eat and also carefully processed its quills into a fine material to beautify special items, and some artists continue to use quill in their work. Artists today wrap, sew and weave quills onto clothing, bags and boxes made from tanned moose and caribou hide, like their ancestors did in the past.
The curriculum below consists of five activity-based lessons and will teach students about the Athabascan peoples of Alaska: their languages, traditional values and knowledge, subsistence lifeways, and historic artifacts, with a focus on porcupines as a local resource and its quills as an artistic material. The three videos referred to in curriculum Lesson 4 are provided below and are part of a 8-video set on this site in the Community Videos section, titled Quill Art videos.
Tags: Alaska, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Athabascan, Dene, subsistence, traditional ecological knowledge, museum, museum objects, artifacts, quill, porcupine, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
Unangax̂ men of the Aleutian Islands wore hunting hats and visors that were shaped from carved, boiled and bent planks of driftwood, intricately ornamented with paint, beads, walrus ivory and sea lion whiskers. The hats were practical headgear for kayak hunters and at the same time works of art expressing the spiritual connection between human beings and animals of the land, sea and air. In 2012, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska hosted a bentwood hat making residency at the Anchorage Museum where Unangax̂ hat makers Patricia Lekanoff-Gregory and Michael Livingston worked with advanced apprentices Delores Gregory and Tim Shangin. They examined bentwood hats and visors from museum collections, and they carved, bent, and decorated their own, sharing their expertise with visiting students and museum guests.
The video set presented here provides step-by-step instructions on how to make a bentwood hat and information on the use and significance of these hats in the past and today, along with artist interviews that provide first-hand information about the Aleutian Islands region and this important art form. Links to a selection of Unangax̂ bentwood hats and visors from the Smithsonian collections are included below.
Tags: Aleutian Islands, Alaska, Alaska Native art, Indigenous, Unangax̂, Unangax, Unangan, Sugpiaq, Aleut, bentwood hat, bentwood visor, chief's hat, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
In 1994, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center opened an Alaska office at the Anchorage Museum, and in opened the long-term exhibition Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska. The exhibition – created by in-depth collaboration with Alaska Natives throughout the project – presents Indigenous voices, perspectives and knowledge through over 600 masterworks of Alaska Native art and design from the National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of the American Indian collections. Living Our Cultures serves as both a public exhibition and as an active resource for community-based research, talks and educational events, some of which are shown in the videos provided below. A major focus of ongoing work is collaborations with Alaska Native Elders, artists and culture-bearers on heritage documentation and revitalization projects, which are presented in the Community Videos section of this site. For more information, contact Aron Crowell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dawn Biddison (email@example.com).
Tags: Alaska Native, Indigenous, heritage, art, collaboration, museum, objects, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
Teaching with the Smithsonian Learning Lab: A Workshop for George Washington University Faculty and Graduate Students
For the workshop, Teaching with the Smithsonian’s Learning Lab – Millions of Resources at Your Fingertips! (January 8, 2020), this is a collection of digital museum resources and instructional strategies. It includes a warm-up activity, a close-looking exercise, and supporting materials for participants to create their own teaching collections.
This collection was co-created with Tess Porter.
A collection of resources about Ancient China and artifact examples.
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?
- 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!
Special thanks to National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Smithsonian Folkways, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) for inspiring this learning lab and for their resources.
Keywords: Portraiture, African American, American, Selma, Alabama, visual art, Civil Rights Movement, United States, visual literacy
Alaska is home to over 100,000 Indigenous residents who represent twenty distinctive cultures and languages. The map shows cities, towns and villages where most people live today, but depicts Alaska Native territories as they existed in about 1890, before the main influx of Euro-American settlers.
Map information is courtesy of Michael Krauss, Igor Krupnik, Ives Goddard and the Alaska Native Language Center (University of Alaska Fairbanks). Map courtesy of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center.
The Diana Walker collection at the NMAH Photographic History Department consists of 140 photographs reflecting her career as a photojournalist. These include her tenure as a TIME Magazine photographer at the White House from 1984-2004, as well as other assignments.
Copyright Diana Walker.
For more images, search collections.si.edu.
Keywords: photojournalist, women photographers, First Ladies, FLOTUS, President of the United States, POTUS, Vice-President of the United States, VPOTUS, Secretary of State, Senator, campaign photography, reportage, portraiture, journalism, photographs of the military, laughing, heads of state
The Margarethe Mather NMAH Photographic History Collection consists of five platinum print photographs from the 1920s. Photographer Margrethe Mather was a model and source of inspiration for Edward Weston and an established pictorialist and a pioneering modernist in her own right.
For additional images, search collections.si.edu.
Keywords: women photographers, Pictorialism, platinum photography, palladium photography, Pierrot
This is a collection of four panorama photographs by photographer Anne Noggle made in the 1960s of a kitchen, a cafe lunch counter, a row of mailboxes, and a neighborhood street corner.
Keywords: women, aging, panoramic photo, panorama photography, neighborhood, mailboxes
Anne Noggle was born in 1922 in Evanston, IL and spent her formative years living there with her mother and sister—two women who would become important characters in Noggle’s photography.
Prior to her photography career, Noggle led a markedly different life. In 1940, with her student pilot license in hand, Anne Noggle became a pilot and eventually a flight instructor as a Women’s Air Force Service Pilot (WASP) in World War II. At the conclusion of the war, Anne taught flying, joined an aerial circus, and worked as a crop duster. Art grabbed Noggle’s attention while she was on active duty in the air force in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Stationed in Paris, she spent much of her free time at the Louvre. Forced into early retirement due to emphysema caused by crop dusting, Noggle registered for college as an art history major at the University of New Mexico in 1959. She was thirty-eight years old.
Anne Noggle’s early photographs utilize the 35mm Panon camera. Most of these 140° photographs are of an aging woman and her surroundings. In Janice Zita Grover’s introduction to Silver Lining: Photographs by Anne Noggle, she writes, about the panoramic format, that it is characteristic “to distort space in such a way that subjects distant from the lens appear flattened against deep space; between this effect and the necessity for reading the image side to side, the format gets as close as the still camera can to the implied narrative unfolding of a panoramic opening shot in a film . Noggle’s Panon images of her mother’s circle in Santa Fe have exactly these qualities, as if a newly landed observer…were scrutinizing these women, their curious rites and settings, for the first time.”
By the early 1970s, however, Noggle moved on to wide-angle portraits featuring herself, her mother, sister, and her mother’s friends. It is for these photographs that Noggle is most known. Her interest in women and the aging process is exemplified by self-portraits of Noggle’s own face-lifts and images of her aging body.
Noggle has been granted two NEA grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Major holdings of Anne Noggle’s work can be found at: the Northlight Gallery at Arizona State University, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, University of New Mexico—University Art Museum, and the Museum of New Mexico Photographic Archives. In Washington, DC, American Art has one photograph from Noggle’s Agnes series of two women playing croquet.
This resources in this collection provide a basic introduction to the life and work of Spanish artist Joan Miró.
This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories
This collection provides an introduction to the art of weaving practiced in Guatemala.
This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories
This collection provides a brief introduction to the Vejigante tradition practiced during the month of February in Puerto Rico, in observance/celebration of Carnival.
This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories
Herbert Bayer (American, born Austria, active Germany and USA, 1900–1985) was a student and teacher at the Bauhaus. This famous German art and design school, which operated from 1919 to 1933, sought to integrate art, design, and daily life. At the Bauhaus, Bayer experimented with geometry, photomontage, and functional typography to help forge a new approach to graphic design. He applied Bauhaus theories of art and design to commercial practice and promoted the Bauhaus legacy to the public during a prolific career spanning over six decades and two continents.
As a student during the early years of the Bauhaus, Bayer utilized hand-drawn letters and basic geometry to create posters, postcards, and murals. In 1925, he became a "young master" at the Bauhaus and established a modernized print shop in the school's new building in Dessau. Here, he deployed photography and machine-based printing to promote the school and its products, such as furniture, housewares, and wallpaper.
After leaving the Bauhaus in 1928, Bayer worked in Berlin and in 1938 he left Germany for New York City. He eventually moved to Aspen, Colorado, a town he helped transform into a thriving cultural center. In the United States, Bayer created information graphics, books, advertisements, exhibitions, architecture, and magazine layouts for diverse clients, and he pioneered the field of corporate design.
This exhibition marks the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, in 1919.
Many of the objects displayed in this exhibition, including all the works from the Bauhaus period, have been generously loaned by Merrill C. Berman. In 2015, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum acquired over 500 pieces documenting Bayer's later career, made possible through a gift from the Taub Foundation. They are presented here to the public for the first time.
Use this collection of textiles as part of a geometry unit. After reviewing shapes, lines, and angles, students can focus on how the patterns repeat, flip, slide, and turn. Once students have had the chance to investigate some textiles, they can use Tinkercad to create their own design that will be come a stamp when 3D printed. The final step is for students to reflect on their design and printing by doing the following:
- One stamped design on the page
- Draw lines of symmetry on it
- Label the shapes used in the design
- Tell what kind of pattern used on felt rectangle - Dot, Stripe, Block
- Tell is there is rotation (turn), reflection (flip), translation (slide)
Thank you to Learning Lab contributor, Christopher Sweeney, for inspiring me while designing this unit!
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum has been a public museum since 1932, but it has also been a homestead, a theater, a dude ranch, a Hollywood set, and an attraction. It is situated on 147 acres of desert parkland on the south side of Piute Butte in the Mojave Desert against a dramatic backdrop of Joshua trees and towering rock formations. The building’s unique architecture and creative engineering earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Native American Heritage Commission designated Piute Butte as a sacred landscape.
The museum exhibits over 3,000 objects, including many rare and outstanding objects from the Antelope Valley, California coast, Great Basin, and the Southwest. An important four way trade route developed in the Antelope Valley at least 4,000 years ago. The trade routes went west and south to the California coast, north to the Central Valley, northeast to the Great Basin (the desert east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains), and east to the pueblos in what is now Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. The trade route expanded and enriched the material and social resources available to Antelope Valley residents, allowing large villages to develop near the valley’s springs.
History of H. Arden Edwards
Howard Arden Edwards, a self-taught artist, was fascinated with the scenery around the buttes in the Antelope Valley. He homesteaded 160 acres on rocky Piute Butte and in 1928. With his wife and teenage son, he began construction of what was to be a combination home and showcase for his extensive collection of American Indian culture. A unique structure evolved: a Tudor Revival style building, decorated inside and out with American Indian designs and motifs, incorporating large granite boulders as an integral part of the building both inside and out. You actually climb upon these rocks as you go from picturesque Kachina Hall upstairs to California Hall. This unusual upper level housed Mr. Edwards' original "Antelope Valley Indian Research Museum."
History of Grace Oliver
Grace Wilcox Oliver, a onetime student of anthropology, discovered Edwards' property while hiking in the desert. She felt it would be a perfect setting for a personal hideaway. She contacted the owner with an offer to buy the property. Successful in these negotiations, she modified some features of the main building, added her own collections, and expanded the physical facilities on the property. By this time she had decided to open the entire structure as The Antelope Valley Indian Museum. Grace operated the museum intermittently through the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Becoming a State Park
Local support for the acquisition of the property by the State of California led Oliver to sell the land and donate the collection to State Parks in 1979. The museum has been designated as a Regional Indian Museum, emphasizing American Indian cultures of the Great Basin.
This collection of quilts offers material to challenge conventional definitions of art and artists, explore the many different ways to tell a visual story and spark discussions about the traditions that are passed down in families. This resource is structured around 2 hour-long lessons in art analysis, a creative task and a reflection session.
A range of styles and traditions are represented here, as each quilt and quilter has their own story to tell. The story can be evident in the visual content of the quilt, but the context in which it was created can be equally important. Quilting is an art form taught between generations and amongst friends, bridging the gap between material culture and intangible heritage.
By encouraging young learners to look closely and develop evidence-based arguments, we can hope to build their skills to think deeply about the interrelationship of art, memory and community.
Enclosed in the Teacher's Resource is a list of quilts, short biographies of the artists and potential discussion questions. Also included are suggested activities and an annotated bibliography for educators who want to do more research on the topic.
- How can we express things that are important to us?
- How can quilts teach us about community?
- Challenge and expand definitions of “art” and “artist.”
- Develop a toolkit for visual analysis.
- Understand different forms of creative self-expression.
- Learn about traditions we share in our communities and pass between generations.
- Empower students’ creativity.
Responding to the pollution in cities caused by carbon emissions from vehicles, Graviky Labs founder Anirudh Sharma has developed a device that can be attached to exhaust pipes to capture the tiny particles in exhaust. Once captured, this fine particulate matter can be converted into water-resistant ink, a nearly pure carbon pigment.
This is a topical collection concerning Civil Rights activism led by the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the Black Panther Party. It includes photographs, videos, and documentation from both movements. The imagery in this collection addresses the shared legacy of American Indian and Black resistance efforts in the 20th century. It also shows the continued impact of these efforts and their modern reflections, like ongoing Indigenous led efforts against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Black Lives Matter.
This collection includes remarkable figures in both AIM and the BPP, like Russell Means (Oglala Lakota) and Angela Davis. The daily lives of those whom AIM and BPP stood up for is also addressed.
This collected was created and organized by Kenlontae' Turner, a visual artist and gallery coordinator, during his time as an intern at NMAI. Some additional context and editing was provided by Maria Ferraguto to support his work during her time time as an intern at NMAI.
People, Place and Time: How Art Reflects Culture - Collection 3 - Caja De Memoria Viva II: Constancia Colón de Clemente by Adrián Román (
In this collection, designed for a Spanish-speaking classroom, students will explore how art reflects culture when analyzing “Caja De Memoria Viva II: Constancia Colón de Clemente” by Adrian “Viajero” Román. In this three-dimensional multimedia installation, the artist portrays a black Puerto Rican woman who migrated to the United States in the 1940s. This portrait allows the artist (in his own words) “ to embark on a quest to visually represent how precious our memories are and capture the dignity in the people’s struggle and validate their existence.” 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 observe and analyze this three dimensional work of art and they will describe both its exterior and interior. Students will create their own box to reflect their heritage and personal story or that of a Hispanic figure.
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.
# National Portrait Gallery #The Outwin # Adrián “Viajero” Román # Caja de Memoria Viva II # Spanish # Puerto Rico # New York # Empathy # Inequality # Critical thinking # Curiosity # Heritage # Stories #LatinoHAC