Skip to Content
  • Language
  • End User
  • Educational Use
  • Time Required
(37)
(11)
(48)
(46)
(48)
(4)
(38)
(28)
(9)
(26)
(7)
(10)

Found 48 Collections

 

Activists: Women Who Shaped History

This topical collection includes resources related to featured women activists. This collection includes portraits of the activists, related artifacts, articles, videos with experts, and related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections. Use this collection to launch lessons about the life stories of activists, primary source analysis, and examination of the context in which these women lived and made their contributions. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. 

Keywords: Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Edith Windsor, Wilma Mankiller, Grace Lee Boggs, Pauli Murray, Shirley Chisholm, Rachel Carson, Zitkala-Sa, #BecauseOfHerStory

Leslie Schaffer
70
 

REMAKING THE RULES: EXPLORING WOMEN WHO BROKE BARRIERS

Women’s identities are complex, intersecting with race, class, sexuality, etc., and have often been overlooked or erased from history. What is the importance of being able to express yourself and voice your story? 

This collection features resources related to the December 5, 2019, professional development webinar, "Remaking the Rules:  Exploring Women Who Broke Barriers," hosted by educators from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.  This joint webinar is one of three in the series A Woman’s Place Is in the Curriculum: Women’s History through American Art and Portraiture. Learn how American art and portraiture can bring diverse women’s stories into your classroom, connecting with themes you may already teach. Discover strategies for engaging your students in close looking and critical thinking across disciplines.  #SAAMTeach #NPGteach

This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. To learn more, visit the Smithsonian American Women History Initiative website. #BecauseOfHerStory

Anne Showalter
11
 

Hispanic Women

What's missing in today's history books, especially in the Southwest? Quite a lot actually.  Today's social studies textbooks reflect the standards each state has adopted and in many cases, when it comes to learning about people who have sacrificed their lives or changed the way we live here in United States, there are groups of people who are missing.  Even in 2019, more than 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement, there are only minimal standards acknowledging the contributions of people of color.  In Texas, women are marginally covered with the standards, and women of color even less so.  In elementary grades, only five Hispanic women are included within the standards, most of them being in 4th grade Texas history.  Only two are a part of the middle school state curriculum, both in 7th grade Texas history.  In high school, Dolores Huerta and Sonia Sotomayor are the only Hispanic female individuals judged worthy to be included although the Las Madre's e la Plaza de Mayo, a group of Argentinian women are included in the world history standards.

This collection seeks to provoke thinking about the lives, contributions and sacrifices of Hispanic women in American history.  

#EthnicStudies #BecauseOfHerStory

Leticia Hallmark
47
 

WHO TELLS YOUR STORY? EXPLORING WOMEN AND IDENTITY

Women’s identities are complex, intersecting with race, class, sexuality, etc., and have often been overlooked or erased from history. What is the importance of being able to express yourself and voice your story? 

This collection features resources related to the November 7, 2019, professional development webinar, "Who Tells Your Story? Exploring Women and Identity," hosted by educators from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.  This joint webinar is one of three in the series A Woman’s Place Is in the Curriculum: Women’s History through American Art and Portraiture. Learn how American art and portraiture can bring diverse women’s stories into your classroom, connecting with themes you may already teach. Discover strategies for engaging your students in close looking and critical thinking across disciplines.  #SAAMTeach #NPGteach

This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. To learn more, visit the Smithsonian American Women History Initiative website. #BecauseOfHerStory


Anne Showalter
26
 

Women and Science

These resources are for the students in the Women and Science Honors Seminar at Rutgers, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Instructors; Distinguished Professor Joan Bennett and Visiting Professor Catherine Reid. The resources highlight women represented in different Smithsonian collections for their pioneering works in their respective fields.

Women faced challenges when they entered male dominant institutions, such as employment in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They faced struggle for gender inclusion, and in some cases, added racial discrimination. In many cases, the accomplishments of women and people of color were rendered invisible in the official histories of institutions. With the pioneering works of feminist activists and gender scholars, counter narratives are now emerging to illuminate the ongoing project of racial and gender inclusion in the 21st  century. 

 For additional resources on women in science at Smithsonian, go to the site Women in Science.  Also the NASA site from Hidden Figures to Modern Figures celebrates the accomplishments of Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan who contributed as researchers to NASA projects. 

#BecauseOfHerStory

Kayo Denda
17
 

PERSISTING AND RESISTING: EXPLORING WOMEN AS ACTIVISTS

How have women led the way in activism and social justice movements? 

This collection features resources related to the October 8, 2019, professional development webinar, "Persisting and Resisting: Exploring Women as Activists," hosted by educators from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.  This joint webinar is one of three in the series A Woman’s Place Is in the Curriculum: Women’s History through American Art and Portraiture. Learn how American art and portraiture can bring diverse women’s stories into your classroom, connecting with themes you may already teach. Discover strategies for engaging your students in close looking and critical thinking across disciplines.  #SAAMTeach #NPGteach

This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. To learn more, visit the Smithsonian American Women History Initiative website.
#BecauseOfHerStory


Anne Showalter
14
 

Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence

Take a close look at the portraits and objects within “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. “Votes for Women” outlines the more than 80-year movement for women to obtain the right to vote as part of the larger struggle for equality that continued through the 1965 Civil Rights Act and arguably lingers today. This Learning Module highlights figures such as Lucy Stone and Alice Paul, but also sheds light on the racial struggles of the suffrage movement and how African American women, often excluded by white women from the main suffrage organizations, organized for citizenship rights (including the right to vote).

#NPGteach

#BecauseOfHerStory

Nicole Vance
46
 

Emma Tenayuca: La Pasionaria

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

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

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

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

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

#ethnicstudies #NHD2020 #BecauseOfHerStory 

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

Melanie Schwebke
30
 

Eva Zeisel

Eva Zeisel (1906–2011) was born in Budapest and only immigrated to America in 1938 after having been imprisoned by the NKVD in Russia for an alleged plot on Stalin's life. She lived in America for the rest of her life though she continued to work internationally and worked until she passed away in 2011 at 105. Zeisel created designs for American, German, Italian and Japanese companies and her list of clients includes Sears, Roebuck as well as more recent clients such as Crate and Barrel. Zeisel was the recipient of many honors and awards, including an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in l947 and a Lifetime Achievement award from the Cooper Hewitt in 2005. This collection includes sketches for designs as well as finished ceramic pieces. Note that her most colorful and loudly patterned pieces are designs for German companies.

Includes a video that is roughly 58 minutes long, introductions last about 4:40 then talk begins.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
56
 

Lanette Scheeline

Lanette Scheeline (1910-2001) was an American textile and wallpaper designer. Designs by Scheeline were often custom and created using block printing, intaglio and machine printing techniques. She also experimented with printing designs on Japanese paper. Her designs were largely influenced by natural forms and botany, which can be seen in this collection. Scheeline's working career overlapped with World War II, during which she worked in a shipyard, she returned to her career as as designer after the war.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
58
 

NHD 2020: Breaking Barriers with American Art

This collection is designed to support teachers and students exploring the 2020 National History Day theme: Breaking Barriers in History. Included in this collection are five prospective topics aligned with the NHD theme, for each of which we have supplied American artworks that could be used as primary source texts and/or inspiration for further research.

How did the invention of photography break down the barrier between ordinary Americans and the battlefield during the Civil War? 

What barriers, both geographic and social, did the invention and expansion of the subway break for New Yorkers? 

How did James Van Der Zee's Harlem photography studio help a rising middle class African American community break barriers?

How have American Indians overcome barriers to tribal sovereignty, and what barriers still exist?

How did abstract painter Alma Thomas break gender and racial barriers in the art world?

#NHD2020 #NHD #BecauseOfHerStory

Phoebe Hillemann
55
 

Trude Guermonprez

Trude Guermonprez (1910-1979) was a highly regarded textile designer born in Germany. Guermonperz immigrated to America and began teaching weaving at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina until the weaving program there ended. Trude Guermonperz then went on to teach at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), and finally at California College of Arts and Crafts (now known as the California College of Art & Design) where she became chair of the department. Through her teaching Guermonperz had an enormous impact on American weavers, many cite her as an influence and inspiration. Trude Guermonprez's work includes designs that were completed for clients and industry as well as broad collection of highly experimental pieces. This collection includes examples of functional designs for clients, experimental designs and samples, as well as a selection of her beautifully rendered sketches for designs.

This collection focuses on the objects within the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum collection from Trude Guermonprez, yet also includes photographs of the designer from the Archives of American Art.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
48
 

Dorothy Wright Liebes

Dorothy Wright Liebes (1893-1972) was a textile designer who is known for having developed a distinctive look, including vibrant colors and patterns that became synonymous with the Modernist movement in California in the 1940s and 1950s. Widely traveled, Liebes often drew inspiration from the places she visited around the world for her unique textile designs. Her designs often include bold colors associated with California Modernism. Liebes experimented with materials, aside from traditional materials such as silk and cotton, she was also know to incorporate cellophane and plastics as well as metals and metallic yarns into her designs. Fiercely determined and career driven, when her husband Leon Liebes suggested she quit working she divorced him, choosing herself and her career over the marriage. Her designs were so successful and sought after that they inspired many imitations.

Contributions of Liebes can be found in the Archives of American Art, the National Portrait Gallery as well as the Copper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, this collection included examples across the Smithsonian but primarily focuses on content from the Cooper Hewitt.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
69
 

Gere Kavanaugh

Gere Kavanaugh (1929- ) has had a long a storied career as a designer, she was one of the first women to graduate from the Cranbrook Academy, as well as one of the first female designers employed at GM, dubbed the Damsels of Design. An all around designer her work was not limited to one field. Her designs include furniture and industrial designs as well as interior, graphic and exhibition design. After leaving GM Kavanaugh went to work for Victor Gruen in Los Angeles eventually leaving in 1964 to start her own design firm, Gere Kavanaugh/Designs were she continued to work for with and for big name clients. Her designs for fabrics and wallpaper are great examples of her playful and colorful approaches to design. Now in her 90s her work continues to be relevant with today's audiences, her designs have most recently been sold to CB2.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
39
 

Ruth Law: Breaking Barriers in Aviation and the War Effort

This topical collection of resources and analysis strategies can be used as a brainstorming tool to support student research on the National History Day (#NHD) 2020 theme of  "Breaking Barriers in History". This collection focuses on primary and secondary sources on the accomplishments and contributions of aviator, Ruth Law. 

#BecauseOfHerStory #NHD #NHD2020

Tags: Ruth Bancroft Law Oliver, aviator, world records, flight, military, World War I, women's history

Ashley Naranjo
36
 

Elaine Lustig Cohen

Elaine Lustig Cohen (1927-2016) built a career specializing in book cover design, museum catalogs and building signage, most of which she inherited from her husband's business after his early death at age 40. Cohen was never formally trained as a designer, and worked as a production artist for her husband, after his death she took over the business and built a successful and highly regarded career. Much of the work she did in this phase included graphic design and signage for architectural spaces, having taken over a project for Philip Johnson upon her husband's death. In addition to signage Cohen's design work included idnity design and advertising as well as museum catalog designs, though most prolifically she produced work as book designer. Cohen closed her business in 1969, choosing instead to focus on painting, though she continued to take design jobs occasionally from clients and she designed catalogs for the rare book company, Ex-Libris, she founded with her second husband Arthur Cohen, while all of Elaine Lustig Cohen's work can be viewed as experimental it is the work she did for herself and her husband as clients at Ex-Libris that is exceptionally so. Some of her longest running clients included Meridian Books and the Jewish Museum, examples of work from both can be found in this collection along with catalog designs for Ex-Libris. Cohen earned recognition within the graphic design community with awards like the 2011 AIGA Medal.

This is a collection highlighting the career of graphic designer Elaine Lustig Cohen as part of the American Women’s History Initiative.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
55
 

#BecauseOfHerStory: Exploring Untold Stories through Portraiture and American Art

This collection features resources related to a November 22, 2019 session presented at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) annual conference. 

Learn how American art and portraiture can bring diverse women’s stories into your classroom, connecting with themes you may already teach. Discover strategies for engaging your students in close looking and critical thinking across disciplines.  #SAAMTeach #NPGteach

RELATED WEBINAR SERIES (recordings available): https://americanart.si.edu/education/k-12/professional-development/webinars

This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. To learn more, visit the Smithsonian American Women History Initiative website. #BecauseOfHerStory


Phoebe Hillemann
19
 

Mary Vaux Walcott, Artist

"Sometimes I feel that I can hardly wait till the time comes to escape from city life, to the free air of the everlasting hills." -Mary Vaux Walcott, Letters to Charles Walcott, Feb 19, 1912.

This collection contains personal selections from the nearly 800 botanical illustrations by Mary Walcott held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

From Wikipedia (March 5, 2019): Mary Morris Vaux[a] was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a wealthy Quaker family. After graduating from the Friends Select School in Philadelphia in 1879, she took an interest in watercolor painting. When she was not working on the family farm, she began painting illustrations of wildflowers that she saw on family trips to the Rocky Mountains of Canada.[3] During the family summer trips, she and her brothers studied mineralogy and recorded the flow of glaciers in drawings and photographs.[4] The trips to the Canadian Rockies sparked her interest in geology.[3]

In 1880, at the age of nineteen, Vaux took on the responsibility of caring for her father and two younger brothers when her mother died.[5] After 1887, she and her brothers went back to western Canada almost every summer. During this time she became an active mountain climber, outdoors woman, and photographer. Asked one summer to paint a rare blooming arnica by a botanist, she was encouraged to concentrate on botanical illustration.[4] She spent many years exploring the rugged terrain of the Canadian Rockies to find important flowering species to paint. On these trips, Vaux became the first women to accomplish the over 10,000 feet ascent of Mount Stephen.[6] In 1887, on her first transcontinental trip via rail, she wrote an engaging travel journal of the family's four-month trek through the American West and the Canadian Rockies.[7]

Over her father's fierce objections, Mary Vaux married the paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott, who was the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, in 1914, when she was 54. She played an active part in her husband's projects, returning to the Rockies with him several times and continuing to paint wildflowers. In 1925, the Smithsonian published some 400 of her illustrations, accompanied by brief descriptions, in a five-volume work entitled North American Wild Flowers. In Washington, Mary became a close friend of First Lady Lou Henry Hoover[5] and raised money to erect the Florida Avenue Meeting House, so that the first Quaker President and his wife would have a proper place to worship. From 1927 to 1932, Mary Vaux Walcott served on the federal Board of Indian Commissioners and, driven by her chauffeur, traveled extensively throughout the American West, diligently visiting reservations.

When she was 75, she made her first trip abroad to Japan to visit lifelong friend and fellow Philadelphia Quaker, Mary Elkington Nitobe, who had married Japanese diplomat Inazo Nitobe.

She was elected president of the Society of Woman Geographers in 1933. In 1935, the Smithsonian published Illustrations of North American Pitcher-Plants, which included 15 paintings by Walcott. Following the death of her husband in 1927, Walcott established the Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal in his honor. It is awarded for scientific work on pre-Cambrian and Cambrian life and history. Walcott died in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.[3]

#fivewomenartists #5womenartists #BecauseOfHerStory

Darren Milligan
42
 

Scientists, Inventors, and Entrepreneurs: Women Who Shaped History

This topical collection includes resources related to featured women scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs. This collection includes portraits of the scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs, related artifacts, articles, videos with experts, and related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections. Use this collection to launch lessons about the women's life stories, primary source analysis, and examination of the context in which these women lived and made their contributions. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. 

Keywords: Mae Carol Jemison, Grace Hopper, Ellena Ocha, Maria Sibylla Merian, Madam CJ Walker, Charlotta Bass, Dr. Nancy Grace Roman, Ursula Marvin, Valentina Tereshokova, #BecauseOfHerStory

Ashley Naranjo
62
 

Activists: Women Who Shaped History

This topical collection includes resources related to featured women activists. This collection includes portraits of the activists, related artifacts, articles, videos with experts, and related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections. Use this collection to launch lessons about the life stories of activists, primary source analysis, and examination of the context in which these women lived and made their contributions. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. 

Keywords: Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Edith Windsor, Wilma Mankiller, Grace Lee Boggs, Pauli Murray, Shirley Chisholm, Rachel Carson, Zitkala-Sa, #BecauseOfHerStory

Ashley Naranjo
70
 

Athletes and Aviators: Women Who Shaped History

This topical collection includes resources related to featured women athletes and aviators. This collection includes portraits of the athletes and aviators, related artifacts, articles, videos with experts, and related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections. Use this collection to launch lessons about the women's life stories, primary source analysis, and examination of the context in which these women lived and made their contributions. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study.  

Keywords: Bessie Coleman, Pancho Barnes, Babe Zaharias, Billie Jean King, Florence Griffith Joyner ("Flo Jo"), Ibtihaj Muhammad, #BecauseOfHerStory

Ashley Naranjo
39
 

Artists, Actresses and Performers: Women Who Shaped History

This topical collection includes resources related to featured women artists, actresses and performers. This collection includes portraits of the artists, actresses and performers, related artifacts, articles, videos with experts, and related Smithsonian Learning Lab collections. Use this collection to launch lessons about the women's life stories, primary source analysis, and examination of the context in which these women lived and made their contributions. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study.  

Keywords: Hattie McDaniel, Aretha Franklin, Frida Kahlo, Anna May Wong, Selena Quintanilla, Maria Tallchief, Maya Lin, Gladys Bentley, #BecauseOfHerStory

Ashley Naranjo
81
 

Esperanza Spalding: Examining Portraiture

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Esperanza Spalding, a Grammy-winning jazz bassist and singer. 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. Also includes a video of artist Bo Gehring speaking about his portrait of Spalding and a Smithsonian Magazine article about her curation of an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

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 she wanted to be seen, or how others wanted her to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created.
  • Having read listened to her music, does the portrait capture your image of Esperanza Spalding? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Esperanza Spalding, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: musician, oregon, American, #BecauseOfHerStory, #SmithsonianMusic

Tess Porter
7
 

Selena: Examining Portraiture

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, an American singer known as the "queen of Tejano music." 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. Also includes videos of educators and curators talking about her life and accomplishments, as well as an outfit she wore during performances.

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 she wanted to be seen, or how others wanted her to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created.
  • Having listened to her music, does the portrait capture your image of Selena? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Selena, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: singer, musician, texas, model, fashion designer, entertainer, #BecauseOfHerStory, #SmithsonianMusic

Tess Porter
8
1-24 of 48 Collections