Found 3,524 Resources containing: Art teachers
Satirical essay by Pyron about Voulkos and the art of throwing pots.
When I was in eighth grade, my government teacher gave us a homework assignment that I did not do. The next day, we were told to hand something in, even if it was a brief explanation as to why we didn't do the homework. I wrote this: "I did not do the homework last night because I was watching the series finale of The Wonder Years and, seeing as how I've grown up watching this show, I thought it was much more important for me to do that." I was given an F, but I did successfully make it out of middle school, and I still count myself as a fan of The Wonder Years.
Today, several objects from the iconic 1980s television series found a new home in our collections and, while they will not be on display right away, are still an exciting addition to the National Museum of American History. I asked our Entertainment Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers to tell me why a show about the 1960s, made in the 1980s, still resonates with people today.
New York Jets jacket worn by actor Fred Savage as Kevin in The Wonder Years
"There was something wonderfully true about the show," said Bowers, who works in the museum's Division of Culture and the Arts. "All the elements together—the performances, the costumes, the music—formed a beautiful whole."
My nine-year-old self didn't see the big picture. Every week—for one half hour—while I thought I was simply enjoying a television show about a cute boy, I was actually getting a history lesson. I was spending quality time with my parents while also witnessing what it was like for them to be my age, albeit through a Hollywood version of what it was like to grow up in the 1960s. I developed a love for the culture and an appreciation for the struggles of the era, and when it was all over I found myself nostalgic for a time period I never lived through.
For a show as specific to a period of time as The Wonder Years, the natural fit for our collections is costumes. Perhaps the most iconic article of clothing from the show is Kevin Arnold's green and white New York Jets jacket. This jacket is synonymous with the character played by Fred Savage. Though he eventually outgrew it, it is still widely recognized from the pilot episode when Kevin finds "girl-next-door" Winnie Cooper sitting in the park. He places the jacket on her shoulders and the two share their first kiss.
Along with the jacket, the museum received the two-piece dress worn by matriarch Norma Arnold during the show's opening title sequence during a family barbecue. With the obvious exception of Joe Cocker's rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends," the one thing that always stood out to me about the credits was this dress. The colorful print top and skirt with bare midriff was evocative of the time. It spoke of a generation of women beginning to reveal their identities through clothing choices and moving away from their conservative predecessors.
Two-piece dress worn by actress Alley Mills
The hippie wedding dress was worn by Kevin's free-spirited sister, Karen. This too signified a rebellion of sorts within the show. Even as mother Norma was making a statement in her barbecue dress, she maintained a level of decorum common for that time period. This dress, made of unbleached muslin and embroidered with brown flowers, was yet another indication of the growing strength of youth culture.
The Wonder Years was also remarkably innovative. Single-camera comedies were rare, though much of what we see on television today is done in this format. There was no laugh track, and we were allowed to appreciate the human feelings being portrayed, both comedic and tragic.
"Where a show like Happy Days played it for laughs, The Wonder Years totally understood the era which it defined," Bowers explained to me. "Meticulous attention to the elements made [the show] work."
The voice-over narration was almost unheard of at the time and even today is an uncommon practice, except notably in the long-running comedy How I Met Your Mother. As Bowers said, "The past was playing out in front of our eyes, but also being reviewed by an adult Kevin. This allowed America to look back, question, and re-examine that time period."
Few things in life take us back to our childhoods the way television shows, movies and music can. Unfortunately, these things don't always hold up. Time and experiences force us to view the world with a new perspective, or the productions reveal themselves to be contrived and dated. To me, The Wonder Years remains as relevant and poignant as it was when it first aired. No matter my age, no matter my view of the world, just as the narrator states in the last line of the series finale that I was willing to take a failing grade for, "after all these years I still look back, with wonder."
Amelia Avalos works in the museum's Office of Communications and Marketing.
The slow, wistful and almost melancholy tune of "White Christmas," written by Irving Berlin, stands in contrast to all the unabashedly happy songs of the season. (Think of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.") "And I think that’s one of the reasons why people keep responding to it, because our feelings over the holiday season are ambivalent," author Jody Rosen told NPR.
Linda Emmett, one of Berlin’s daughters, also has thoughts on one of her father’s most popular songs. "It’s very evocative: the snow, the Christmas card, the sleigh, the sleigh bells," she says. "It’s very evocative, and it’s entirely secular."
The song has been played again and again, sung for soldiers far from home and covered by many different artists. But we know only know a little about its origins. Emmett thinks it was written in 1938 or ’39. Rosen speculates that it was over Christmas 1937, when Berlin was away from his family for the first time and making the movie "Alexander’s Ragtime Band."
But the likely sentiment behind the song makes it sadder. NPR reports:
Berlin's own feelings about the holiday were certainly ambivalent. He suffered a tragedy on Christmas Day in 1928 when his 3-week-old son, Irving Berlin Jr., died. Every Christmas thereafter, he and his wife visited his son's grave.
"The kind of deep secret of the song may be that it was Berlin responding in some way to his melancholy about the death of his son," Rosen says."
Most Christmas songs have less melacholy origin. Kristy Puchko collects the stories behind 10 popular carols at Mental Floss. Here are a few interesting tidbits:
- The "Deck the Halls" line "Don we now our gay apparel" used to be sung as "Fill the mead cup, drain the barrel."
- "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is another song based in a tale of woe — songwriter James "Haven" Gillespie was struggling financially and his brother had just died. During a subway ride, he thought of his mother’s admonishments to his brother when they were young to be good because Santa was watching. But the song "became a big hit within 24 hours of its debut."
- "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" was inspired by real children — but they didn’t necessarily request teeth. Rather, grade school teacher Donald Yetter Gardner was "charmed" by the lisping Christmas requests from a group of second-graders.
- "Jingle Bells" was originally written for Thanksgiving.
Mary had a little lamb. This much any child could tell you.
But what’s less remembered is the whole story of what happened to Mary and her lamb. Though the poem’s origins are a bit murky, writes Elizabeth Periale for the Smithsonian Libraries blog, it’s generally accepted that the poem was “based on an incident in the life of Mary Sawyer, of Sterling, Massachusetts.”
As documented by poet Sarah Josepha Hale, the story, published on this day in 1830, goes like this: Mary’s lamb, unnamed, follows her everywhere, and follows her to school one day. But that’s not the end. Lambs at school being frowned on by the educational establishment, the teacher kicked him out. But Mary’s little lamb waits for her outside the school. “What makes the lamb love Mary so?” her classmates ask. “Mary loves the lamb, you know,” the teacher replies, saying that kindness to animals will gain their loyalty.
But according to the New England Historical Society, the story goes deeper than that. Sawyer recalled later in life that she persuaded her parents to allow her to hand raise the lamb after its mother rejected it. “At first the creature could not swallow,” she said, but with her devoted nursing the lamb recovered and started following her everywhere. She remembered:
The day the lamb went to school, I hadn't seen her before starting off; and not wanting to go without seeing her, I called. She recognized my voice, and soon I heard a faint bleating far down the field. More and more distinctly I heard it, and I knew my pet was coming to greet me. My brother Nat said, "Let's take the lamb to school with us."
So she hid the lamb in a basket at her feet. But the teacher caught on after it bleated. Then the teacher, as recorded in the poem, put the lamb outside.
The first version of the poem wasn’t written by Hale, writes the Society, but by one John Roulstone, who was there that day and gave Mary the poem. Fourteen years after that, Hale added three stanzas incorporating the moral lesson, the Society writes, and published the poem in her book.
Sawyer even capitalized on her fame later in life, writes the Society—if for a good cause. A group of locals was raising money to restore the Old South Meeting House, a historic building in Boston, the Society writes. Mary donated the stockings that her mother made for her from the pet lamb’s wool years earlier. “The stockings were picked apart and wool was attached to cards that said, ‘knitted wool from the first fleece of Mary’s Little Lamb,’” the Society writes.
The poem has lived on as a child’s song. In 1877, Thomas Edison “shouted” it in one of the earliest recordings, writes Lisa Brenner Katz for 89.3 KPCC.
The gothic story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow tells of a man named Ichabod Crane who comes to Tarrytown, New York, known in the story as Sleepy Hollow, as a teacher. As he tries to win the heart of the beautiful Katrina Van Tassel, he ultimately finds himself being chased by the village’s feared legend, the Headless Horsemen. The story ends with a smashed pumpkin being found in the place where Ichabon disappeared, never to be seen again. This story is particularly popular around Halloween.
This lithograph from the artist’s 1848-1849 engraving, shows Ichabod Crane, the protagonist of Irving’s legend, as a schoolteacher sitting on a stool in the middle of the classroom. He is surrounded by his students as he sharpens a quill pen. The illustration coincides with the description in the story of Ichabod as a reasonable teacher, not too strict with his students. He rests calmly atop his stool as the children murmur their reading and lessons.
Sarony, Major, & Knapp was one of the largest lithographic firms at the end of the 19th and the early of the 20th centuries. However, before it achieved this success it started out small in 1843 when Napoleon Sarony and James P. Major joined together to start a business. Later in 1857, Joseph F. Knapp joined the company making it Sarony, Major, & Knapp. At the time that this was printed, Knapp was not a part of the business, so it was just Sarony & Major.
Felix O. C. Darley (1822-1888), the artist behind the twelve best-known illustrations for The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow, is considered one of America’s best illustrators. The publisher was the American Art Union, (1839-1857) a subscription organization created to educate the public about American art and artists while providing support for American artists. For $5.00 members would receive admissions to the gallery showing, a yearly report, and an engraving of an original work, as well as any benefits each chapter might provide. Two special editions of the story, each with a set of six of Darley’s illustrations were published; the special edition including this illustration was published in 1850. This print has been rebound with the five others at the back of the book and the cover is incorrectly from the earlier Rip Van Winkle edition published for the American Art Union, however the title page and text are of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Obverse Image: Head of Athena of Piraeus, goddess of wisdom and crafts, war and strategy, and inventions in science, industry, art and agriculture, a bronze statue from an Archaeological. Museum of Piraeus, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet, with Medusa's locks visible at her neck. Neoclassical headquarters of the University of Athens.
Obverse Text: ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ / ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ / ΕΚΑΤΟΝ / 100
Reverse Image: Adamantios Korais (1748-1833), a classical scholar and medical doctor who earned the title of "Teacher of the Greek Nation" for his role in the intellectual revival that took place in Greece before the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. The image is based on a portrait in the National Historical Museum in Athens. Church of Arkadi Monastery in Crete, a symbol of Greek independence from Turkey.
Reverse Text: ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ / ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ ΕΚΑΤΟΝ / 100
Marianne S. Fernald (1816-1871), the daughter of William and Sarah Fernald, would have been a 14 year old student at the time she created this map as a student of the Charlestown Female Seminary.
The Charlestown Female Seminary was opened in 1830 at 30 Union Street and founded by 2 Baptist pastors, Dr. William Collier and Dr. Henry Jackson. For the citizens of Charlestown, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Boston, Massachusetts, this was the second school for girls. the first was Mount Benedict Academy, which was an Ursuline convent and finishing school. Both were tragically burned to the ground by a Nativist mob in 1834.
By May 9, 1831, the Charlestown Female Seminary was being run by Martha Whiting, one of the pioneers in female education. In her memoirs she states that there were about 40 pupils and 4 teachers; that later increased to 160 students.To prepare young ladies for "republican motherhood" or as teachers, they outfited the school with a telescope, a microscope with about 400 objects, and a set of transparent maps. They taught music, drawing, painting, penmanship, projection of maps, bookkeeping, English, American and ancient history, political economy, Latin and of course the scriptures. There were also special lectures of physiology and chemistry and philosophy. While the trustees were all men, Miss Whiting was appointed the first headmistress or Governess when she came from a school in Hingham, Ma She later became Director until her death in 1853.
Private female seminaries and academies catering to girls from wealthy and upper middle class families were common in the East and in urban areas of the United States during the first half of the 19th Century.
In February 2016, Robert Warren, the executive director of Hoyt Sherman Place, a historic mansion in Des Moines, Iowa, now used as a theater and meeting space, was looking for some Civil War-era flags to celebrate President’s Day. That’s when a staff member pointed him toward a store room under the theater’s second-story balcony. There, he noticed a large painting squeezed between a table and a wall. “I didn't think it was anything of value,” as Warren tells Mercedes Leguizamon and Brandon Griggs at CNN. “I wasn’t sure why it would’ve been in that closet.”
But what appeared to be an auction sticker on the back of the painting piqued his curiosity and Warren began an investigation. It turns out, the auction sticker was actually a tag from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, which once displayed the painting. The tag identified it as being by “Federico Baroccio,” which was, in fact, a mispelling of early-Baroque painter Federico Barocci. However, art scholars ultimately deduced that the painting was not by Barocci but rather its provenance dated back to the hand of Dutch master Otto van Veen, a teacher of Peter Paul Rubens.
“Otto van Veen, the artist, is in every major museum, the Louvre, the Portrait Gallery, the Rubens estate, and the paintings that have been sold have been valued between $4 million and $17 million,” Warren says in a CNN video.
According to a press release, the painting is called “Apollo and Venus” and was painted between 1595 and 1600. It depicts Venus as an artist painting the “Mountain of Love.” Next to her is Apollo, lyre in hand. A chubby little Cupid stands below Venus, clutching his miniature bow. The painting also depicts Venus’s painting supplies, as well as a collection of jewelry, a bowl of oysters, roses, and a basket of fruit and flowers.
Once Warren realized the significance of the piece, he sent it to art conservator Barry Bauman, a world-renowned restorationist famously known for restoring paintings for non-profits and museums pro-bono. In this case, Bauman spent four months meticulously cleaning layers of discolored varnish off the painting and resetting flaking paint. The finished product was unveiled in late March—where else but at Hoyt Sherman Place.
So why was a such a masterpiece tucked away in a remote storage area in the first place? According to CNN, the painting was originally loaned to the Met by a man named Nason Bartholomew Collins. When he moved to Des Moines, he took the painting with him. His descendant donated the van Veen and four other paintings to the Des Moines Women’s Club, which established the art gallery at Hoyt Sherman Place.
Warren tells Rob Dillard at Iowa Public Radio that he’s not sure why the painting was stashed under the theater, but has a couple of theories. “The assumption was it was tucked away there either because it needed some repair work or the content because it is a full backside nude of Venus de Milo and another cherub sans clothing,” he says.
In other words, it was a little risqué for the women’s club. “There were no other nudes in any other paintings in the collection,” Warren tells CNN. “It’s a very sensual painting.”
While the paperwork indicates that the painting was valued at $1,500 when it came into possession of the women’s club, it’s likely to be worth millions of dollars in today’s art market. But Warren says the historic home has no plans on selling the painting, rather it will hang in its art gallery once extra security is set up.
Consists of: 16mm Film (a) and Original 400 foot Film Reel (b).
2016.16.2.1a: 16mm film. The film opens with color footage of a group men, women, and children sitting on a porch and smiling at the camera. This is followed by scenes of various people working on farms. Next, there is an out of focus wide shot of a family standing on a porch. There are multiple portrait-style shots of children. Followed by multiple shots of cattle. This is followed by black and white footage of school children and three female school teachers entering a rural school house. There are some interior and exterior portrait-style shots of children smiling at the camera. The same portrait-style shots are then used to capture adults standing in a field on a farm.
2016.16.2.1b: Original 400 foot film reel.
Consists of: 16mm Film (a) and Original 400 foot Film Reel (b).
2016.16.3.1a: 16mm film. The film opens with a wide shot of men cheering from a covered grandstand at a homecoming football game. This is followed by pan shots of finely dressed women standing in a line and seated men cheering for the camera. Subsequently, there are wide shots of the football team warming up and of the game itself. Next, there are multiple shots of the Tuskegee marching band performing on the football field. The camera then shoots a man speaking to the crowd. This is followed by more shots of the marching band and the football game. The film then cuts to scenes from a ceramics class. There are multiple shots of ceramic objects and a close up of a bust of Booker T. Washington being sculpted. The following scene depicts children in a classroom with wide shots of the children and a teacher seated in a circle and multiple portrait-style shots of the children and teachers. Next, a weaving class is shown with wide shots of a loom in operation and students showing off objects they've made in the class. This is followed by multiple shots of a cooking class where a teacher is training students in various techniques. The next several shots are out of focus, but appear to depict people formally entering a room. The film ends with multiple shots from a funeral with both wide and portrait-style shots of the mourners.
2016.16.3.1b: Original 400 foot film reel.