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Found 22 Collections

 

Critical Listening of Country Music- The Evolution of Popular Country Music

The purpose of this collection is to analyze and appreciate the evolution of American country music, starting pre-1950 up to the modern day. Included are mostly audio links/videos and lyric videos with written information to guide your listening. There are a few links to articles that go more in depth about some specific artists and songs. In addition, there are links to lyrics and images of the artists to help guide the listening, analyze the words to the music, and put a face to the song.  

#MUS109-2019

Article/Text References:

Adams, N. (2000, April 24). 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'. Retrieved June 15, 2019, from  https://www.npr.org/2000/04/24/1073291/im-so-lonesome-i-could-cryContributor:  

Hemphill, P. (2015). The Nashville Sound: Bright Lights and Country Music. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. Retrieved June 15, 2019, from
           http://corvette.salemstate.edu...

Starr, L. and Christopher Waterman. American Popular Music. 5th edition

Content References:

Adams, N. (2000, April 24). 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'. Retrieved June 15, 2019, from https://www.npr.org/2000/04/24/1073291/im-so-lonesome-i-could-cryContributor:

H. H., H. C., & Cline, P. (2007, October 3). Patsy Cline- I Fall To Pieces [Audio Video (youtube)].

King, P., & Stewart, R. (2015, July 23). Patti Page- Tennessee Waltz [Audio Video (youtube)].

Miller, J. D., & Wells, K. (2010, June 12). Kitty Wells- It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels [Video (youtube)]. The Original Sound of Country 1952.

Williams, H. (2009, December 24). Hank Williams- Cold Cold Heart [Audio Video (youtube)]. Mercury Records.

Mackenna Ward
9
 

D-Day

This collection will focus on the Word War II event, D-Day, specifically Flak-Bait and Rosie the Riveter. 

Lydia Watson
18
 

D-Day

Using photography, digital media, and various platforms to construct the history of D-Day

Alyssa B.
18
 

African Americans, D-Day and World War II

This presentation will highlight African Americans on D-Day, using a few select objects from the D-Day invasion currently on display at NMAAHC. It will also emphasize other African American experiences during World War II.

Presenter: Retired U.S. Army Colonel Krewasky A. Salter, PhD is a guest associate curator and advisor at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where he curated the inaugural exhibition Double Victory: The African American Military Experience.

#112MCF

Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4
 

"I Hardly Know Where to Start": Personal Narratives of D-Day within the Veterans History Project Collection, Library of Congress

This presentation will include a discussion of two unique items--a scrapbook and a personal diary—submitted by D-Day veterans Felix Adams and Homer Hall to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Presenter: Megan Harris is the senior reference specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP) of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress

#112MCF

Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
10
 

Belonging in War and Nation: Latina/os and World War II

This presentation highlights the experiences of Latinos in D-Day and discusses the significance of Latina/o participation during World War II.

Presenter: Laura L. Oviedo; Smithsonian fellow in the Division of Political and Military History at the National Museum of American History and a PhD candidate of twentieth-century American history at Texas A&M University

#112MCF

Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4
 

National Native American Veterans Memorial

As part of its NMAI Veterans Memorial project research, this presentation will feature the story of Charles Norman Shay who served at Normandy and has been honored with a memorial overlooking Omaha Beach and some of the other stories of Native American service connected to D-Day.

Presenters: Rebecca Head Trautmann is a curator and researcher working with contemporary art at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution.

Herman J. Viola, PhD, curator emeritus at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, and is an authority on American Indian history and culture and the exploration of the American West,

#112MCF



Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
5
 

Flak-Bait: A Story of Survival from World War II

American aircrews flew the Martin B-26B Marauder bomber named Flak-Bait on more missions than any other American warplane during World War II, which included three times on D-Day.
Presenter: Jeremy R. Kinney, PhD is curator of the World War II American military aviation collection at the National Air and Space Museum.

#112MCF

Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4
 

Intelligence Support for Operation OVERLORD

Intelligence and counterintelligence played a critical role in the successful D-Day landings. German spies in Britain were captured and turned, codes were broken, operatives collected information behind enemy lines, aerial surveillance provided visibility in German troop movements and fortifications, and a successful deception campaign pointed the Germans to false landing sites. Without the accumulation of information and insight into German operations, the D-Day landing may have ended in disaster.

Presenter: Gregory Elder; chief historian at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and content manager for the DIA Museum, working in collaboration with Smithsonian Exhibits

#112MCF

Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4
 

Gratitude, Trauma and Repression: D-Day in French and American Collective Memory

This presentation will focus on personalizing the memory of D-Day: how do memorials create official versus vernacular/local/personal memory? How does material culture inform memory? Whose responsibility is it to maintain memorials? Who gets remembered? Who gets forgotten?

Presenter: Kate Clarke Lemay, PhD; Historian at the National Portrait Gallery 

#112MCF

Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4
 

Exploring Robert Capa's Iconic D-Day Photographs

Revisiting what we know and value about some of the most well-known photographs of the historic landing on Omaha Beach.

Presenter: Shannon Thomas Perich is curator of the Photographic History Collection at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, 

#112MCF

Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4
 

The Magic Boxes of D-Day: How One Humble Invention Helped Make Operation Neptune Possible

This presentation will focus on how technology can be simple but when employed in an innovative fashion, also transformative.

Presenter: Frank Blazich, Jr., PhD; Lead Curator of Military History at the National Museum of American History

#112MCF

Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
37
 

People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture - Collection 1 - Night of the Dead by Alan Crane

In this collection, designed for a Spanish-speaking classroom, students will explore how art reflects culture when analyzing “Night of the Dead” by Alan Crane. 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 investigate how the Day of the Dead is celebrated by Latin Americans and compare it to their own celebrations. Next, students  will create an interactive presentation using Flipgrid and write a monologue to reflect their learning from the point of view of one of the persons in the artwork. 

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 #Spanish #Global awareness #Empathy #Global connections #Global-mindedness #Curiosity #Cross-cultural skills #Day of the Dead #Worldview #LatinoHAC


Marcela Velikovsky
46
 

People, Place, and Time: How Art Reflects Culture - Night of the Dead by Alan Crane

In this collection, designed for a Spanish-speaking classroom, students will explore how art reflects culture when analyzing “Night of the Dead” by Alan Crane. 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 investigate how the Day of the Dead is celebrated by Latin Americans and compare it to their own celebrations. Next, students  will create an interactive presentation using Flipgrid and write a monologue to reflect their learning from the point of view of one of the persons in the artwork. 

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 #Spanish #Global awareness #Empathy #Global connections #Global-mindedness #Curiosity #Cross-cultural skills #Day of the Dead #Worldview #LatinoHAC


Vicky Masson
47
 

Communication with the spiritual in ancient to modern art

This collection will examine examples of art as a form of communication between the human and spiritual worlds. These forms of communication may include examples of direct communication — in which an individual or group uses art to speak to and influence the spiritual world — as well as examples that serve to document practices, beliefs, and the place of spiritual practices in society at large.

The form and focus of these communications expressed through art can help to explain the values of particular cultures or individuals, or may serve to question or enforce certain cultural beliefs. This type of art may be the expression of the needs of a social group or culture, such as prehistoric cave paintings that might have functioned in rituals to ensure successful hunts or plentiful game. It may serve to enforce a political agenda such as the Law Code of Hammurabi. Or it may express an individual's personal interpretation and experience of spirituality such as the illustrated poetry of William Blake. However, form does not always imply the expected function: the 19th century English painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti sometimes drew on religious subjects or themes and much of his work has a mysterious and mystical atmosphere. Yet Rossetti, describing his spiritual beliefs, called himself an “art Catholic,” implying that if he engaged in a spiritual dialog through his art, it was with art itself (Faxon, 1989).

This collection will look at examples from the prehistoric era through the early 20th century. These examples help to contextualize the inner lives of individuals, and the collective inner life of the cultures, their environments, wants, needs, and values, to foster a greater appreciation of and respect for these peoples and cultures.

Although there is only limited firm evidence of the purpose of cave art found at sites such as Lascaux, Chauvet, and Les Trois-Frères, scholars generally agree that it served some religious purpose. Various theories have been proposed to provide more specific explanations. Cave art, particularly Paleolithic cave art, depicts almost exclusively animals. Hunting was crucial to the survival of early humans, and it is possible that the images were created as part of hunting rituals. Images of animals superimposed over each other many have represented fertility rituals aimed at increasing the amount of game animals. Some images appear to have been deliberately scratched or gouged with spearheads — in some cases blood was painted flowing from these wounds — suggesting that the images may have been intended as a type of sympathetic magic giving hunters power over and protection from large and dangerous animals (Benton & DiYanni, 2012).

Other images are less easy to explain and have given rise to controversial theories such as the bird-faced human figure in the Lascaux Shaft Scene, that combine elements of humans with other animals in a single figure. The Shaft Scene appears to describe a narrative although the exact meaning is not completely clear. A wounded bison stands ready to charge; the animals intestines appear to be pouring out of its abdomen and a spear is shown near its hindquarters. In front of the bison is a stick figure human with a bird's face. The human figure appears to have fallen or been knocked over. Just below this odd figure is a line topped by a bird, perhaps an object belonging to the bird-faced man. This figure and others that combine humans and other animals into one figure such as The Sorcerer in Les Trois-Freres may document early humans' mythology, and could suggest the origins of certain beliefs and practices (Curtis, 2006).

The meaning of the Law Code of Hammurabi is less ambiguous — the spiritual and the legal/political aspects of the culture are united. The stele dates to approximately 1760 BCE and is divided into two sections. The lower section, which takes up the majority of the stele, consists of the code of laws in effect at the time. The relief at the top depicts the Babylonian king Hammurabi receiving the laws from the god Shamash. The implication is clear: the law itself is a religious document and the social rules it describes are the will of the gods — and Hammurabi whose authority is bolstered by the approval of the gods (Benton & DiYanni, 2012).

The spiritual is not always a numinous experience in a cave. Some early laws and social codes were framed as divine communications that enforce social norms and rules — even now, witnesses in courts are generally sworn in by placing their hand on a Bible. Communication with the spiritual in examples such as the Law Code of Hammurabi is aimed at establishing and enforcing order and lending it a weight of legitimacy. It is as critical for the members of an urban culture, such as Babylon, to abide by rules to maintain peace with their neighbors as it was for the Paleolithic peoples to ensure successful hunts. And, kings such as Hammurabi believed it was critical to protect their power. By aligning themselves with gods, they could borrow some of the gods' power in the minds of the people and make rebellion or betrayal a kind of sacrilege. Hammurabi, in fact, was declared a god in his own lifetime (Van De Mieroop, 2005).

Music may also function as a form of communication between gods and humans. In pharaonic Egypt, religious festivals appear to have prominently involved music and dance. Music may have been used in religious rituals to communicate with the gods, invoke deities, or as a medium to transmit offerings. Some instruments were associated with specific deities: the sistrum with Hathor and Isis and the tambourine with Bes. Sistrums may have been played during rituals associated with Hathor to invoke her — and to placate her. Although images of deities playing musical instruments are relatively rare in Egyptian art, Bes is frequently depicted dancing and playing a tambourine. Unlike the other gods, Bes used music to communicate with humans. Bes was associated with the home and family — the front rooms of Egyptian homes appear to have contained shrines to Bes — and he remained a popular deity among the people throughout Egypt's history. Bes was believed to protect people, particularly women in childbirth, by playing music to frighten away evil spirits. Amulets of Bes dancing and playing a tambourine appear to have been a common type of protective amulet worn around the neck. It is worth noting that depictions of Bes differ markedly from depictions of most other Egyptian deities: he is represented in lively motion. In contrast to the image of Egyptian religion based primarily on royal tombs and, therefore, focused on death and the elite members of society, Bes was closely tied to life and the lives of common people (Simmance, n.d.).

Composed by the poet Valmiki in India the fifth century BCE, the Rāmāyana relates the deeds and adventures of Rama, an avatar of Vishnu. According to J. L. Brockington, in Indian tradition the Rāmāyana is designated the ādikāvya, which may be translated as “the first poetic work,” and is regularly referred to as being sung as opposed to spoken in contrast to the Mahābhārata. In one version of the framework story introducing the Rāmāyana, Rama is described as the perfect human being. His behavior is therefore worth emulating, and it is likely that as early as the first millennium BCE that was in a sense being done literally through plays and dances reenacting the story (Brockington, 1998). In that sense, the Rāmāyana represents a complex, evolving dialog, a lived experience of both artistic and spiritual expression.

Euripides' tragic drama The Bacchae is another example of theater acting as a complex dialog between the human and the spiritual worlds. The plot of The Bacchae revolves around the arrival of the god Dionysos in the city of Thebes where his ecstatic worship is opposed by Pentheus, the king of Thebes. As Segal writes, the play is morally ambiguous and may have been designed to implicate the audience in the action. Although Dionysos is a disturbance to Thebes, Pentheus' response is heavy-handed and unsympathetic. However, as the drama unfolds, the audience that may have been rooting for Dionysos is confronted with a climax that sees the god orchestra Pentheus' gruesome death. It is important to note that Dionysos was a well-established and liked god in Athens and that Classical Greek drama was written to be performed during annual festivals in Dionysos' honor. As Vellacott writes, during the festival a statue of Dionysos was brought from a shrine to the amphitheater to watch the plays. As Segal notes, it is unlikely that the play is meant to be critical of Dionysos (his actual worship was much more restrained than depicted in the play or the myths it was based on) but its presentation, at a fundamentally religious festival with the god literally in the audience, could not but have sparked another dialog within the audience, a reflection on their relationship to the god and the sometimes overwhelming forces he represents.

The Temple of Isis at Pompeii declares both the strength of her worshipers' belief and the endurance of her cult in the face of repeated official sanctions. The temple was damaged in an earthquake in 62 AD but was rebuilt by the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD; in fact, it was the only civic building in that area of Pompeii that had been completely rebuilt (Hackworth, 2006). The apparent preference for a foreign goddess in a Roman city is all the more significant in light of imperial persecutions and prohibitions against her worship dating back to Augustus and coming to a head in 19 CE when Emperor Tiberius exiled thousands of freedmen who were adherents of the religion (Heyob, 1975). However, the cult of Isis continued to flourish. By the time of Pompeii's destruction, her worship appears to have included individuals from all classes of society, from members of the imperial family and municipal officials to freedmen and slaves (Takacs, 1995). The remains of the temple can still be seen on the original site and at the nearby Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli. Although Egyptian decoration was incorporated in the design of the temple and cult objects, the plan of the building and the style of the frescoes was Roman (Moorman, 2011). The navigium Isidis fresco appears to show a distinctly Egyptian scene, Isis resurrecting her husband-brother Osiris, but in a purely Roman style. The Pompeiian worshipers of Isis were part of Roman culture but may have been seeking an opportunity to engage in personally meaningful spiritual communication outside of the state-sectioned venues and deified emperors (Hackworth, 2006).

Early Buddhist art avoided direct representations of the Buddha. The first iconic representations of the Buddha were likely not created until approximately the 2nd century CE in the area of Gandhara, in modern-day Pakistan, under the influence of the Kushan emperors. After their conversion to Buddhism, the Kushan produced distinctive images of the Buddha that drew on Greco-Roman traditions while creating an iconographically unique image that was clearly identifiable as the Buddha (Benton & DiYanni, 2012).

Many of these early sculptures of the Buddha depict a serene, sublime figure, perfectly proportioned and untouched by time or the rigors of his life. However, a small group of statues presents a radically different image of the Buddha. One of these statues, Fasting Buddha, created between the 2nd and 4th centuries CE, depicts the physical effects of the Buddha's forty-five days of fasting and meditation before achieving enlightenment. In an interview with Hyperallergic in 2016 when Fasting Buddha was seen publicly at an Auctionata sale, Dr. Arne Sildatke, Auctionata's head of Asian art, explained that although the Fasting Buddha and similar images can be compared to depictions of the crucified Jesus Christ, the Buddhas are not images of death and resurrection. Instead, they are meant to communicate to followers Buddhism the concepts of self-empowerment and the overcoming of suffering, according to Sildatke. Despite the figure's protruding bones, sunken stomach, and hollow face, the image expresses the strength of the Buddha's will (Voon, 2016).

The Ajanta caves in Maharashta state, India, contain some of the finest examples of Indian Buddhist art and represent several centuries of complex artistic spiritual expression. The caves were created as a monastery and decorated in the Gupta style of sculpture and painting. The Gupta style moved away from the Greco-Roman influence and embraced a more fully Indian style in which characteristics of physical beauty associated with Indian art are adapted to symbolize spiritual beauty (Benton & DiYanni, 2012).

The monks' work on the caves was likely supported during its later phase by wealthy patrons, including the 5th century CE Emperor Harisena and his courtiers. These patrons sponsored the construction and ornamentation of specific caves to honor the Buddha and earn religious merit, as well as worldly praise, for themselves. According to Spink, Cave 1, created in the late 5th century CE, was sponsored by Harisena. Cave 1 contains some of the most sumptuous and well-preserved murals in Ajanta. It is likely that these images, including the Bodhisattva Padmapani, are so well-preserved because Cave 1 was never used for worship. Spink theorizes that Cave 1 was not used because Harisena died suddenly before the cave could be dedicated. An undedicated cave could not be used for worship; therefore, if the cave was indeed left undedicated, Harisena would not have achieved the religious merit he desired (Spink, 2008). In that case, Harisena's attempt to communicate with the spiritual, to have his faith validated, and his attempt to communicate his spiritual virtue to the human world were both left unfulfilled.

Rich ornament and stylization was also used to signify spirituality in European Christian manuscript paintings. As Christianity spread through Europe, representations were adapted to the local Celto-Germanic styles, which bore more in common with the luxurious, symbolic, and stylized Byzantine art than the naturalistic Greco-Roman tradition. The Book of Kells is an illuminated gospel created c. 800 CE by Irish monks. A figure of St. John on one folio is an exercise in elaborate stylization, a purely two-dimensional figure made up of patterns of decorative lines, emphasizing the image's spiritual rather than physical reality (Benton & DiYanni, 2012).

An illuminated gospel such as the Book of Kells was not merely a book — as the chalice used in Mass is not merely a cup — it was created as a sacred object (Calkins, 1983). Like the images in Chauvet cave or the ceremonial sistra used in Egyptian religious ceremonies, it formed part of the necessary accouterments of communication with the spiritual. And, therefore, its form and image took precedence over its physical practicality (Calkins, 1983). In that light, the entire object itself, not only individual folios, can be seen as a translation of spiritual experiences and a vehicle for spiritual communion.

Liturgical music has been a key part of Christian ritual since the earliest days of the religion. Most early Christian music was woven into the services and often consisted of chants based exclusively on scripture. Over time, the scope of music in Christianity grew and original pieces were composed. One notable composer in the Early Middle Ages was Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). Beginning in early childhood, Hildegard experienced intense visions. She entered a community of nuns when she was eight and became a poet, composer, and playwright (Benton & DiYanni, 2012).

Hildegard also wrote several books detailing her mystical visions and theological instructions derived from them. One of these, Scivias, contained sections that Hildegard later adapted to the Ordo Virtutum, a sacred music drama (King-Lenzmeier, 2001). The plot revolves around the struggle between the devil and the Virtues for a human soul. The Ordo was not written to be performed as part of the Mass or liturgy and does not depict biblical events: the allegorical story is adapted directly from her personal visionary experiences (Potter, 1986). When performing the Ordo, the nuns were embodying and participating in Hildegard's visions by bringing these invisible spiritual experiences into the human world (Davidson, 1992).

The Unicorn Tapestries were made in Brussels c. 1500 and depict the hunt, capture, and death of a unicorn. The tapestries may have been made as a wedding gift and may have been intended to communicate a multilayered message that combined romance and fertility with Christian doctrine (Benton & DiYanni, 2012). The chivalric tradition of courtly love had introduced the idea that romantic love was a symbol of God's love: Marie de France's Eliduc employs this symbolism to suggest that when two individuals loved each other completely they could leave each other for God, separating to live in different religious communities (Potkay, 1994). In The Unicorn Tapestries, Margaret B. Freedman explores the complex interweaving of secular and religious messages encoded in the tapestries, including references that syncretize polytheistic deities into Christian mythology. For example, the fountain in the tapestries may be a symbol of the Virgin Mary, who was compared to a fountain in many medieval hymns, as well as Venus and Cupid, who were frequently depicted holding court in gardens dominated by a fountain. The highly detailed flora in several of the tapestries also simultaneously references Christ and Venus. In Freedman's analysis, the tapestries can be understood as symbolizing and communicating the doctrines and values of the overlapping Christian god of heaven and the god of love, a concept that was well-established by the late medieval period. In the context of the tapestries as a wedding gift, this dual meaning is perfectly appropriate to express, reminding the newlyweds of their spiritual, personal, and social duties and rewards.

In 15th century Florence, a renewed interest in and availability of Classical Greek and Roman scholarship fueled the development of Neoplatonism, a new school of philosophy that sought to merge the principles espoused by the Classical Greek philosopher Plato and the Roman philosopher Plotinus with Christian spirituality. Platonism and Christianity are dualistic and perceive a separation between the physical and the spiritual that humans should strive to breach. According to Neoplatonist thought, this could be done by recognizing the spark of the divine — the work of God — in beautiful things in the physical world; therefore, the love of beauty was a form of worship (Benton & DiYanni, 2012). Florentine Renaissance ideals of beauty were heavily indebted to Greco-Roman traditions that emphasized harmony, rationality, and balance. Therefore, in art and architecture, this could be performed by using geometry as a symbol.

The elaborate geometrical floor pavings in the Medicis' private chapel, the Chapel of the Magi, may be a deliberate geometric code that communicated Neoplatonic ideals and functioned as a type of devotional communication. Cosimo de' Medici, who commissioned the chapel, and several of the artists and architects involved in the design and construction of it were closely involved with the founding of the Accademia Platonica in Florence, an influential group of scientists, artists, and philosophers and which was the cradle of Neoplatonism. The chapel's pavings following distinctive, complex geometrical patterns and ratios tied to Neoplatonic thought. The chapel was constructed for the use of the Medici family and those close to them — it was not intended as a place of worship for the public. Therefore, the Medicis and the artists, scientists, and intellectuals close to them could freely express in a precise geometric language certain beliefs and modes of thinking that were not completely orthodox. In the carefully measured, sumptuous marble pavings of the chapel, they could demonstrate theories of elevated scientific and religious though: divine harmony communicated through mathematics (Bartoli, 1994).

The 17th century English poet John Donne combined sexual language and spiritual subject matter to express his concept of ecstatic love. In this concept, an individual achieves unity of body and soul and reaches spiritual truths through sexual union with another individual they love. The soul is capable of awareness and growth only through love, and during sex the souls of the individuals mingle, each soul gaining greater knowledge of itself in relation to the body. The individual is then a complete self: a being that is a synthesis of its physical and spiritual aspects (Thommen, 2014).

This concept is described in Donne's poem "The Extasie":

We see by this it was not sex,
             We see we saw not what did move;
But as all several souls contain
           Mixture of things, they know not what,
Love these mix’d souls doth mix again
         And makes both one, each this and that

“The Extasie,” therefore, communicates Donne's own understanding and experience of spiritual communion. Like the Neoplatonics, Donne's efforts to interact with the spiritual are focused on resolving the perceived conflict between the physical and the spiritual by seeking the divine in the physical — but uniting body and soul by being united with another individual.

Communication with the spiritual is also blended with sensuality in Gianlorenzo Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa (1645-52). The subject of the sculpture, St. Teresa of Avila, was famous for her ecstatic visions as described in her writing, particularly her c. 1567 Autobiography. Teresa described a process of mental prayer that resulted in spiritual union with God and produced visions and intense physical and emotional responses. As quoted by Thommen, Eleanor McCann pointed out that St. Teresa and Donne's descriptions of communication with the spiritual through the experience of physical ecstasy and union are, despite the author's differences, remarkably similar.

Bernini's sculpture is based on the episode from St. Teresa's Autobiography when an angel appeared to her and thrust a golden spear into her heart, producing an intense pain and an “infinite sweetness” that she described as the “sweetest caressing of the soul by God” (Benton & DiYanni, 2012). The sculpture, therefore, is in the interesting position of relating mystical communication third hand. Unlike the nuns in Hildegard of Bingen's community, Bernini had no direct contact with St. Teresa and his translation of her experience was inevitably colored by his own experiences and personality and the preferences of his patron. Although Bernini emphasized the sensuality of St. Teresa's experience, the sculpture occupies a supernatural sphere, distinct from the related sculpturing groupings that are placed firmly in the physical world and the space occupied by the viewer (Wittkower, 1980). The viewer is invited to witness the point of contact and communication between the physical and the spiritual (Boucher, 1998).

In The Book of Urizen, published in 1794, English poet and painter William Blake communicated a profoundly personal, visionary spirituality that expressed his major moral and philosophical concerns. Blake, like Hildegard of Bingen and St. Teresa of Avila, experienced visions. He saw himself as a prophet and believed that the duty of a poet was “To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought” (Benton & DiYanni, 2012).

The Book of Urizen is a creation myth structured along the lines of Genesis but with Blake's Urizen in place of God. Urizen is a god of reason and logic and law — a deity of pure materialism, enslaved and enslaving who creates the world so that he may have something to rule. Urizen represents both dogmatic, essentially materialistic religious laws and Newtonian reason. To Blake, these were both forces that blind humans to the spiritual by trapping and circumscribing human imagination, thereby preventing them from communicating with the spiritual, creative world that would otherwise be their birthright (Frye, 1990). By creating The Book of Urizen and his other illuminated books of poetry and painting, Blake attempted to communicate his experience of the spiritual and warn of the consequences of either rejecting personal communication with the spiritual and imagination or of ceding that direct, personal experience to a higher, worldly authority.

Communication between the human and the spiritual is not always easy nor does a familiar form always imply the expected function. These points are illustrated in the works of the English poet Christina Rossetti and her brother the painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Christina was deeply religious and often used her poetry to explore both the rewards and struggle she associated with faith. Unlike St. Teresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen, or William Blake, Christina's experience of the spiritual was not mystical. Rather than communicating with the spiritual through ecstatic visionary experiences, Christina's efforts to communicate and achieve union with the spiritual were the result of the effort of her faith, and that effort, and her doubts, are expressed in her poetry. In “Alas, my Lord,” (1874), Christina describes the difficulty of this process and expresses her doubts as well as her desire for spiritual affirmation — some communication, a response from the spiritual, that her efforts are not in vain (Avery, 2014).

      Alas my Lord,
How should I wrestle all the livelong night
With Thee my God, my Strength and my Delight?

      How can it need
So agonized an effort and a strain
To make Thy Face of Mercy shine again?

      How can it need
Such wringing out of breathless prayer to move
Thee to Thy wonted Love, when Thou art Love?

In contrast, her brother Dante Gabriel was not a practicing Christian, although he used Christian iconography and language, particularly in his early works. Dante Gabriel referred to himself as an “Art Catholic,” implying that his interest in the imagery of encounters with the spiritual was largely aesthetic (Faxon, 1989). In addition, he often used Christian iconography and language in the context of secular love poems (Roe, 2010). In Dante Gabriel's art, such as The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1848-1849), representations of the spiritual were not strictly religious but rather an iconographical shorthand for the artist's sincere, personal communication with their imagination. Particularly in his early career when he identified as a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he believed that medieval art was more sincere, more closely connected to the natural world, in opposition to the British Academic tradition embodied by Sir Joshua Reynolds, which he believed was formulaic and insincere (Faxon, 1989). Therefore, the religious subject matter so prominent in medieval art took on a new meaning and the spiritual was transferred from the Christian God to the artist's quest for genuine inspiration.

The Dream of Geronitus, Op. 38, composed by Edward Elgar in 1900, is a powerful sonic portrait of an encounter with the spiritual. Set to the text of a poem by John Henry Newman, it describes the death of a man, Gerontius, and his soul's journey to the throne of God to receive judgment. A dramatic and technically challenging piece, it explores communication with the spiritual as a psychologically complex, and not always pleasant, experience. The rapture Gerontius experiences is counterpointed by the appearance of devils and his own doubts that his soul is worthy to face God. The Judgment scene, in fact, depicts that ultimate communication with the spiritual as an almost unbearable experience. For the scene when Gerontius beholds the glance of God and receives judgment, the score instructs: “For one moment, must every instrument exert its fullest force.” (Burton, 2003).

In 1974, The Dream of Gerontius figured heavily in Penda's Fen, a film written by David Rudken and directed by Alan Clarke for the BBC. The film's protagonist Stephen, writes about The Dream of Gerontius in the beginning of the film, which then unravels his nationalist and orthodox Christian certainty through visionary experiences that lead him to reject his former beliefs. Stephen's encounters with the spiritual challenge the priggish patriotism and the national and moral myth he embraced, embodied by a middle-aged couple who have successfully campaigned to ban a film exploring Jesus as a man rather than as a god. At one point Stephen plays the Judgment scene from The Dream of Gerontius on the organ in his father's church, triggering a vision of cracks appearing in the church floor, the crucified body of Jesus, and a voice commanding Stephen to unchain Jesus from the strictures of conservative Christianity. Later, he experiences a vision of King Penda, the last pagan king of England, and, grasping that his culture is ultimately a hybrid one comprised of a mingling of various religions, languages, and peoples, rejects his former beliefs (Sandhu, 2014). The experience is as unsettling for the viewer as it is for Stephen. in Penda's Fen the spiritual intrudes on assumptions and certainties and by irrupting reality leads both Stephen and the viewer to question their assumptions and demands that they take part in a wider, richer communication with the spiritual and the world.



References

Avery, S. (2014). Christina Rossetti: Religious poetry. Retrieved from https://www.bl.uk/romantics-an...

Bartoli, M. T. (1994). A Neoplatonic pavement. In The Chapel of the Magi: Benozzo Gozzoli's frescoes in the palazzo Medici-Riccardi Florence (p, 25-28). New York: Thames and Hudson.

Benton, J. R. & DiYanni, R. (2012). Arts and culture: An introduction to the humanities. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Boucher, B. (1998). Italian Baroque sculpture. London: Thames & Hudson.

Brockington, J. (1998). The Sanskrit epics. Boston: Brill.

Burton, J. (2003). The Dream of Gerontius - Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934). Retrieved from http://www.choirs.org.uk/prognotes/Elgar%20Gerontius.htm

Calkins, R. G. (1983). Illuminated books of the Middle Ages. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Curtis, G. B. (2006). The cave painters: Probing the mysteries of the world's first artists. (2006). New York: Knopf.

Davidson, A. E. (1992). Music and performance: Hildegard of Bingen's Ordo Virtutum. In The Ordo Virtutum of Hildegard of Bingen: Critical studies (p. 1-29). Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University.

Faxon, A. C. (1989). Dante Gabriel Rossetti. New York: Abbeville Press.

Freeman, Margaret B. (1983). The Unicorn Tapestries. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Frye, N. (1990). Fearful symmetry. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Hackworth, P., L. (2006). The freedman in Roman art and art history. Oxford: Cambridge University Press.

Heyob, S. K. (1975). The cult of Isis among women in the Graeco-Roman world. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

King-Lenzmeier, A. H. (2001). Hildegard of Bingen: An integrated vision. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press.

Moorman, E., M. (2011). Divine interiors: Mural paintings in Greek and Roman sanctuaries. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.

Potkay, M. B. (1994). "The Limits of Romantic Allegory in Marie de France's Eliduc," Medieval Perspectives, 9 (1), 135-145. http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/55697230/limits-romantic-allegory-marie-de-frances-eliduc

Potter, R. (1986). The “Ordo Virtutum”: Ancestor of the English moralities?. Comparative Drama, 20 (3), 201–210. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41153244

Roe, D. (2010). Introduction in The Pre-Raphaelites from Rossetti to Ruskin (p, xvii-xxxvi). London: Penguin.

Sandhu, S. (2014). Penda’s Fen: A lasting vision of heresy and pastoral horror. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com

Segal, C. (2001). Introduction. In Euripides, Bakkai (3-32). New York: Oxford University Press.

Simmance, E. (n.d.) Communication through music in ancient Egyptian religion. University of Birmingham. Retrieved 2/4/2019 from https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/connections/Essays/ESimmance.aspx.

Spink, W. (2008). Ajanta lecture: Korea 2008. WatlerSpink. Retrieved February 22, 2019, from https://www.walterspink.com/ajanta/ajanta-lecture

Takacs, S., A. (1995). Isis and Sarapis in the Roman world. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

Van De Mieroop, M. (2005). King Hammurabi of babylon: A biography. Hoboken: Blackwell Publishing.

Vellacott, P. (1959). Introduction. In Aeschylus, The Orestian trilogy (9-40). New York: Penguin.

Voon, C. (2016). The raw expression of a rare, emaciated Buddha. Hyperallergic. Retrieved February 21, 2019, from https://hyperallergic.com/3448...

#AHMC2019

Nicole Votta
22
 

PT 1 Triumph and Tragedy: American Industry

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2019, "Triumph and Tragedy in History."

These resources - including photographs, objects, portraits, lesson plans, and articles - explore triumphs and tragedies in American industrialization from the late 18th century through the early 20th century.  Resources highlight influential industrialists called "captains of industry" by some and "robber barons" by others, catastrophes that occurred as a result of rapid industrialization, labor leaders who fought successfully for the rights of laborers dismal conditions, the origins of child labor laws, leading inventors and their inventions, and other important topics. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with EDSITEment, a website for K-12 educators from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment & @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2019. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2019 in the description!

Tags: strike, protest, union, andrew carnegie, john d. rockefeller, j.p. morgan, cornelius vanderbilt, henry clay frick, helen frick, andrew w. mellon, newsies, newsboys, child labor reform, thomas alva edison, incandescent lamp, nikola tesla, electric motor, electric power, alexander graham bell, telephone, christopher latham sholes, c. lathan sholes, carlos glidden, samuel soule, typewriter, triangle shirtwaist factory fire, pinkerton national detective agency, matewan massacre, wall street bombing of 1920, boston molassses disaster, asa philip randolph, a. philip randolph, john llewellyn lewis, john l. lewis, frances perkins, samuel gompers i.l.g.w.u, international ladies garment workers union, david dubinsky, company towns, #NHD

Heather Sorrell
25
 

Photography and News

Guiding Questions:

  • How much of a story can a photo tell? What are the limits?
  • Why do journalists take photos?
  • How is news photography different than other types of photography? What is photojournalism?

Time- 1-2 class periods with optional extension activities

This collection provides an opportunity for students to consider a first impression of news photos through careful image analysis. The initial viewing of the image is followed by reading historical newspaper articles or other primary sources about the event in question to compare their thinking with some context to their initial impressions. Images can be powerful and can greatly influence our impression of events, but without context, we can form inaccurate impressions based on our own biases. Students need to be careful and critical viewers of media as well as media creators. Images include events covered in history/social studies courses such as the Civil Rights Movement, Little Rock Nine, World War II, Japanese internment,  9/11, the Detroit Riots, the Scopes trial, women’s suffrage, Dolores Huerta and United Farm Workers, and the Vietnam War.

Day 1:

Warm Up/ Engagement:

Have students journal or a mind-map about the following questions:

  • How much of a story can a photo tell? What are the limits?
  • Why do journalists take photos?
  • What is photojournalism?
  • How is news photography different than other types of photography?

Have them do a Think-Pair-Share

Debrief as a whole group

As a whole group, discuss the photo of the female students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock. Do not show the caption to students. The global competency thinking routine, “Unveiling Stories,” is good to use for news or other current event photos because it allows students the opportunity to explore multiple layers of meaning.

Once students have discussed the image, show them the caption. Then give additional background on the Little Rock Nine. To review/background on the Little Rock Nine, consider exploring resources from Facing History and Ourselves. There is a New York Times article listed below as well.

Next, go back and look at photo with the caption and see how the initial understanding has shifted with the Connect-Extend-Challenge routine. This is a thinking routine that is great for connecting new ideas to prior knowledge.

Day 2

Have students read the article from the Click! Exhibit, “Photography Changes How We Read the World.”

After reading, lead students through the What Makes You Say That? Routine which encourages interpretation with justification and evidence.

Small Group Jigsaw activity

In pairs or small groups, assign one image in the collection to each group. Make sure they know they will present their findings to the whole class. Have them go through the “Unveiling Stories” routine with their new image. Give students 10 mins to record their thoughts and ideas on chart paper or sticky notes. Next, give each group the related primary source news article (listed below through ProQuest) or your choice of a primary source. Have students read the article together. Then, have them go back to the image and do the Connect-Extend-Challenge routine while visualizing their thinking on the same chart paper or with additional sticky notes.

Have each group share out and summarize their findings from their initial reaction to how their thinking changed after reading an additional primary source.

As a final debrief, make sure that students reflect on their learning from their image analysis.

A great reflection routine is “I used to think… Now I think…”. Have students complete this routine with the topic of photojournalism/news photography.

Extensions

Readings:

Audio:

Exhibit:

Project:

  • Report on an event with images and in writing  

Companion Article Sources on ProQuest Historical Newspapers:

For 9/11 Photos-

A CREEPING HORROR

KLEINFIELD N R

New York Times (1923-Current file); Sep 12, 2001;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. A1

For D-Day Photo:

Allies Seize Beachheads on French Coast, Invasion Forces Drive Toward Interior

By the War Editor of The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file); Jun 6, 1944; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Christian Science Monitor (1908 - 2001) pg. 1

For Detroit Riot Photo:

Detroit Is Swept by Rioting and Fires; Romney Calls In Guard; 700 Arrested

New York Times (1923-Current file); Jul 24, 1967;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. 1

For Vietnam Withdrawal Photo:

A Farewell to Vietnam: 2 Flown Out Tell Story

New York Times (1923-Current file); Apr 28, 1975;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. 1

For Dolores Huerta Photo:

Farm Labor Law Chances Improve

By Susan Jacoby Washington Post Staff Writer

The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973); May 2, 1969; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 - 1998) pg. A24

For Little Rock Photo:

STUDENTS ACCEPT NEGROES CALMLY

By BENJAMIN FINE Special to The New York Times.

New York Times (1923-Current file); Sep 26, 1957;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011)

For WWII/D-Day Photos:

PARADE OF PLANES CARRIES INVADERS

New York Times (1923-Current file); Jun 6, 1944;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. 1

For Scopes Trial Photo:

DEFENSE CASE IS OUTLINED

Special to The New York Times.

New York Times (1923-Current file); Jul 16, 1925;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. 1

For Women’s Suffrage March Photo: WOMEN PARADE FOR SUFFRAGE AT CAPITAL

The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file); Mar 3, 1913; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Christian Science Monitor (1908 - 2001) pg. 1

#visiblethinking


Allie Wilding
21
 

Triumph and Tragedy: American Industry

This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2019, "Triumph and Tragedy in History."

These resources - including photographs, objects, portraits, lesson plans, and articles - explore triumphs and tragedies in American industrialization from the late 18th century through the early 20th century.  Resources highlight influential industrialists called "captains of industry" by some and "robber barons" by others, catastrophes that occurred as a result of rapid industrialization, labor leaders who fought successfully for the rights of laborers dismal conditions, the origins of child labor laws, leading inventors and their inventions, and other important topics. The second tile of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.

This collection was created in collaboration with EDSITEment, a website for K-12 educators from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment & @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2019. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2019 in the description!

Tags: strike, protest, union, andrew carnegie, john d. rockefeller, j.p. morgan, cornelius vanderbilt, henry clay frick, helen frick, andrew w. mellon, newsies, newsboys, child labor reform, thomas alva edison, incandescent lamp, nikola tesla, electric motor, electric power, alexander graham bell, telephone, christopher latham sholes, c. lathan sholes, carlos glidden, samuel soule, typewriter, triangle shirtwaist factory fire, pinkerton national detective agency, matewan massacre, wall street bombing of 1920, boston molassses disaster, asa philip randolph, a. philip randolph, john llewellyn lewis, john l. lewis, frances perkins, samuel gompers i.l.g.w.u, international ladies garment workers union, david dubinsky, company towns, #NHD

Tess Porter
68
 

D day

Dean Newland
10
 

D Day

period

Kylie Syska
10
 

Little Rock Nine: the integration of Central High School

In a key event of the American Civil Rights Movement, nine black students enrolled at formerly all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in September 1957, testing a landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The court had mandated that all public schools in the country be integrated “with all deliberate speed” in its decision related to the groundbreaking case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. On September 4, 1957, the first day of classes at Central High, Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas called in the state National Guard to bar the black students’ entry into the school. Later in the month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in federal troops to escort the “Little Rock Nine” into the school, and they started their first full day of classes on September 25.

Source: Staff, History.com. "Integration of Central High School." History.com. A&E Network. 2010. Web. 5 Aug 2016.
Linda Muller
13
 

Dual Identity Project

Students will use George Catlin's "Wi-jun-jon, Pigeon Egg Head (The Light), Going to and Returning from Washington" and a sketch from Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" to explore how communities and others' perceptions can affect our identities. Students will end this study by creating their own dual identity project.

This project is intended for 8th or 9th grade students who are reading "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie. However, there are ideas on how to adapt this project to a variety of different situations in the "Adaptations" section of the Lesson Concept document.

This project is broken down into a 4 stages:
Day 1: Analyze Catlin's "Wi-jun-jon," make claims and support them, and connect the portrait back to "Absolutely True Diary."
Day 1/Day 1 HW: Read "How to Fight Monsters," make a claim about the dual identity portrait and support it, complete the Dual Identity Preparation Sheet.
Day 2: Discuss the dual identity, view an example project, brainstorm requirements, review the assignment, and begin working.
Day 3/Project Due Date: Discuss what makes identity complicated and how Catlin and Alexie express this in their portraits.

#SAAMteach
Sydnee Lindblom
9