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Classroom Activities

National History Day 2007–2008
Conflict & Compromise

Finding Artworks

Lithograph by Stow Wengenroth

When you go to the "Search the Collection" page, you can look for artworks in a number of ways. First, begin with what you know. Do you want artworks by a particular artist? Do you know the title of an artwork you seek? If so, follow the directions under "Finding Images by Title or Artist."

Are you looking for artworks by category, period, or subject? If so, then see the directions for "Finding Images Using Keywords."

For help searching from educators who know the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection, send an e-mail with information about your project to AmericanArtEducation[at]

Finding Images by Title or Artist

Go to "Search Collections." Type the artist's name or the title of the artwork into the correct box and click "Go" or hit the return key. Results will show only artworks in the Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection.

If you need to find artworks outside the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection, go to "Research." Explore links under the heading "Research Programs." If you still cannot find the image you are looking for, go to our online reference librarian, "Ask Joan of Art."

Finding Images Using Keywords

Are you looking for images that show a person, place, or time in American history? Use these steps to search our collection using keywords. First, go to "Search Collections." Because you are searching for images, click the radio button to get "Smithsonian American Art Museum artworks with online images." Try typing one of the sample key terms below into the box labeled "keyword." [Please note that you can use only one keyword per search.]

For the theme of "Conflict & Compromise," suggested history topics, keywords, and search returns are listed below. You may also view a list of topics, keywords, and search returns from 2004, 2005, or 2006

Search for images using the keywords "rebellion," "injustice," and "allegory."

  • Boycott Grapes, Support the United Farm Workers Union, 1973, Xavier Viramontes, 1995.50.58

  • Justicia, 1975, Amando Peña, 1996.47.2

  • Conflict, 1935, James Walter Quirt, 2006.5

Search for images using the keywords "peace," "treaty," "statesman," "council," "constitution," and "justice"

  • The Signing of the Treaty of Ghent, Christmas Eve, 1814, 1914, Sir Amèdée Forestier, 1922.5.2

  • Treaty of Paris, 1783, no date, Paul Manship, 1966.47.141

  • Preamble, 1987, Mike Wilkins, 1988.39

  • Dove, no date, Ivan Chermayeff, 1966.40

Search for images using the keyword "political"

  • Adolf Hitler, ca. 1970s, Andrea Badami, 1988.74.2

  • The President (second version), 1988, Nancy Burson, 1989.35

  • WATER GATE, 1974, Miles Burkholder Carpenter, 1986.65.237

Search for images using the word "military," "soldier," or "battlefield."

  • Assembly Line, ca. 1940, Jolan Gross Bettelheim, 1973.185.2

  • Battle Between Sioux and Sac and Fox, 1846-1848, George Catlin, 1985.66.545

  • The Battle at Bunker's Hill near Boston, n.d., John Trumbull, 1990.5.6

Post War
Search for images using the word "military," "wound," or "soldier."

  • Fifty Years after the Battle, Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry--First Duryee Zouaves, Known as the "Fighting Fifth," 1912, Walter Beck, 1923.5.10

  • Hero, ca. 1939-1940, Joseph Hirsch, 1971.447.36

  • Private John Bar, Recovery after a Penetrating Wound of the Abdomen with Fracture of the Left Os Innominatum, from the Photographic Catalogue of the Surgical Section, 1865, William Bell, 1994.91.19

Native Americans
Search for images using the keywords "indian" and "council"

  • Young Omahaw, War Eagle, Little Missouri, and Pawnees, 1821, Charles Bird King, 1985.66.384,222

  • Wi-jún-jon, Pigeon's Egg Head (The Light) Going To and Returning From Washington, 1837-1839, George Catlin, 1985.66.474

  • Osage Scalp Dance 1845, John Mix Stanley, 1985.66.248,930

  • International Indian Council (Held at Tallequah, Indian Territory, in 1843) 1843, John Mix Stanley, 1985.66.248,934B

Civil War and Reconstruction
Search for images using the keywords "civil war" and "slave"

  • Lee Surrendering to Grant at Appomattox ca. 1870, Alonzo Chappel, 1981.139

  • Taking the Oath and Drawing Rations modeled 1865, patented 1866, John Rogers, 1882.1.1

  • A Visit from the Old Mistress 1876, Winslow Homer, 1909.7.28

Civil Rights
Search for images using the keywords "civil rights movement" or "black history"

  • April 4, 1969, Sam Gilliam, 1973.115

  • Farm Workers' Altar, 1967, Emanuel Martinez, 1992.95

  • The Soprano at the Mourning Easter Wake of 1968, 1968, Daniel Pressley, 1997.124.78

Search for images using the word "liberty," or "political"

  • Liberty, ca. 1884, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, XX76

  • The Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President, from Harper's Weekly, March 4, 1861, 1861, Attributed to Winslow Homer, 1996.63.112

  • "Liberty does not consist in mere general declarations of the rights of men. It consists in the translation of those declarations into definite action."--Woodrow Wilson, Address, Independence Hall, July 4, 1914. From the series Great Ideas of Western Man., 1956, Robert Andrew Parker, 1984.124.234

For a list of keywords that we use to index our collection, see the Subject Term Manual (PDF file, 148K).

Pictured: Stow Wengenroth, Old North Church, 1976, lithograph, 15 3/4 x 11 5/8 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Frank McClure