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Education

School Tours

Field Trips: American Art & Renwick Gallery Themes

Miss Liberty Celebration

Detail from Miss Liberty Celebration by Malcah Zeldis.

American Art Tour Themes

Looking at Art


detail from Gene Davis' “Raspberry Icicle,” an artwork often used in the “To See Is to Think: Visual Literacy” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

To See Is to Think: Visual Literacy
How can an artwork be a primary resource? Why do people make art? What can we learn by looking closely? Through dialogue and gallery games students decode artworks to find hidden messages, gain critical-thinking skills, and build self-confidence to read visual materials. Media, techniques, and vocabulary are introduced.

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detail from Robert Rauschenberg's “Reservoir,” an artwork often used in the “New Voices, New Visions” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

New Voices, New Visions
In the late twentieth century, technology, globalism, and diversity merged on the international superhighway. What are today's national concerns? Who are today's new Americans? Who are the new artists and what are they saying about America?

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detail from James Hampton's “The Throne of the Third Heaven of The Nations' Millennium General Assembly,” an artwork often used in the “Folk Art: Beyond the Everyday” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

Folk Art: Beyond the Everyday
From beads to bottle caps, foil to fabric, students will explore the diversity of media and experiences in American folk art! This tour covers the main elements of folk art: self-taught artists, everyday materials, vision and imagination, storytelling and sense of place.

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Learning History and Social Studies Through Art


detail from Daniel Chester French's “Concord Minute Man of 1775,” an artwork often used in the “Young America” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

Young America
Students trace the transformation of the thirteen colonies into an independent nation. A combination of portraits, landscapes, genre paintings, furniture, and sculpture tells the story of growing national ambitions, territorial expansion, and the beginning of industry.

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detail from Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's “Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way,” an artwork often used in the “Lure of the West” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

Lure of the West
Students consider changes in land ownership, the effects of westward expansion, and the belief in America's manifest destiny. How do painters and photographers record these issues for different audiences? How did Americans' view of their place in the world begin to change?

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detail from Alonzo Chappel's “Lee Surrendering to Grant at Appomattox,” an artwork often used in the “A House Divided” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

A House Divided
The Civil War tested and consumed the country for more than four years. Many families were touched by death. Students consider "the house" of Lincoln's "House Divided" speech. How did new technologies of printing, engraving, and photography portray the country and the war? What do paintings and sculpture reveal of life during Reconstruction?

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detail from Douglas Crockwell's “Paper Workers,” an artwork often used in the “1930s America: Reshaping American Life” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

1930s America: Reshaping American Life
Students examine the 1930s in light of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, which helped provide work for artists during the Great Depression. How did the government coax the soul of America back to life? Students can make a movie at Picturing The 1930's

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detail from Everett Shinn's “Eviction (Lower East Side),” an artwork often used in the “Urbanized America” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

Urbanized America
The era between the end of the Civil War and World War I calls to mind conflicting adjectives—elegant, sophisticated, reformist, and ruthless, corrupt, vulgar. The urban population grew more than 700 percent. What can students learn about the period from its artworks? How did a new generation of politically conscious artists capture the city's characters and daily events?

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detail from Ben Shahn's “Voting Booths,” an artwork often used in the “We the People” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

We the People
Throughout our history, Americans have struggled for freedoms—legal, personal, and political. Students compare and contrast artworks to discuss civic ideals and realities.

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detail from “On the Ohio River,” by an unidentified artist - an artwork often used in the “From Sea to Shining Sea: American Landscapes” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

From Sea to Shining Sea: American Landscapes
What do a painter's brush and a photographer's lens reveal about our interaction with the land? With active looking and movement, young students will focus on environment and communities. Older students will question how land ownership shapes our national politics.

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detail from Jack Savitsky's “Train in Coal Town,” an artwork often used in the “Neighborhood and Nation” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

Neighborhood and Nation
Young students compare and contrast their own neighborhoods, homes, schools, and families with those of children from early times through today. Paintings, photographs, and sculpture are used and classroom vocabulary, verbs, and adjectives are emphasized.

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detail from Malcah Zeldis' “Miss Liberty Celebration,” an artwork often used in the “Picturing America” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

Picturing America
Artists give us a unique window on American life, reflecting the cultural, social, and political climate of the time in which they work. Explore America through the eyes of artists, from the colonial era to contemporary life.

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Celebrating Heritage


detail from Willard Midgette's “Sitting Bull Returns at the Drive-In,” an artwork often used in the “Native Americans” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

Native Americans
Viewers can detect shifting attitudes toward American Indians in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century works by non-native artists. Participants also examine twentieth-century Native American artists whose works express their cultural heritage and concerns.

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detail from Frederick Brown's “Junior Wells,” an artwork often used in the “Free Within Ourselves: African American Artists” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

Free within Ourselves: African American Artists
The works of African American artists whose contributions have made a significant and dynamic impact on America are highlighted during this tour. The individual lives of the artists, and the creative spirit that motivated each of them, are discussed—providing insight into the historical, social, and cultural context of African-American artists.

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detail from Alfredo Arreguin's “Sueno (Dream: Eve before Adam),” an artwork often used in the “Latino Art and Culture” gallery tour at the Donald W. Reynolds Center

Latino Art and Culture
Artistic achievements of Hispanic Americans from the 1860s to the present represent the diversity of the Latino community and reflect historical and cultural developments that have transformed American art.

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Renwick Gallery Tour Themes


detail from Jerry Hovanec's “Persimmon Vessel” an artwork often used in the “Contemporary Craft” gallery tour at the Renwick Gallery

Contemporary Craft
Students study contemporary craft objects and discuss process, material, structure and technique. Online artist interviews and craft demonstrations are available.

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detail from Larry Fuente's “Game Fish,” an artwork often used in the “To See Is to Think: Visual Literacy” gallery tour at the Renwick Gallery

To See Is to Think: Visual Literacy
How can a craft object be a primary resource? What can we learn by looking closely? Through interactive discussions, students gain observation and critical-thinking skills and handle examples of contemporary objects.

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