Literature Connection

Look through picture books or read chapters from the books featured in portraits in the exhibition (e.g., Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, MacBeth, Merchant of Venice, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Old Curiosity Shop, Robinson Crusoe). Don’t forget to discuss the book and its correlation to the portraits viewed in the exhibition. Ask students… Read on

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The Great Debate

Historians continue to debate the merits of the decisions and actions taken by President Andrew Jackson during his two terms in office. Living between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, Jackson played a central role in virtually all the controversial issues of his time—Indian removal, economic reform, states’ rights, and slavery. Overshadowed in popular… Read on

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Symbolic Portraiture

Artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Hammons use abstract images or found objects (instead of realistic images) to make a portrait. Have students make a symbolic portrait, either of themselves or of a person in their family. They should start by brainstorming objects that are important to their subject, words that describe the person,… Read on

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Quotables: Respond and React

After viewing the exhibition with your students, use the quotes below by artists represented in 30 Americans as primary sources for a write-around activity. A write-around is a written discussion between four students. Divide your students into groups of four, and project one of the quotes and a work of art by the artist in… Read on

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Through the Seasons

William Christenberry is an artist represented in Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America who repeatedly returned to locations to photograph them over time. Students will think about time and place by photographing your school during different seasons. You can use digital cameras, cell phones, or even have students make their own cameras… Read on

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Art Debate: Art vs. Advertising

Can art be advertising? Can advertising be art? What is the relationship between the two? As color photography grew in popularity, artists themselves were thinking about this very question, as seen in Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America. They produced photographs for magazines, or were paid by companies like Kodak to take… Read on

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Drawing with Light

This art activity is a great, physical project for those days before spring or summer break when students need to release energy—and will also support your class’s planning and teamwork skills. Although it is popular now to “draw with light” (http://bit.ly/Y308xY) to create photographs (a Google image search reveals lots of different ideas), many of… Read on

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Agree or Disagree? Quotes by Photographers

Artists featured in Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America had a lot to say about color photography—and they didn’t always agree. In this activity, students think critically about primary source material. After viewing the Color Rush exhibition, divide your students into small groups of two to four. Give each group one of… Read on

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Create a Classroom Magazine

This activity ties to social studies and news projects that you might be working on with your class, inspired by Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America. A major part of the exhibition focuses on magazines. Artists such as Nickolas Muray, Anton Bruehl, and Paul Outerbridge, Jr., used color to entice people to… Read on

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Portraits Today and Yesterday

The day before you do this activity, ask your students to bring in family portraits/photographs or portraits of them and/or their siblings. These could also be their school photos. In this activity, your students will think about the purpose(s) of portraits today, and then compare it to the role of portraits in the eighteenth century.… Read on

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