American, born England, 1783–1872
Prison Scene from J. Fenimore Cooper’s “The Pilot”: Cecelia Howard and Katherine Plowden Arousing the Prisoner Edward Griffith from His Slumber, 1841
Oil on canvas, 37 × 28 in. (94 × 71.1 cm)
Birmingham Museum of Art, Museum purchase in honor of Richard Murray, former director, with funds provided by Dr. Walter Clark, EBSCO Industries, Mr. John Jemison, Jr., Dr. Cameron McDonald, Dr. John Poyner, Mrs. Alys R. Stephens, Mr. Elton B. Stephens, Jr., Mr. Crawford L. Taylor, Jr., and the 1984 Museum Dinner and Ball, 1984.67
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 to make a list of five details that the author used to develop the theme and which add meaning to the story. For older students, have them write a theme statement.
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