Of Heaven and Earth: Pick a Piece

Some of the paintings featured in the Of Heaven and Earth exhibition were initially displayed in churches and other sacred places. Others would be included in the homes of wealthy arts patrons. After viewing the exhibition, imagine selecting one painting to take for yourself. Consider the following prompts to assist in the discussion: Which painting… Read on

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A Positive Influence

Discussion- Throughout his career, Kandinsky experimented with different processes and materials. While in Murnau, Germany, he painted on glass, an interest his friends Gabriele Münter, Marianne Werefkin, and Alexei Jawlensky also shared. Kandinsky, together with Franz Marc, founded the Blue Rider group specifically so that he and like-minded artists could share and exchange ideas around… Read on

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In Between the Lines

Activity Artists use lines to express movement, texture, and space. Step into the Juryfreie Murals room and identify the many ways lines are used. For instance, repeated lines create a sense of movement. Overlapping lines help suggest texture, while the weight and proximity of lines, such as having thick bold lines in the foreground and… Read on

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Music + Art

Activity- Select three types of music for students to listen to for an exercise in musicality. Ask them to give form to the sounds they hear, to draw or paint abstract “musical drawings” for each song. Compare the drawings. What affect did the music have on each piece? How did the type of music influence… Read on

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Miss Liberty

Historical subject matter in art can range from transformative events and people to personal histories. Frequently, the most vocal, social, and political artistic commentary has come not from established artists in the mainstream art world, but rather from artists like those represented in Uncommon Folk. The Miss Liberty (ca. 1910) sculpture in the exhibition includes… Read on

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Walk This Way

Walking sticks, or canes, are a common, recognized form. They function as physical supports, status symbols, and prestige items, often with elaborately carved narratives and personal insignia. The walking sticks in this exhibition demonstrate a wide range of designs that can be used to create a simple functional object. Each artist has conveyed his or… Read on

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Become Inspired

Using The Woodgatherer by Jules Bastien-Lepage, challenge students to create their own descriptive poem inspired by the painting. Have students: Start by listing colors the artist used in the painting. How would you describe these colors? Write descriptive names for the colors. For example, if one of the colors is green, is it forest green,… Read on

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Strike a Pose

Have students pose like the sitter in the portrait. Ask students to consider what it feels like to pose like the sitter, wear his or her clothes, and be in the setting of the portrait. Have students write a postcard to a friend describing their portrait experience.

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Interviewer-Interviewee

Traditional Portraits Some of Thomas Sully’s earliest recorded portraits are his now-lost images of members of the Park Theatre in New York in various roles. When Sully had returned in 1810 to Philadelphia from a nine-month trip to England, he announced his artistic ambitions through a series of extraordinary theatrical portraits, arranged by patrons and… Read on

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Jumping into a Portrait

The Fancy or Subject Portraits Thomas Sully kept meticulously detailed records that provide an in-depth understanding of the life of a working artist in nineteenth-century America. Rather than representing sitters in contemporary dress, these portraits present their subjects in imaginative costumes that evoke character types or specific characters from literature or the stage. Although nearly… Read on

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