Inspiring Beauty: Be the Designer

Designers use croquis as the base for sketching garments. Ask students to select a garment in Inspiring Beauty that speaks to them, and using a croqui template, sketch it! Remind students that, when drawing a figure for fashion design or styling, it is not necessary to show details in the face, hands, or feet. Use… Read on

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Look Into My Eyes

Artists who make portraits create an image in the likeness of a person (or animal)—capturing identifiable features, his or her personality, and the like. Objects within a portrait can provide visual clues about the individual featured in the artwork.             Ted Gordon  Choose two of Ted Gordon’s portraits and have… Read on

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Character Reference

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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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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Getting to Know You

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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Compare and Contrast

Make connections to contemporary works within the Museum’s Collection. Visit Gallery 20, where you will find works identified as New Realism. Ask students to look closely at the objects, and to select a piece that they find most interesting. How does the work compare to the portraits in the Sully exhibition? How does this work… Read on

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Backdrop Design

Collect reproductions of your favorite band or team, and then cut out the individuals and arrange them so that they form a rough triangle. Adhere each to paper and cut around the edges of the figures. Now, using your imagination, create three completely different backdrops for your group.

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Backdrop Building

Create your own architectural setting for George Frederick Cooke in the Role of Richard III (1811–12).  Have students research similar structures built during that time period. Lead a discussion about setting and the significance of architecture. Afterwards have students create their own structures using only masking tape, newspaper, and paper tubes.

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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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