Using Art in History and Literature Classes: What’s the Story? Parts 1 & 2

Tuesday, April 24 & Thursday, April 26, 2012
7:00–8:30 p.m. (EST) Enter Classroom Enter Forum


Ashley Weinard, North Carolina Museum of Art

John Coffey, North Carolina Museum of Art

About the Seminar

Works of art are rich primary documents that can enhance student understanding of American culture. This two-part seminar, a collaboration between the North Carolina Museum of Art and the National Humanities Center, will explore three American paintings — Christian Friedrich Mayr's Kitchen Ball at White Sulphur Springs, Virginia (1838); Charles Felix Blauvelt's A German Immigrant Inquiring His Way (1855); and Thomas Hart Benton's Spring on the Missouri (1945) — to see what they can tell students about slavery, immigration, and the plight of the American farmer.

In the first session, the seminar will model discussion strategies that help students build observational skills and understand historical periods. In the second, it will demonstrate how historical information can inform our understanding and interpretation of works of art. The seminar will also provide lesson plans that demonstrate how to integrate art into the teaching of history and literature.

Technical Help

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Assigned Readings

  1. Presentation images
  2. "Interlocutors", from Cutting a Figure: Fashioning Black Portraiture, by Richard Powell
  3. Diary in America (excerpt), by Captain Frederick Marryat
  4. Easy Approaches to Teaching with Objects

Suggested Additional Resources

  1. ArtNC
  2. ArtNC Lessons

Presentation PDF

Download the presentation PDF.

Online Evaluation

Online evaluation for seminar participants.

Seminar Recording