Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

Using Art in History and Literature Classes: What’s the Story? Part 1: Visual Analysis

Lead Scholar: John Coffey (Deputy Director for Art, North Carolina Museum of Art)

April 24, 2012

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, explores 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 this first session, the seminar models discussion strategies that help students build observational skills and understand historical periods. The seminar also provides lesson plans that demonstrate how to integrate art into the teaching of history and literature.

Subjects: Art; Literature; History; Slavery; Immigration; Agricultural Workers; Art Criticism; Pedagogy