Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Teaching History through Art History

This weekend I attended the Upper Peninsula History Conference in Iron River. Each summer it is located in a different town across the U.P. During one of the keynotes about World War I polar bear soldiers the presenter talked about how little history students know. There are always greater and greater amounts of history to cover and given the many demands of the school day and calendar I'm sure much like when I was a high school student much is skimmed over. It reminded me of what I love about teaching Art History, the historical events that often times shaped what artists of that time period were creating. The same can be said for the contemporary artists creating work as I write about the events occurring all around the world. I decided to begin a list of artists I love to draw inspiration from for Studio Art as well as Art History lessons. I hope that you find some inspiration here as well for your future teachings. We are guiding the artists of the future that will use their art to document and comment on events of the years yet to come.

Ai WeiWei

His 2016 collection of work focused his activist efforts on the refugee crisis.

Douglas was a leader of the Harlem Renaissance art movement. His work with the Harlem Artist Guild paved the way for many future African-American artists.

Ethan Murrow

Murrow's more recent work focuses on the way America presents itself to the rest of the world.

Lange's work documented America with photographs of bread lines, poverty across the country, the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, as well as the Japanese American Internment Camps during World War II.

Rivera was a Mexican muralist hired to create murals in Mexico as well as in the United States. His works commented on Mexican history and world events.

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