A Head Start on Picturing America

Pottery and Baskets (c. 1100 to c. 1960) [PDF, 405KB]

Years ago, American Indians used plants, bone, skin, earth, and stone to make pots, baskets, arrowheads, and other objects they needed for everyday life.

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, 1755 [PDF, 287KB]

This watercolor of a 250-year-old mission is located in what is now San Antonio, Texas.

Paul Revere, 1768 [PDF, 337KB]

This portrait of Paul Revere captures an important moment in his work as a silversmith.

Silver of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries [PDF, 453KB]

These silver teapots by three different artists all have a different style.

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, 1931 [PDF, 294KB]

This oil painting tells the story of Paul Revere's ride from Boston, Massachusetts, to Lexington, Massachusetts, to warn people that the British invaders were headed their way.

George Washington (the Lansdowne Portrait), 1796 [PDF, 292KB]

This life-sized portrait shows George Washington as a great leader and the father of his country, the United States of America.

Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851 [PDF, 189KB]

People who view the painting are about the same size as the people in the painting, making the action in the picture seem very close.

Benjamin Franklin, 1862 [PDF, 195KB]

This is a larger-than-life sized sculpture of Benjamin Franklin, probably the most important person of his day during the creation of the United States of America.

View from Mount Holyoke, Northhampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm - The Oxbow, 1836 [PDF, 165KB]

The painting has a gloomy, wild, natural side, complete with very large tree trunks, rocky cliffs, and dark storm clouds.

Cover illustration for the Last of the Mohicans, 1919 [PDF, 171KB]

This is a painting of an American Indian the way Americans thought of American Indians in the 1800's.

American Flamingo, 1838 [PDF, 173KB]

American Flamingo is one of 435 hand-colored engravings made from John James Audubon's original watercolor paintings.

Catlin Painting the Portrait of Mah-to-toh-pa — Mandan, 1861/1869 [PDF, 175KB]

The portrait is of a very important Indian chief. We know this because he is wearing horns on his headdress, decorated buffalo skin robes, and is holding a spear.

State Capitol, Columbus, Ohio, 1838-1861 [PDF, 170KB]

The photograph of Ohio's state capitol imitates Greek architecture designed mostly by an artist named Thomas Cole.

The County Election, 1852 [PDF, 172KB]

The artist himself appears in this painting in a stovepipe hat, sitting on the courthouse steps.

Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California, 1865 [PDF, 173KB]

At a time when few Americans other than American Indians had gone west of the Mississippi River, this painting gave people a picture of one of the natural wonders on the other side of the country.

“Sans Arc Lakota” Ledger Book, 1880-1881 [PDF, 175KB]

In this drawing, the artist tried to record the customs and ceremonies of the Lakota Indian tribe.

The Veteran in a New Field, 1865 [PDF, 168KB]

The soldier in the painting has returned home and is harvesting grain in the midday sun.

Abraham Lincoln, February 5, 1865 [PDF, 172KB]

This work of art is a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln taken on February 5, 1865.

Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial, 1884-1897 [PDF, 198KB]

This memorial honors the bravery of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and soldiers of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the first unit of African Americans who fought in the Civil War.

Quilts of the 19th and 20th centuries [PDF, 420KB]

The quilts were designed and sewn by different women at different times. Quilting involves sewing together different pieces of material to make blankets or clothing.

John Biglin in a Single Scull, c. 1873 [PDF, 231KB]

This watercolor painting shows a man, John Biglin, rowing by himself in a scull a light, narrow racing boat in calm water.

Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room, 1876-1877 [PDF, 248KB]

The Peacock Room is the dining room of a rich British ship owner named Fredrick Richards Leyland.

Portrait of a Boy, 1890 [PDF, 232KB]

This portrait was done for the boy's father, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a sculptor and friend of the artist, John Singer Sargent, in exchange for a bronze sculpture of Sargent's sister. The boy is the main focus of the picture.

Allies Day, May 1917, 1917 [PDF, 246KB]

The flags are from countries that became partners, or formed an alliance, during World War I. The flags show that these nations were friends and fought together, as allies, for democracy.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York, 1929 [PDF, 240KB]

In this black-and-white photograph, the very large piers and arches of the Brooklyn Bridge appear through a spider web of steel cables.

Autumn Landscape, 1923-1924 [PDF, 356KB]

A rich businessman hired the artist Louis Comfort Tiffany to make this stained glass window for his home in Boson, Massachusetts. Stained glass windows are a form of art in which an artist arranges pieces of glass in different sizes and colors to create a picture.

The Boating Party, 1893/1894 [PDF, 183KB]

The Boating Party, which pictures a woman, baby, and man in a sailboat, was done in the late 1880s.

Brooklyn Bridge, c. 1919-1920 [PDF, 256KB]

Joseph Stella painted this picture of the Brooklyn Bridge on canvas with oil paints. He created the painting in a special style called Futurism, which was a new, more modern way of thinking about art that began in Italy.

American Landscape, 1930 [PDF, 174KB]

A man crossing the railroad tracks is the only person visible in the painting. The man looks like he is frozen in time, which makes this painting resemble a photograph.

The Chrysler Building, 1926-1930 [PDF, 191KB]

At 77 stories high, this skyscraper was the tallest building in the world. The building gets smaller at the top to allow sunlight to reach the streets.

House by the Railroad, 1925 [PDF, 182KB]

Edward Hopper used oil-based paint on canvas to create this picture of an old, gray, French-style house in 1925. The big house is Victorian-style.

Fallingwater, 1935-1939 [PDF, 187KB]

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house to be suspended above the waterfall and nestled into the side of a mountain so that it would look like part of nature itself.

The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 57, 1940-1941 [PDF, 189KB]

The artist, Jacob Lawrence, used his own mother as a model for the woman in the painting doing laundry.

The Dove, 1964 [PDF, 267KB]

The Dove is a collage made of cut-up pictures, newspaper and magazine clippings and colored paper glued to cardboard. Collage is another medium artists can use to create their art.

The Sources of Country Music, 1975 [PDF, 845KB]

This mural was painted by Thomas Hart Benton to capture an image of American folk music that was disappearing.

Migrant Mother and Children, 1936 [PDF, 178KB]

The picture captures how the mother feels by the look on her face, which shows that she is tired and maybe hungry and worried too. Her face also shows that she is strong and determined as she supports herself and her children on the bench.

Freedom of Speech, The Saturday Evening Post 1943 [PDF, 188KB]

This illustration by Norman Rockwell, a famous American illustrator, was created for a popular magazine of the mid 1900's.

Selma-to-Montgomery March for Voting Rights in 1965 [PDF, 180KB]

This photograph taken by the photographer James Karales documents an important civil rights march.

Cityscape l, 1963 [PDF, 174KB]

This painting is a landscape influenced by the northern part of California. It is divided into colorful rectangles and stripes.

Ladder for Booker T. Washington, 1996 [PDF, 172KB]

This work of art is a wood sculpture of a ladder. The ladder looks very different from a regular ladder.

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Quotes from the Field with Tips for Parents and Families

"Use more open-ended questions."

Tell me more » [PDF, 100KB]

"Connect all areas of child development through the arts."

Tell me more » [PDF, 89KB]

"Open his eyes to value differences between himself and others."

Tell me more » [PDF, 89KB]

"Follow her lead and have a conversation with her."

Tell me more » [PDF, 89KB]

"Encourage his language and literacy skills through art."

Tell me more » [PDF, 88KB]

"Allow her to use art as a form of communication."

Tell me more » [PDF, 117KB]

"Work on art projects as a way to engage in discussion about the art piece and what my child 'sees.'"

Tell me more » [PDF, 108KB]

"Experience art with him; enjoy the art project around us."

Tell me more » [PDF, 115KB]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Voices from the Field

 

I have a better understanding of how to use the artwork and discuss it with the children. Can't wait to get back and share it with the teachers.

 

Head Start Manager
2010 National Head Start Association
Training Conference
Dallas, TX

 
 

Fun and engaging! I'm excited to implement this in my program.

 

Center Director
2010 National Head Start Association
Training Conference
Dallas, TX

 
 

I have the posters at our centers, and now I know how to use them in the class and with the families.

 

Center Director
2010 National Head Start Association
Training Conference
Dallas, TX

 
 

Awesome! collection of art reproductions. I love the Night at the Museum idea-a wealth of possibilities.

 

Education Coordinator
CADC Head Start
Hobart, OK

 
 

This has many focuses that tie into what Head Start is all about!

 

Teacher
Pointe Coupee Parish
School Board Head Start
New Roads, LA

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Art from the Field

Children were inspired by this art poster to create their own pottery.

A storyteller guides children's careful examination of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Grant Wood.

This poster prompts an exploration of how to draw a self portrait based on this famous portrait of George Washington.

Children use clay to create sculptures based on the inspiring poster of Benjamin Franklin.

Children created their own mural of mountains and a river inspired by looking at an oil painting of Mount Holyoke.

The American Flamingo artwork inspires children's use of pink tissue paper and wooden sticks.

Blocks help capture the architectural style of the Ohio State Capitol building.

The oil painting, Looking Down Yosemite Valley, inspires the creation of 3-D collages that reflect the textures of the mountains and the feelings of the spirit of the deep valley.

Head Start staff assemble children's artworks in their own gallery of colorful recreation of quilts.

Painting of Brooklyn Bridge prompts children to make colorful abstract paintings from spraying paints and tapes.

The train, tracks, and mirror to represent water reflect the industrial scene portrayed in American Landscape.

Panel 57 from Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series inspires children to recreate the nature of the artwork by overlapping torn tissue paper glued on a black background.

Children glue various sizes of wooden sticks to represent the rungs on the Ladder for Booker T. Washington.

Children were inspired by this art poster to create their own pottery.

A storyteller guides children's careful examination of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Grant Wood.

This poster prompts an exploration of how to draw a self portrait based on this famous portrait of George Washington.

Children use clay to create sculptures based on the inspiring poster of Benjamin Franklin.

Children created their own mural of mountains and a river inspired by looking at an oil painting of Mount Holyoke.

The American Flamingo artwork inspires children's use of pink tissue paper and wooden sticks.

Blocks help capture the architectural style of the Ohio State Capitol building.

The oil painting, Looking Down Yosemite Valley, inspires the creation of 3-D collages that reflect the textures of the mountains and the feelings of the spirit of the deep valley.

Head Start staff assemble children's artworks in their own gallery of colorful recreation of quilts.

Painting of Brooklyn Bridge prompts children to make colorful abstract paintings from spraying paints and tapes.

The train, tracks, and mirror to represent water reflect the industrial scene portrayed in American Landscape.

Panel 57 from Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series inspires children to recreate the nature of the artwork by overlapping torn tissue paper glued on a black background.

Children glue various sizes of wooden sticks to represent the rungs on the Ladder for Booker T. Washington.

Children were inspired by this art poster to create their own pottery.

A storyteller guides children's careful examination of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Grant Wood.

This poster prompts an exploration of how to draw a self portrait based on this famous portrait of George Washington.

Children use clay to create sculptures based on the inspiring poster of Benjamin Franklin.

Children created their own mural of mountains and a river inspired by looking at an oil painting of Mount Holyoke.

The American Flamingo artwork inspires children's use of pink tissue paper and wooden sticks.

Blocks help capture the architectural style of the Ohio State Capitol building.

The oil painting, Looking Down Yosemite Valley, inspires the creation of 3-D collages that reflect the textures of the mountains and the feelings of the spirit of the deep valley.

Head Start staff assemble children's artworks in their own gallery of colorful recreation of quilts.

Painting of Brooklyn Bridge prompts children to make colorful abstract paintings from spraying paints and tapes.

The train, tracks, and mirror to represent water reflect the industrial scene portrayed in American Landscape.

Panel 57 from Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series inspires children to recreate the nature of the artwork by overlapping torn tissue paper glued on a black background.

Children glue various sizes of wooden sticks to represent the rungs on the Ladder for Booker T. Washington.

Children glue various sizes of wooden sticks to represent the rungs on the Ladder for Booker T. Washington.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Resources

Resource Guide

Ignite the Spark: Facilitator Toolkit

Ignite the Spark: Facilitator Toolkit

Explore the resources of this Facilitator's Toolkit to enhance your facilitation skills when working with parents and families.

 
 

Ignite the Spark:
Parent-Family Sessions

Ignite the Spark: Parent-Family Sessions

Through an emphasis on the arts, Ignite the Spark: Parent-Family Sessions are designed to...

 
  • promote family literacy opportunities
  • support parents in their role as teachers
  • promote an important link between home and school (parent-child relationships)
  • support parents in identifying and creating personal and/or family goals.

The six Ignite the Spark: Parent-Family Sessions will be available soon.

 

Multimedia/Video

Family Night at the Museum video

Family Night at the Museum video shows how one Head Start Program introduced families and children to the Picturing America collection. View the video »