Thematic Curricula Connecting Art and History Through Inquiry
Works of art are special kinds of historical sources that spark inquiry in the classroom in remarkable ways. Developed by educators at the Art Institute of Chicago, Art + History is an innovative method for using art as a primary source for historical inquiry. The method takes students through five stages of exploration: Look, Share, Wonder, Contextualize, Reflect. In a video featured on the Art + History website, high school students explore multiple perspectives on a historical moment of revolution, using a work of art—José Clemente Orozco’s Zapata (1930)—as a starting point. Students then apply their new understandings by reconsidering questions of their own time. Through the process, they contend with essential questions such as, How can artworks provide a unique lens on the past? What’s beyond the frame? What other perspectives can I consider? How are these ideas still relevant today? While the work of art featured in the video is figurative, the Art + History method can be used with works of art in any style or medium.
What are students in pursuit of? What drives them? What do they want to change? Getty Unshuttered provides a positive community for teen artists to create and raise their voices for social good—a place to inspire one another and grow as artists.
For the first time in its 174-year history, the Smithsonian Institution has released more than 2.8 million high-resolution two- and three-dimensional images from across its collections onto an open-access online platform for visitors to peruse and download free of charge.