New York Accents Educator Guide

Page 1


This Educators Guide was designed for use in conjunction with field trips to the New

York Accents exhibition, or for use as a stand‐alone classroom resource. The materials included here contain curriculum connections aligned with Common Core and Georgia Professional Standards for 5th grade Visual Arts, Language Arts, and Social Studies, but are adaptable for use at other grade levels.

Brooklyn Bridge in Winter, Childe Hassam, 1904.

I Love Liberty, Roy Lichtenstein, 1982.

The New York Accents exhibition brings together a wide variety of works that demonstrates the Telfair‟s, and Savannah‟s, various connections to New York over the last 200 years. Though the cities seem vastly different—a sprawling Northern metropolis and a relatively quiet Southern burg—the cities have long shared a love of art and culture, each city housing some of the country‟s oldest major museums. The story begins with the Telfair family, who often visited and bought decorative arts from New York and other northern hubs. Over the years the relationship grew, with the development of the Telfair‟s Savannah Art Club in the 1920s, attracting New York artists, and with prominent members of the art community like Gari Melchers and Kirk Varnedoe maintaining strong ties to both cities. The artworks collected here, whether depicting the New York, made there, or created by artists working in its schools and studios, each convey an aspect of the special connection these two historic cities share.

While items like teapots and sofas may seem like just „stuff,â€&#x; these items can tell us a lot about the people who made and used them. Just as Egyptian artifacts tell us about the daily lives of ancient Egyptians, these 19th century objects can give us clues to life in Savannah in the 1800s. Both the items themselves (like a chocolate pot) and how they looked (the style that was popular) gives us information about what people valued at the time.

Pitcher (creamer), Boyce & Jones, c. 1825-

Sofa, Unknown Maker, c. 1810-1815, Mahogany, modern upholstery.

1830, silver.

Items like the ones you see above, and others in this exhibition, are significant not only for how they look but where they came from. These pieces were chosen for this exhibition because they have a connection to New York. In the 19th century many pieces of decorative art were made in New York and other northern cities at the time while few were made in the South. Ask students to consider what this fact implies about the economy of cities like New York versus southern cities like Savannah. Historical events, like the opening of the Erie Canal, played a part in nortern citiesâ€&#x; commercial viability. Why else would decorative arts not have been made in the South? What was different about its economy? Consider, also, the implications of these differences a few decades later, during the Civil War.

The decoration you see in 19th century art has actually been transmitted over thousands of years. In the 1800s Napoleon was in power in France and looking to expand his empire. He wanted his rule to embody ideas of great civilizations of the past, such as ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt (where he also began a military campaign). Architecture, like the Arc de Triomphe, was built in the neo-classical style, to resemble buildings of those societies. This trend continued in other areas as well, including painting, sculpture and decorative arts like furniture, silver and ceramics. In France this phase was known as the Empire style, although when it became popular in England it was known as the Regency style. British designers, like Duncan Phyfe, began to come to America, bringing these decorative elements with them. Thus ancient styles became popular again.

English Language Arts Common Core Georgia Performance Standards ELACC5RI7: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently. ELACC5SL4: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace. ELACC5SL5: Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes. Georgia Performance Standards for Social Studies SS4G2 The student will describe how physical systems affect human systems. c. Explain how the physical geography of the New England, Mid-Atlantic, andSouthern colonies helped determine economic activities practiced therein Georgia Performance Standards for Visual Arts VA5CU.2 Views and discusses selected artworks. c. Discusses how social events inspire art from a given time period.

Explain to students the importance of cultural artifacts and what they have historically been able to tell us about civilizations. A wonderful example and resources is the „A History of the World in 100 Objects‟ series (see Resource section); if possible listen to one or more 15-minute podcasts with students to get an idea of what objects can tell us. Have students create their own „History of Savannah..‟ series by creating a few-minute presentation on an object from a certain time period. For objects and further resources the Georgia Historical Society is a great place to start (see Resource section; limiting searches to objects will prove useful). Encourage students to answer certain questions in creating their presentation, including the usual 5 W‟s but also several „hows,‟ such as: How was this object made? How did it make it to Savannah? How was it used? How did it survive for so many years? How is it used today, if at all?

Adapted from Rebecca Zurier‟s Picturing the City: Urban Realism and the Ashcan School, p.2-6. See Resources page for full reference.

▪ How was the Ashcan School different from other art that came before it?

▪ What events and changes occurred between 1895 and 1917 that caused it to be known as the Progressive Era?

▪ According to this excerpt, and from what you know about this period, how was New York (and other big cities) changing during this era? Think about work, private life and culture.

▪ There are some questions in the last paragraph. Think about how these artists might have answered. What about you?

In the history of American art, scenes of everyday life had [prior to 1900] usually depicted rural subjects, or the elegant drawing rooms of well-to-do households. The few artists who had depicted urban life in the industrial age usually allowed viewers to look down upon their subjects visually, socially and morally. By the turn of the century (1900), serious art usually meant American Impressionism that transformed urban scenes into tranquil landscapes seen from a distance. Nobody had seen an urban culture quite like the one that emerged in the modern city during the “transformation of American culture” in the Progressive Era (1895-1917). By the time Ashcan School painters came to New York, it was the largest city in America and second only to London in the world. Its numbers had grown rapidly; between 1890 and 1910 the population nearly doubled, mainly through immigration. Of these almost five million people, more than 78% were foreign born or the children of immigrants. The characteristics that made New York different from most other American places— having financial networks that connected it to cities around the world and serving as a hub for fashion and the arts—made it emblematic of the modern metropolis. New York was a city of strangers and extremes of wealth and poverty. Immigrants, women and other populations that used to stay in one defined space now competed among one another for power and visibility in public life. The city‟s diverse population, commerce and changing morals proved to be subjects of fascination for the Ashcan School artists. They were committed to creating modern, urban views that would show „real life‟ among the city‟s many images. What was it like to live through the changes so vividly revealed in their paintings? How did the city change when women, the working class, and ethnic groups claimed visibility as citizens? Their artwork assumes the viewpoint of an observer or journalist, a city resident who shares space with the people depicted while viewing them—on the street, at a park, in a restaurant or from a nearby window.

The Calico Sellers, Jerome Myers, 1909. Brooklyn Bridge in Winter, Childe Hassam, 1904.

Georgia Performance Standards for Social Studies SS5H3 The student will describe how life changed in America at the turn of the century. d. Describe the reasons people emigrated to the United States, from where they emigrated, and where they settled. Georgia Performance Standards for Visual Arts VA5CU.1 Investigates and discovers personal relationship to community, culture, and the world through creating and studying art. VA5CU.2 Views and discusses selected artworks. c. Discusses how social events inspire art from a given time period.

Having begun to study the Progressive Era and the turn of the 20th century in America, have students read the essay at left and discuss the questions. Discuss the notion that art is a product of its time and draw upon other examples students may be familiar with (such as art of ancient Greece that emphasized order and balance, or contemporary art which uses technology) Having discussed the Ashcan School and how it was different from art that came before it (like American Impressionism), ask students to compare and contrast the images above. They both depict New York City in the same era, but how are the images different? Do they tell different stories about the city? Extensions: Have students create a work of art they feel represents changing urban life at the turn of the century. Alternately, allow students to write a response describing the scene in this or other Ashcan School paintings.

Timeframe, Daniel Shiffman, 2002.

This painting, like that of many Impressionists, was one of a series. Hassam created more than thirty such paintings, all with the theme of flags lining a busy Fifth Avenue.

Self Portrait, Chuck Close, 2002.

Avenue of the Allies, Childe Hassam, 1917.

Repeating elements in art can convey harmony, show movement or create interest. Each of the artworks below, all from the New York Accents exhibition, use repetition in a different way. Consider how and why each of these images represents the idea of repetition and which, in your opinion, best embodies the concept.

Chuck Close also experimented with variations on a theme. He created numerous self-portraits in different styles and media. This one is made of up of a grid of squares with areas of color inside.

Daniel Shiffman also works with a grid to capture the human form. In his work a web camera captures images of people and displays them one after the other in patterns that move throughout the screen. The individual forms are moving, but so are the patterns made by the changing images.

Consider the three images on the left. Each embodies the idea of repetition but in a slightly different way. These three works were brought together because of their shared connection to New York. How could the idea of repetition be used to convey another theme? Repetition itself can even be a theme. Take a look at this exhibition, entitled Multiplicity, organized by the Smithsonian‟s American Art Museum: http:// These examples should give some idea of the range of concepts an idea like repetition or multiplicity can produce. Apply the notion of multiplicity to another theme to see what you can come up with.

“Look for echoes. Sometimes the same shape or direction will echo through the picture.”

- Robert Henri

Georgia Performance Standards for Visual Arts VA5MC.3 Selects and uses subject matter, symbols, and/or ideas to communicate meaning. a. Generates different viewpoints for making and interpreting a visual image. b. Develops visual images by combining or modifying open-ended themes/topics in unique and innovative ways. VA5MC.1 Engages in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas. a. Creates a series of thumbnail sketches to alter visual images (e.g., magnifying, reducing, repeating or combining them in a variety of ways) to change how they are perceived and interpreted. VA5PR.1 Creates artworks based on personal experience and selected themes. a. Interprets visually the big ideas and broad themes in open-ended ways that resonate with personal meaning c. Communicates values, opinions, or personal insights through an original work of art.

With your students, consider the examples of repetition in the online exhibition slideshow above. For further explanations and examples of concepts like repetition, pattern and rhythm, see the Resources section. Now that you have an idea of the range repetition can produce, ask students to explore the theme of repetition. (This can be done with a number of techniques and media, like printing or making molds.) Allow students to explore various means of repetition using different media. Once students have explored various processes, ask them to create one finished work that employs some aspect of repetition but also embodies a particular theme (this could be studentdriven or could relate to another area of study, such as the Industrial Revolution or the life cycle). Foster a discussion of students‟ work and how they compare to one another. Exhibit them!

In this section you will find resources referred to in earlier materials as well as additional references materials for you and your students. A History of the World in 100 Objects The above site, part of the British Museum, offers a guide to each of the objects featured on the program. Objects are organized chronologically by theme. At the BBC site you can listen to the 15-minute podcasts (audio files) that describe each of the objects and their significance.

Georgia Historical Society The Georgia Historical Society has a wealth of artifacts and documents that explore the history of the state. request=ks This link goes to their searchable archive. If you or your students are searching for objects, filter the search on the right to limit it to only objects.

Brooklyn Museum 19th Century Decorative Arts Collection location/2147483616/ The Brooklyn Museum has vast holdings in decorative arts accompanied by a searchable database. Students might find objects similar to theirs and discover more about the origins of like objects.

Picturing the City: Urban Vision and the Ashcan School, by Rebecca Zurier id=MSaGxzpm7TYC While this book is academic and geared toward adults, the introduction (available to read online through Google Books) should give teachers some background information on the time and conditions in which the Ashcan School painters were working. It is also the source for the above excerpt.

Seeing America: Jerome Myerâ€&#x;s Sunday Morning This pdf offers a simple-to-understand guide to Jerome Myers as well as typical Ashcan School style, providing context in the form of contemporary photographs and the work of other artists.

Smarthistory: Bellowsâ€&#x; Pennsylvania Station Excavation Smarthistory is a wonderful resource that presents art history for a novice audience. With short essays and videos, like this one, visitors can learn the basics of art historical movements (in this case, George Bellows and the Ashcan School).

Multiplicity, an Exhibition from the Smithsonian American Art Museum Even though this exhibition has come down, you can still see images from it. Each of the works exemplifies the theme of multiplicity and is accompanied by a short explanation. A great tool, particularly for further visual examples of the concept of repetition.

Sophia: Repetition, Pattern and Rhythm is a site that offers teachers free tools to enhance their lessons. This explanation of the related phenomena of repetition, pattern and rhythm is easy to follow and offers multiple visual examples from a wide range of sources.

Flyeschool: Repetition, Rhythm and Pattern This site is the personal blog of a high school art teacher. It covers a number of the same themes as the site directly above but with different visual examples. Flye also includes references that bridge the gap between art and math and science.

The Educators Guide will prepare you for tour content, but what about tour procedures? Keep things running smoothly with this list.

Don‟t worry, we will go over these again on your arrival, but it does help if students have heard them from you first. Explore with your eyes, not your hands. Telfair Museums was created in order to share art and knowledge. We take special care of the art in our collections so that it can be shared for a long, long time. Even the gentlest touches can add up to harmful results. Point with your words, not your finger. Even if you know not to touch, if you point too closely to a part of a painting or sculpture, you might accidentally touch it. Instead of pointing, describe what you want to point out using words like “in the center,” “at the bottom,” “next to the corner,” “to the right,” “above,” and “below.” Walk and move carefully. Follow your docent. Take your time, watch where you are going, and hold onto handrails while using the stairs. Listen carefully, raise your hand, speak clearly but quietly. The museum is a place for thinking and learning. The same rules that make learning easier in a classroom are used here too. Eating, drinking, and chewing gum are not allowed. Photography is not allowed.

Our docents are dedicated volunteers. Your prompt notification regarding cancellations or late arrival helps prevent mismanagement of the time they so generously donate. To cancel a tour, please call 912.790.8827 If you will be more than 10 minutes late, or are cancelling the day of the tour, please inform the Telfair Academy museum receptionist at 912.790.8871 or the Jepson Center receptionist at 912.790.8800. Before you enter the museum/get off the bus, divide into groups with an adult in each. When you check in at the admission desk, please provide the number of students and chaperones to the front desk staff and check backpacks, lunches, and jackets. Stay with the group you have been assigned to. Maintain discipline without interrupting the docent. Proximal control works great! Bathroom Breaks: Academy bathrooms are located in the basement level. There is a bathroom on the third floor in the touring area, but its use during tours interferes with student attentiveness. Reserve it for emergency use only. Please let us know about your experience. We are constantly evaluating and improving our programs. Your observations and ideas are a valuable resource. Please share them at 912.790.8827.

Jerry Siegel‟s photographic portraits of southern visual artists compose a highly personal survey of some of the most interesting inhabitants of our region. An Alabama native, Siegel has spent the last 17 years traveling the area to capture the likenesses of both well-known and emerging artists in their familiar settings. Facing South assembles approximately 50 black-and-white and color portraits of Siegel‟s subjects. Expressive, intimate, and evocative, Siegel‟s body of work offers sensitive insights into the region‟s creative soul.

Act/Natural presents

approximately forty photographs from the permanent collection that explore the ways in which photographers utilize both candid and staged compositions to create portraits of individuals, pairs, and groups. The staged photographs in the exhibition invite the viewer to consider how the subjects wish to present themselves to camera, as well as how the photographers utilize the medium to reinforce or subvert the subjects‟ self-image. Meanwhile, the candid images in the exhibition capture unstudied snippets of everyday life, revealing the interconnectedness or, in some cases, the isolation of their subjects.

Showcasing a selection of everyday treasures from the Huntington Museum of Art‟s Touma Collection, Allure of the Near East features over 70 objects from a broad geographical area including the Middle East, Turkey, Indian sub-continent, North Africa, and Europe and range in date from the 1st through the early 20th centuries. Various media showcase the region, including metalwork, glass, ceramics, arms and armor, scientific instruments, textiles, furniture, books, and manuscripts. These items represent Pre-Roman, Roman, Greek, Islamic, Christian and Jewish civilizations.

Spanish Sojourns will be the first exhibition to explore the Spanish paintings of Robert Henri. Widely celebrated as both an artist and a teacher, Henri also played a pivotal role in the history of American art as one of the key organizers of the progressive 1908 exhibition of the Eight, and throughout his career championed the realistic portrayal of contemporary life. Spain and its people held a particular fascination for Henri, who was attracted to the nation‟s sunny climate, ancient culture, and spirited citizens. Henri‟s Spanish portraits also reflect his admiration for the great Spanish masters Diego Velasquez and Francisco Goya, whose works he studied closely.

As an educator, you are eligible for a special membership rate. Our $35 Educator‟s Membership entitles you to all of the following: Unlimited free admission to the Telfair Museums three sites [Telfair Academy, Jepson Center for the Arts, and Owens Thomas House] 

Invitations to special members-only events and lectures

Discounted art classes

10% discount at the Telfair Museums‟ stores

Eligibility to join museum member groups

A one-time use guest pass It pays to join! Visit or call 912.790.8866