Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Art and History

Four very different sites linking art and history came to my attention recently.

The first is the National Museum of the American Indian online exhibit, “Identity by Design: Tradition, Change, and Celebration in Native Women’s Dresses.” http://www.nmai.si.edu/exhibitions/identity_by_design/IdentityByDesign.html

The second two are two sites that look at the artwork of Ben Steele: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bataan/gallery/index.html and http://www.artmontana.com/article/steele/. Steele, who grew up near Roundup, was on the art faculty of at Eastern Montana College (now known as MSU-Billings). He is also a WWII vet and a survivor of the Bataan Death March, who documented his experience while in a Japanese POW camp. I have put links to these pages on the “Chapter 19: World War II in Montana” page of the Montana: Stories of the Land companion website: http://svcalt.mt.gov/education/textbook/Chapter19/Chapter19.asp

The fourth is a video of Joe Horse Capture, the Associate Curator of Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: http://www.mnoriginal.org/art/?p=1675.  In it, Joe talks about what curators do, how to distinguish moccasins of different tribes, and an exhibit he curated titled “From Our Ancestors: Art of the White Clay People” (White Clay are more commonly known as Gros Ventre and are associated with the Fort Belknap Reservation. Joe’s an enrolled member.)

Do you successfully use art in your Montana history classroom (or teach Montana history in your art classroom)? If you have any favorite resources, lesson plans, or sure-fire techniques, let us know and we will pass them along.

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