A New Way to “Picture” America
Could you imagine living in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water with the rush of water right beneath your house? Remember how you delighted in N.C. Weyth’s illustrations for Last of the Mohicans? Who could forget the haunting faces captured in Dorthea Lange’s Migrant Mother and Children? And, who could not be inspired by the iconic image of Washington Crossing the Delaware?
Great America art is all around us–informing our experiences and imaginations from childhood through adulthood. I worked for two years in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, my perception perhaps more like Walker Evan’s photograph, than Joseph Stella’s painting. And, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always dreamed of hanging a Hopper in my living room. Well, I might not get a Hopper for my house, but famous works by American artists will soon be enhancing the hallways, classrooms, and galleries of thousands of schools and libraries across the country.
The National Endowment for the Humanities’ new initiative, Picturing America, features forty reproductions of American art, a teachers guide and a fabulous web resource, all available free of charge to schools and public libraries. Providing broad access to art for a new generation of Americans, these works tell the story of America through art. What a great way to learn about our country’s culture and heritage! Click here for more information about Picturing America. Or, learn more by checking out this video:
Jean Wortman is a Program Director at the Maryland Humanities Council.