Picturing America

Picturing America is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It was distributed free of charge to participating K-12 schools, public libraries, and other entities chosen by the National Endowment for the Humanities"
"Picturing America "brings masterpieces of American art into the classrooms and libraries in a fresh and engaging way. Students will experience a deeper appreciation of our country's history through the study and understanding of America's past through its art."
The National Endowment for the Humanities believes that engaging, "masterful works of art can bring the story of America to life."
An illustrated Teachers Resource Book, with activities organized by elementary, middle and high school levels. The resource book will help K-12 teachers use the images to teach core curriculum subjects such as: American history, social studies, civics, language arts, literature, science, math, geography, and music.

Picturing America Home Page

Picturing America Art Gallery

Picturing America – Teachers Guide

Download full English Teachers Resource Book

Download English Teachers Resource Book

To download individual chapters from the Pilot Resource Book, click on the appropriate link below.

1-A  Various Artists, Pottery and Baskets, c. 1100 to c. 1960

1-B  Various Artists, Mission ConcepciĆ³n, San Antonio, Texas, 1755

2-A  John Singleton Copley, Paul Revere, 1768

2-B  Various Artists, Silver of the 18th, 19th & 20th Centuries

3-A  Grant Wood, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, 1931

3-B  Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (the Lansdowne portrait), 1796

4-A  Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851

4-B  Hiram Powers, Benjamin Franklin, 1862

5-A  Thomas Cole, The Oxbow, 1836

5-B  N. C. Wyeth, Cover Illustration for The Last of the Mohicans, 1919

6-A  John James Audubon, American Flamingo, 1838

6-B  George Catlin, Catlin Painting the Portrait of Mah-to-toh-pa—Mandan, 1861/1869

7-A  Thomas Cole and others, Ohio State Capitol, 1838–1861

7-B  George Caleb Bingham, The County Election, 1852

8-A  Albert Bierstadt, Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California, 1865

8-B  Black Hawk, “Sans Arc Lakota” Ledger Book, 1880–1881

9-A  Winslow Homer, The Veteran in a New Field, 1865

9-B  Alexander Gardner, Abraham Lincoln, 1865

10-A  Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial, 1884–1897

10-B  Various Artists, Quilts of the 19th and 20th Centuries 

11-A  Thomas Eakins, John Biglin in a Single Scull, c. 1873

11-B  James McNeill Whistler, Harmony in Blue and Gold, The Peacock Room, 1876–1877

12-A  John Singer Sargent, Portrait of a Boy, 1890

12-B  Childe Hassam, Allies Day, May 1917, 1917

13-A  Walker Evans, Brooklyn Bridge, New York, 1929

13-B  Louis Comfort Tiffany, Autumn Landscape– The River of Life, 1923–1924

14-A  Mary Cassatt, The Boating Party, 1893/1894

14-B  Joseph Stella, Brooklyn Bridge, c. 1919–1920

15-A  Charles Sheeler, American Landscape, 1930

15-B  William Van Alen, The Chrysler Building, 1926–1930

16-A  Edward Hopper, House by the Railroad, 1925

16-B  Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater, 1935–1939

17-A  Jacob Lawrence, The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 57, 1940–1941

17-B  Romare Bearden, The Dove, 1964

18-A  Thomas Hart Benton, The Sources of Country Music, 1975

18-B  Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936

19-A  Norman Rockwell, Freedom of Speech, The Saturday Evening Post 1943, 1943

19-B  James Karales, Selma-to-Montgomery March for Voting Rights in 1965, 1965

20-A  Richard Diebenkorn, Cityscape I, 1963

20-B  Martin Puryear, Ladder for Booker T. Washington, 1996

To download individual chapters from the English Teachers Resource Book, click here

Picturing of America - The Migration of the Negro Panel/Ladder for Booker T. Washington

The Migration of the Negro Pane;
Ladder for Booker T. Washington

Inspired by the musical storytelling of West Africa’s griots, Jacob Lawrence employed in “The Migration of the Negro” a painted and written narrative to invoke how African-American families “came up” from the South to settle in cities such as New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.
Suspended above the floor and anchored by almost undetectable wires, Martin Puryear’s 36-foot Ladder for Booker T. Washington seems to float in space as it rises and abruptly narrows at the top. The artistic metaphor of a ladder not easily climbed dovetails with the contradictions in the legacy of slave-turned-educator Booker T. Washington.