Art Institute of Chicago Educator Programs

Art Institute of Chicago Educator Programs Learn more about the opportunities available to educators of all disciplines. Support the integration of arts education for your students while fostering your own professional development.
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Curious about ways to integrate art across school curricula? Interested in teacher professional development opportunities? Want to know what benefits are available to Illinois educators? Come visit us at the Crown Educator Resource Center! Friday, Saturday and Sunday- please call to make an appointment to visit during off hours The Crown Family Educator Resource Center, located in the Ryan Education Center, is a destination for teachers, librarians, parents, and educators of all kinds. Supporting arts integration across school curricula and interactive museum learning, the Crown Resource Center is a reference library with art history and art-making resources, exhibition catalogues, gallery activities, interdisciplinary lesson plans, research files, teacher manuals, and videos/DVDs; many relate directly to the Art Institute's collection and a selection of items in the library is available for loan. Patrons may use the library and computer stations to conduct research or consult with museum staff to plan lessons. Find us also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AICForTeachers

Teaching Idea: What sources do you use to understand the past?Emanuel Leutze's painting, "Washington Crossing the Delawa...
04/28/2020

Teaching Idea: What sources do you use to understand the past?

Emanuel Leutze's painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware", represents the brilliance and desperation of a critical moment in the American Revolution on a vast scale and is one of the most recognizable paintings in the history of American Art. Yet, it was not created during the time of the Revolution, but was made in a period of political tumult in Europe in the mid-19th century. Watch this video about the history of this painting and how we can examine it as a historical source. What are your sources for historical inquiry and what limitations do they have for understanding? What additional voices and sources might you seek out?

Watch video: https://smarthistory.org/leutze-washington-crossing-the-delaware/

Teaching Idea: What does a hero look like today?The medieval legend of Saint George, who saved a princess from a vicious...
04/27/2020

Teaching Idea: What does a hero look like today?

The medieval legend of Saint George, who saved a princess from a vicious dragon, presents a well known model of heroism. But in Leslie Garland Bolling's "Sister Tuesday", from a series of sculptures of the everyday labors of African American men and women, we are confronted with a quite different take on the hero figure. What qualities does a hero personify for you? Where do you find heroism in today's world?

Explore the "Saint George and the Dragon" resource: https://www.artic.edu/collection/resources/educator-resources/32-educator-resource-packet-saint-george-killing-the-dragon-by-bernat-martorell

Self-Care and Art: Mindful Wandering Mark today as a day for sensory explorations. On your next walk or outing, we invit...
04/24/2020

Self-Care and Art: Mindful Wandering

Mark today as a day for sensory explorations. On your next walk or outing, we invite you to be extra mindful of your surroundings. As cherry blossoms and flowers begin to bloom, go on a hunt for cherry blossoms or a favorite flower of your choice. Take a break from the mundane and bask in the beauty that spring has to offer.

Teaching Idea: How do you problem solve? Ganesha is Hinduism's Lord of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles. Posed mid-da...
04/23/2020

Teaching Idea: How do you problem solve?

Ganesha is Hinduism's Lord of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles. Posed mid-dance he is sure to amuse with his oversized elephant head and rotund belly–but there's more to the story. As the bestower of success, Ganesha's powerful attributes can overcome any challenge. What's a challenge you've recently overcome and how did you do it?

Explore resource: https://www.artic.edu/collection/resources/educator-resources/19-educator-resource-packet-dancing-ganesha

Teaching Idea: What does our shopping say about us? Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones' "The Shoe Shop" (c.1911) highlights the re...
04/22/2020

Teaching Idea: What does our shopping say about us?

Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones' "The Shoe Shop" (c.1911) highlights the relationship of the department store to economic and social conditions in the U.S. during the early 20th century. How do you think contemporary shopping practices reflect economic and social conditions in the early 21st century?

Learn more: https://smarthistory.org/seeing-america-2/elizabeth-sparhawk-jones-shoe-shop-2/

Teaching Idea: Find Inspiration in your DreamsLike the work of his Surrealist contemporaries, Joseph Cornell's art was o...
04/20/2020

Teaching Idea: Find Inspiration in your Dreams

Like the work of his Surrealist contemporaries, Joseph Cornell's art was often connected to the world of dreams. Based on what you can see in this Cornell box, write a short story that begins with this line: Last night I had the strangest dream ...

Explore more writing prompts: https://www.artic.edu/visit-us-virtually/get-creative-at-home/creative-writing-prompts

Explore the educator resource packet: https://www.artic.edu/collection/resources/educator-resources/47-educator-resource-packet-untitled-hotel-de-la-duchesse-anne-by-joseph-cornell

Art + Self-Care Idea: Pause, Process, and Play!Take a moment to relax, have fun, and connect to your inner artist by re-...
04/17/2020

Art + Self-Care Idea: Pause, Process, and Play!

Take a moment to relax, have fun, and connect to your inner artist by re-creating works of art from the museum's collection using unconventional materials from your own surroundings. Search works on the collections page to find one that inspires you. Share pictures of your creations on this page or send them to us at [email protected]. Here's an example from one of our staff members, who re-imagined an "Untitled" work by Kandinsky.

Search the collection: https://www.artic.edu/collection

Teaching Idea: Look and RespondWhat is the story of this picture? Who might be the main character? What do you see that ...
04/16/2020
Nightlife | The Art Institute of Chicago

Teaching Idea: Look and Respond

What is the story of this picture? Who might be the main character? What do you see that makes you think that? What might they be doing and feeling in this scene?

Select another person who stands out to you in the work. How does the story change if you make that person the main character?

"Nightlife" by Archibald John Motley Jr. : https://www.artic.edu/artworks/117266/nightlife

Archibald John Motley Jr., 1943

Teaching Idea: How do we make sense of a Strange World?"Strange Worlds" by Todros Geller explores important concepts suc...
04/15/2020

Teaching Idea: How do we make sense of a Strange World?

"Strange Worlds" by Todros Geller explores important concepts such as immigration and identity in early twentieth-century America. Watch the Smarthistory video (below) to uncover the struggles behind mass-immigration and what it took to maintain cultural identity in America. Consider parallels with debates about belonging and identity in our society today. What do you think Geller meant with the title "Strange Worlds" in 1928 and what mean might it hold for our experiences in 2020?

Smarthistory video: https://smarthistory.org/seeing-america-2/geller-strange-worlds-2/

Teaching Idea: Mixing Art and MusicSelect a piece of music and play it out loud. Follow the prompts below to make connec...
04/14/2020

Teaching Idea: Mixing Art and Music

Select a piece of music and play it out loud. Follow the prompts below to make connections, combine your looking and listening skills, and have some fun:

1. What came to mind when you heard this music? Why?

2. Explore our collections page (linked below) to select an artwork that corresponds to the piece of music you chose. What did you select and why? Consider sharing your response with a friend.

Explore the Collection: https://www.artic.edu/collection
View Activity: https://www.artic.edu/collection/resources/educator-resources/83-student-activity-art-and-music

"Blue and Green Music" by Georgia O'Keeffe

Teaching Idea: How do we individuality or collectively respond to change?Help learners connect to the complexity of deva...
04/13/2020
Educator Resource Packet: The Rock by Peter Blume | The Art Institute of Chicago

Teaching Idea: How do we individuality or collectively respond to change?

Help learners connect to the complexity of devastation and reconstruction using Peter Blume’s painting "The Rock".The monumental rock, fractured yet enduring, serves as a powerful symbol of humanity’s tenacity and capacity to survive. Try a creative writing exercise by asking yourself, what happened prior to this scene to cause such a destruction?

Resource: https://www.artic.edu/collection/resources/educator-resources/42-educator-resource-packet-the-rock-by-peter-blume

Looming in the center of Peter Blume's painting is a monumental rock, fractured yet enduring, a powerful symbol of humanity's tenacity and capacity to survive. Men and women struggle to go on living and rebuilding in this postwar scene of destruction.

Art + Self-Care Idea: Color the Classics!Take a pause from teaching or any other demanding responsibilities and indulge ...
04/10/2020

Art + Self-Care Idea: Color the Classics!

Take a pause from teaching or any other demanding responsibilities and indulge in some self-care this weekend. Spend some time with the icons of the Art Institute's collection using these printable coloring pages to recreate or put a fun spin on the classics.

Explore Coloring Book Here:
https://aic-web-cms-uploads.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/nullc2312122-9d8c-490b-ac2a-a83bda171814/ArtInstituteColoringBookPages.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=base&utm_content=base-get-creative-04-09-20

04/09/2020
Recreating Ukiyo-e Hairstyles

Teaching Idea: Edo Fashion-Hairstyles--A Living Tradition

They were the beautiful people of Edo-period Japan: the courtesans, geisha, and actors depicted in the ukiyo-e paintings of the 17th-19th century. The fashions they wore reflected class and occupation as well as trends and individual taste. As one of a few living yūsoku hairstylists, Tomiko Minami has the special skills needed to create traditional and historical Japanese hairstyles today. What traditions or skills have been passed down to you?

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q04Sx76AKnM

They were the beautiful people of Edo-period Japan, the courtesans, geisha, and actors depicted in the ukiyo-e paintings of the 17th through 19th century. Th...

Teaching Idea: How can Observations Spark Inquiry?Take a moment to make a few observations about what you see in the ima...
04/08/2020

Teaching Idea: How can Observations Spark Inquiry?

Take a moment to make a few observations about what you see in the image below. Next, challenge these observations by turning them into questions for deeper inquiry. Look again--what details in the painting can help you answer your questions? What different responses (or POVs) might be possible? Use our worksheet below to collect your ideas.

Extra Credit: This 1983 photo realist painting by Richard Estes shows Michigan Avenue in front of the Art Institute bustling with pedestrians and cars. Today Michigan Avenue is the quietest it's ever been. If you could visit one of your favorite public places today, where would you go? Why? Now imagine you are in that place. What might you see, smell, hear, taste or feel?

Take a closer look at the artwork here:
https://www.artic.edu/artworks/102229/michigan-avenue-with-view-of-the-art-institute

Teaching Idea: Nothing but Blue SkiesThe sky alters our day. It is a dramatic visual character in our daily stories. Exp...
04/07/2020
Nothing but Blue Skies | The Art Institute of Chicago

Teaching Idea: Nothing but Blue Skies

The sky alters our day. It is a dramatic visual character in our daily stories. Explore the many ways in which artist approach the sky in "Nothing but Blue Skies" (below). Then look out your own window, what do the skies remind you of? What can artists teach us about paying attention to the natural world?

Nothing but Blue Skies: https://www.artic.edu/articles/806/nothing-but-blue-skies

Explore this related resource: "America Windows" by Marc Chagall
https://www.artic.edu/collection/resources/educator-resources/13-educator-resource-packet-america-windows-by-marc-chagall

The sky alters our day.

Teaching Idea: Pack Your Bags! Exploring the Great MigrationWalter Ellison portrayed a train station in his native Georg...
04/07/2020
Educator Resource Packet: Train Station by Walter Ellison | The Art Institute of Chicago

Teaching Idea: Pack Your Bags! Exploring the Great Migration

Walter Ellison portrayed a train station in his native Georgia and commented on the racial climate in the United States in the 1930s. Use this educator resource packet to travel back in time with Walter Ellison and learn more about his journey northbound and the momentum behind the Great Migration.

Educator Resource Packet: https://www.artic.edu/collection/resources/educator-resources/45-educator-resource-packet-train-station-by-walter-ellison

Walter Ellison portrayed a train station in his native Georgia and commented on the racial climate in the United States in the 1930s.

Art + Self-Care Idea: Reconnect and recharge as we share restorative learning opportunities at the close of each week to...
04/03/2020
Stupa Reliquary | The Art Institute of Chicago

Art + Self-Care Idea:

Reconnect and recharge as we share restorative learning opportunities at the close of each week to help you reprioritize self-care. This week we're talking about meditation. Meditation is not confined to a seated position. Stupas (an architectural structure) were circumambulated, as practitioners would walk around them in mediation. Whether it's controlled breathing, drawing, or cleaning as movement, ask yourself: What kind of movement helps me focus?

View here: https://www.artic.edu/artworks/130641/stupa-reliquary

Kushan period, about 2nd century

Teaching Idea: Finding Joy in the Little Things Celebrate the arrival of spring with Tosa Mitsuoki's "Flowering Cherry w...
04/01/2020

Teaching Idea: Finding Joy in the Little Things

Celebrate the arrival of spring with Tosa Mitsuoki's "Flowering Cherry with Poem Slips". Unveil the ephemeral beauty behind cherry blossoms and learn about the traditions and popular rites of springtime in Japanese culture. What activities or rituals do you engage in to celebrate the beginning of spring?

Explore this further with our Educator Resource Packet: https://www.artic.edu/collection/resources/educator-resources/21-educator-resource-packet-flowering-cherry-with-poem-slips-by-tosa-mitsukoi

03/31/2020
Gordon Parks, Off on My Own (Harlem, New York)

Teaching Idea: Examining the Portrayal of African American Life in the US

Explore Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison's photo-essay, "Harlem is Nowhere", and discover why the media's portrayal of urban life reflect larger systemic issues across America. How are artworks essential in illuminating social concerns and affecting change?

YouTube Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReJT-a4EtQQ&feature=emb_logo

Gordon Parks (American, 1912-2006), Off on My Own (Harlem, New York), 1948. Gelatin silver print. The Art Institute of Chicago, Amanda Taub Veazie Acquisitio...

Teaching Idea: Imagine a Conversation Between CharactersUsing clues you find in this image, think about the personalitie...
03/30/2020

Teaching Idea: Imagine a Conversation Between Characters

Using clues you find in this image, think about the personalities of the characters and write out a dialogue between each of them. You never know what kind of story might unfold!

Find activity here: https://www.artic.edu/collection/resources/educator-resources/97-student-activity-a-conversation-between-characters

"Harlem, NY" (1978) by Dawoud Bey
Learn more about the artist and this work here: https://www.artic.edu/artworks/208131/harlem-ny

Teaching Idea: What's your color?You can now search the Art Institute's collection by color. Think of the color that fit...
03/26/2020

Teaching Idea: What's your color?

You can now search the Art Institute's collection by color. Think of the color that fits your mood and use the color filter on the museum's collections page to explore works of art that best suit you! Share your color and artwork finds with friends, family, or your classmates. We've already searched for the color blue (link). What color will you choose?

The Collection: https://www.artic.edu/collection?q=Blue

"Starry Night and the Astronauts" by Alma Thomas

Teaching Idea: Consider New Perspectives on Old Favorites"Nighthawks" has long been positioned as the iconic painting of...
03/24/2020
Nighthawks as a Symbol of Hope | The Art Institute of Chicago

Teaching Idea: Consider New Perspectives on Old Favorites

"Nighthawks" has long been positioned as the iconic painting of loneliness and alienation.

But what if Hopper’s composition spoke to an inner need for social connection in a time of fear and isolation?

Learn more in "Nighthawks as Hope: A Curator Muses on Edward Hopper and Crisis."

Nighthawks has long been positioned as the iconic painting of loneliness and alienation.

03/19/2020
Benny Andrews, Flag Day

Teaching Idea: Cultural Competence & Civic Engagement

Using Benny Andrews’ "Flag Day", explore concerns of voice, equality, and visibility. Watch Smarthistory’s video and review the related lesson plan to unpack the meaning of this powerful painting. Then consider, can art be an effective tool in tackling large social or political issues?

Smarthistory YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O0KBHom5bg

Smarthistory Teaching Guide: https://smarthistory.org/seeing-america-2/national-identity/identity-civil-rights-and-the-lesson-american-flag/

Benny Andrews, Flag Day, 1966, oil on canvas, 53.3 x 40.6 cm ©The Benny Andrews Estate (The Art Institute of Chicago), a Seeing America video Speakers: Robyn...

Teaching Idea: Cultural Competence & Civic EngagementExplore this resource from Facing History to learn more about discr...
03/19/2020

Teaching Idea: Cultural Competence & Civic Engagement

Explore this resource from Facing History to learn more about discrimination issues related to the coronavirus strain. Discover examples of coronavirus-linked racism, the long association between disease and “outsiders”, and what it means to become an upstander.

Facing History COVID-19 Resource: https://www.facinghistory.org/educator-resources/current-events/coronavirus-protect-yourself-stand-against-racism?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=organic&fbclid=IwAR2xrJblPyEDNB4JbEzaalVJlqL94RwaHMvCiw-wYLNU_TOHwmZ3waBU4S4

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We are thinking outside of the box on this one. Our client has empowered us to sell (if not give away) product material samples from our estate/liquidation sale of a high end interior designer's showroom this Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 2pm each day in Riverside Illinois. The material samples we have are prefect for art teachers, art students, crafters, artists or interior designers. Please share this post with your friends, family and any and all teachers, students and artists! We have the following material samples looking for new homes: Wall Paper Sample Books Upholstery Fabric Sample Books Carpet Samples Tile Samples Cabinet Pull Samples Wood Blind Sample Book Wood Samples You can see and get more info here: https://www.estatesale.com/sales/view/137150.html