Seeing America was created by Smarthistory with 16 leading museums and examines the long history of the United States, from before European settlers to the modern era.
All teaching guides
Guides to help your students explore works of art as primary documents (more coming soon).
All videos + essays
Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz
This portrait gives us a glimpse into the creative circle of Alfred Stieglitz in 1920s New York, with references to Georgia O'Keeffe, Arthur Dove, Henry McBride, and others.
The Chief Johnson Totem Pole
Learn about the story of Fog Woman and Raven and the generations of this totem pole from the Tlingit
Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Good Shepherd
Painted after the end of World War I and amid pressure to "represent his race" as a Black man, Tanner brings biblical scenes into the modern world
Asher B. Durand, Kindred Spirits
One of the most recognized paintings in American history, this painting is an ode to friendship and nature
Edmonia Lewis, The Old Arrow Maker
Edmonia Lewis, an artist of Black and Indigenous heritage, uses a neoclassical style to depict Indigenous subjects from a popular novel around the time of the U.S. Civil War
John Wesley Jarvis, Black Hawk and His Son Whirling Thunder
These Indigenous men sat for this portrait during a forced tour of U.S. eastern cities after they were incarcerated as political prisoners
Rosa Rolanda, Self-Portrait
Rolanda, a close friend of Frida Kahlo, explores her Mexican identity in the 1930s with surrealism and a volcano
Georgia O’Keeffe, Radiator Building—Night, New York
O'Keeffe takes on the New York skyline in the 1920s
Amy Sherald, Precious Jewels by the Sea
This monumental painting of Black people at the beach speaks to a dearth of Black figures in the art history canon
The City Beautiful Movement
In the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, Progressives responded to political corruption, economic instability, and social concerns by calling for greater government action and other political and social measures.
APUSH: KC - 7.1.II
Spiral: Black Art and the Civil Rights Movement
During and after World War II, civil rights activists and leaders, most notably Martin Luther King Jr., combated racial discrimination utilizing a vareity of strategies, including legal challenges, direct action, and nonviolent protest tactics.
APUSH KC - 8.2.1.A
Marilyn Spoon, Bandolier Bag
This bandolier bag is the first of its kind from the Sac and Fox tribe in more than 20 years
Explore the diverse history of the United States through its art. Seeing America is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Alice L. Walton Foundation.