Help your students explore works of art as primary documents.
While art many not speak in absolute truths, a careful and thoughtful analysis of it can provide crucial information about the shifts of American society and how it has changed and evolved over the centuries. What America is now is not what it has always been, and what it is now is not what it will become in the future.
In his Peaceable Kingdom series, Hicks depicts a visionary scene of peace on earth that extends back to include William Penn and the founding of Pennsylvania. Hicks captures the greater religious diversity and tolerance of the Middle Colonies, but the determination of English settlers to take Native American land would undermine the racial harmony he imagined.
Kaphar’s painting uses defacement as a way of critiquing Andrew Jackson and his role in the Trail of Tears. It makes us consider the role of presidential power, both past and present.
APUSH: KC-4.3.I.B, KC-9.2.II.C