Culture and society

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videos + essays

Over the next two years, Seeing America will grow to include 100 videos, 18 essays, quizzes, discussion questions and lesson plans.

American Kabuki
American Kabuki

Teraoka draws on Japan's brilliant history of art and kabuki theatre to creating beauty from heartrending tragedy

Hicks’ The Peaceable Kingdom as Pennsylvania parable
Hicks’ The Peaceable Kingdom as Pennsylvania parable

The Peaceable Kingdom as Pennsylvania parable, a tale in the construction of history

An African muslim among the founding fathers, Charles Willson Peale’s <em>Yarrow Mamout</em>
An African muslim among the founding fathers, Charles Willson Peale’s Yarrow Mamout

How a portrait of an African muslim came to hang side-by-side with the founding fathers in one of America's earliest museums.

Clovis culture
Clovis culture

The first clear evidence of human activity in North America are spearheads used to hunt large game.

Cheap Thrills: Coney Island during the Great Depression
Cheap Thrills: Coney Island during the Great Depression

According to the artist (Reginald Marsh), at Coney Island, “The best show is the people themselves.”

Terms and Issues in Native American Art
Terms and Issues in Native American Art

Too many assumptions persist about Native American arts and cultures—start here to disentangle fact from fiction.

An architect of the Enlightenment, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
An architect of the Enlightenment, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

In addition to being an politician, Jefferson was an ardent supporter and practitioner of classical architecture.

About geography and chronological periods in Native American art
About geography and chronological periods in Native American art

“Native American” is a broad term encompassing many diverse groups.

Premonition or memory? George Grosz’s <em>Remembering</em>
Premonition or memory? George Grosz’s Remembering

Nazi violence forced many artists and intellectuals to leave Germany in the 1930s, and like Grosz, many came to the United States.

Two sides of Lakota life on a beaded suitcase
Two sides of Lakota life on a beaded suitcase

This one-of-a-kind suitcase tells the surprising story of an artist, a wedding, and a people.

Thought the Puritans were dour? Think again!
Thought the Puritans were dour? Think again!

We think of Puritans aesthetics as restrained and humble, but this elaborate cupboard proves otherwise.

Abstract Expressionism in Cold War America
Abstract Expressionism in Cold War America

Spirituality and transcendence were important postwar themes expressed in Rothko's work.