Seeing America Theme: Social Structures

Francisco Clapera, set of sixteen casta paintings, c. 1775, 51.1 x 39.6 cm (Denver Art Museum)
In New Spain, Indigenous people, Africans, Spaniards, and their descendants mixed together. Casta paintings show one way Spaniards attempted to place these mixed-race families and their children into a hierarchy, although the realities of race and status in Spanish colonial society were much more complex.

Teaching guide
Constructing identity in the Spanish colonies ...

Aaron Douglas, Aspiration, 1936, oil on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4 cm (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Aaron Douglas's paintings at the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition focused on how the rich African past inspired a bright future for African Americans, even in the midst of Jim Crow and the Great Depression.
TEKS: 113.41.(24)(B)

Teaching guide
Aaron Douglas, Aspiration