Teaching Packets

Teaching packets are designed to permit flexibility in use. All are part of our free loan program with many available for immediate PDF download. They include a printed booklet with in-depth background information, suggestions for student activites, supplemental image CDs or slides, and often with color study prints, timelines, and bibiliographies. We encourage you to review them, to select those images and information that are most useful to your teaching needs, and to adapt and shape the materials to your specific instructional objectives.

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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources
A freely available resource, this site features eight units, each of which explores a different theme in Italian Renaissance art.

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Art&: A Teacher's Guide to Lessons and Activities for Fifth and Sixth Graders
Four lessons—Greco-Roman Origin Myths, Heroes & Heroines, Art & Ecology, and 19th-Century America in Art & Literature—were written for teachers who may not teach art but would like to integrate art into their instruction. 

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Surveys of American Crafts and Folk Arts from the Index of American Design
The Index of American Design consists of approximately 18,000 watercolor renderings of American decorative art objects from the colonial period through the 19th century. This CD provides images and an overview of the project's history.

Teaching Packets to Download or Borrow

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Art Nouveau, 1890–1914
At its height, art nouveau was a concerted attempt to create an international style. This teaching packet presents an overview of the movement, including significant examples of works of art in a variety of media. 

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The Art of Romare Bearden
The visual narratives and abstractions in watercolors, oils, and especially collages and photomontages of this preeminent African American artist explore the places where he lived and worked from the 1940s through the 1980s. 

Art Since 1950

Art since 1950
This packet discusses artistic movements of the late 20th century, including abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism, conceptualism, process art, neo-expressionism, and postmodernism. 

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Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment
The monumental Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment commemorates the first African American infantry unit from the North to fight for the Union during the Civil War. 

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Classical Mythology in European Art
This teaching packet discusses Greek and Roman mythology as a source for themes in art from the Renaissance to the 20th century. 

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Edo: Art in Japan, 1615–1868
This program surveys two centuries of art and culture in the city now known as Tokyo. Ceramics, screens, textiles, prints, paintings, and armor are among the materials discussed. 

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An Eye for Art
This family-oriented resource brings together in one lively, activity-packed book a selection of forty art features from the National Gallery of Art’s popular quarterly NGAkids.

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French Painting from the National Gallery of Art
The rich artistic heritage of France is illustrated in works spanning three centuries by such artists as Claude Lorrain, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Jean Siméon Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Édouard Manet, and Auguste Renoir. 

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German Expressionist Prints
In 1905 a group of young artists banded together to form Die Brücke, a movement dedicated to revitalizing German art. The artists' concern for freedom and authenticity of expression is revealed in intense and sensuous images.

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The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology
This teaching packet explores new perspectives on early Chinese culture and art that have resulted from dramatic new archaeological discoveries. 

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The Greek Miracle
Celebrating the achievements of classical Greece, this teaching packet provides the cultural and historical context for the fifth-century sculptures shown in the exhibition The Greek Miracle.

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I Am Still Learning: Late Works by Masters
Many artists have produced impressive work in their late years. This program reviews paintings by 17 artists whose works demonstrate creative vitality in the artists' old age. 

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The Inquiring Eye: American Painting
This packet introduces American painting from the colonial period to the early 20th century. 

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The Inquiring Eye: Early Modernism, 1900–1940
This overview traces the development of artistic styles from 1900 to 1940, examining fauvism, cubism, futurism, expressionism, surrealism, and other movements. 

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Inquiring Eye: European Renaissance Art
The works of art discussed include painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from Italy and Northern Europe made between the 14th and 16th centuries. 

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Islamic Art and Culture
Prepared in conjuction with the exhibition Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Victoria and Albert Museum, this packet is a resource for teaching Islamic art and culture, from its beginnings in the 7th century up to the 18th century. 

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Landscape Paintings from the National Gallery of Art
This program traces changing attitudes toward landscape painting from the Renaissance to the 20th century. 

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Painting in the Dutch Golden Age
This teaching packet provides background about the founding of the Dutch Republic and how art came to occupy an important place in the lives of its people. Includes genres such as landscape, still life, portraiture, and history painting.

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Picturing France, 1830–1900
Not a chronological overview, this teaching packet instead travels region to region, from Brittany to Provence, offering a multifaceted look at art and culture that explores most of the 19th century's major stylistic trends and artists.

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Vincent van Gogh
Follow Van Gogh's career from his early artistic efforts in Holland and breakthrough work in Paris to the signature paintings he produced in the south of France. 

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Whistler: The Etchings
James McNeill Whistler is best known as a painter, but his graphics are of equal importance. This program traces the development of Whistler's style and techniques over the course of his career. 

Printed Teaching Packets only Available to Borrow

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Ancient Art of the American Woodland Indians
Explores the cultural and aesthetic significance of ancient utilitarian and ceremonial objects made by the prehistoric Indians of the woodland areas of midwestern and southeastern North America.

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Art of the American Indian Frontier: The Collection of Chandler and Pohrt
Based on an exhibition of decorative, ceremonial, and utilitarian objects produced in the late 18th and 19th centuries by native peoples, this packet explores how their dramatic and dynamic artistic styles evolved. 

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The Christmas Story in Art
From the Annunciation through the Flight into Egypt, the story of Christ's birth is seen in paintings by Italian and Flemish masters of the Renaissance. 

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Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration
Twenty objects illustrate artistic traditions and achievements from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas around the year 1492, when European explorers created new links among continents. 

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Degas at the Races
Horses and jockeys at the racecourse and the steeplechase inspired Degas throughout his career. This packet presents a selection of his paintings, wax sculptures, and drawings of racehorses and riders. 

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Degas: The Dancers
Degas is well known for depictions of the Paris Opéra ballet. This program looks at Degas's technique and style—and his fascination with ballet subjects from the 1870s to about 1900.

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The Easter Story in Art
Episodes from the Entry into Jerusalem through Christ's Passion and Ascension are illustrated in paintings and prints by Dürer, El Greco, Rembrandt, and other artists. 

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The Human Figure in Early Greek Art
Traces the evolution of the human figure in Greek sculpture from the stylized, abstract representations of archaic Greek art to the more naturalistic figures of the early classical period. 

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Introducing the Collection
This survey provides information on more than 35 highlights from the Gallery's collections. Interspersed with commentaries on single objects are "Master Class" spreads, which offer in-depth looks at specific themes, artists, and works of art. 

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Kazimir Malevich
Malevich was one of the foremost Russian painters during the early decades of the 20th century and a leader in the development of abstract art. 

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Matisse in Morocco
During the winters of 1912 and 1913, Matisse made two visits to Morocco that profoundly influenced his work and resulted in large, colorful paintings and more than 60 drawings and pen-and-ink sketches. 

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Paintings of the Great Spanish Masters
This program examines trends and influences in Spanish painting, from the era of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to the 20th century. Featured paintings include works by El Greco, Velázquez, Murillo, Goya, Picasso, and Dalí.