The Visual Arts lessons for the month continue to parallel and reinforce the study of the Civil War as the History curriculum does. The first lesson concentrates on the Shaw Memorial, a sculpture commemorating the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, all African Americans who volunteered for the effort. The memorial, a sculpture by Augustus St.-Gaudens, was recently refurbished and placed on a ten-year renewable loan to the National Gallery with good press coverage, resulting in some good articles and even a program on public television, all of which result in more possibilities for the students to see this remarkable piece of art.
The second lesson serves as review for the many pieces of sculpture the students have seen in their Visual Arts lessons. It then uses St.-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial as background and inspiration for a hands-on sculpture project, either relief or freestanding.
The last lesson this month deals with the Civil War photography of Mathew
Brady and his photographers. This provides an opportunity for the students
to learn something about the history of photography, including the pre-Civil
War portrait photography that developed in New York City. As an important
part of this lesson, the students will be encouraged to express their thoughts
about the effect of observing visual images of death and destruction on
Fifth Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 29 - Augustus St.-Gaudens, Shaw
Note to the Teacher
Students will be familiar with the Massachusetts regiment led by Colonel
Robert Gould Shaw from History Lesson 30. The role of the 54th regiment
in the Civil War is told again briefly below as background for this
Recall the participation of the 54th Regiment in the Civil War.
Observe closely a piece of sculpture honoring the Mass. 54th Regiment.
Become familiar with the term memorial sculpture.
Comment on the scene St.-Gaudens chose to depict in honor of the 54th Regiment.
Assess the significance of the Shaw Memorial as public art.
Reproduction of St.-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial, see Suggested Books
Illustrations of other sculpture of St.-Gaudens, such as Victory and The Puritan (optional)
Hirsch, E. D., Jr., ed. What Your 5th Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993.
A good account of the history and activities of Shaw's African American regiment is on pp. 179-180.
Massey, Sue J. And Diane W. Darst. Learning to Look. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1992.
Two lessons are devoted to the sculpture of St.-Gaudens on pp. 299-312. His Shaw Memorial is not included. Slide 29 is Victory, and 30 is The Puritan.
Powell, General Colin. "A Black Soldier Reflects," Washington Post, 10/4/97.
A reprint of the speech Powell made in September of 1997 about the St.-Gaudens Shaw Memorial, at the time it opened at the National Gallery. A large photograph of the Shaw Memorial is included showing its current placement in the National Gallery.
Reef, Catherine. Civil War Soldiers. New York: Holt, 1993.
This is part of a series of books about African American soldiers, developed by an imprint of Holt's called Twenty-First Century Books. There is a good chapter on the history of the 54th Regiment, called "Forward, 54th!" with a reproduction of a photograph of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, a reproduction of an engraving of the regiment "storming Fort Wagner," and one of Sergeant William Carney, the flag bearer.
Teacher Reference and for showing illustrations to class
Greenthal, Kathryn. Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master Sculptor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985.
Large-scale color illustrations of Shaw Memorial are on pp. 26
and 27. Large black and white reproductions with several enlarged details
are on pp. 144 through 151. Repro- ductions of all of St.-Gaudens' major
works are included in this book.
A large reproduction of the St.-Gaudens Shaw Memorial is shown, plus links to information about the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Co.
This site provides links to most of the sculpture of St.-Gaudens and the various resources of the Saint-Gaudens Historic Site in Cornish, NH, the last home of St.-Gaudens, which was given to the National Park Service to maintain as a museum of his work.
Check here for information about the restoration recently completed
on the Shaw Memorial before mounting it in the National Gallery
in Washington. Included are science experiments for the classroom that
illustrate the reactions of metals with certain chemicals, simulating the
effects on bronze and copper sculpture over time. Another suggests using
plaster of paris (gypsum), the material St.-Gaudens used for the original
sculpture, mixing as directed on the box, pouring it into a milk container,
allowing it to dry and harden, and then carving it into a sculpture with
The Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site has videos, books, and slides
available for loan to schools. Write to: Saint-Gaudens National Historic
RR 3, Box 73
Cornish, NH 03745
Phone (603) 675-2175 Fax (603) 675-2701
Background Information on the Massachusetts 54th Regiment
By 1863 the number of lives lost in the Civil War was staggering. Abolitionists urged Lincoln to recruit Negroes to the cause of the Union. It was apparently Frederick Douglass who took the opportunity to support the idea by saying, "Once you put upon the black man the blue uniform, once you put upon him the 'U.S.' saying 'United States,' once you put brass buttons on him and a cap and give him a rifle and give him a pistol and make him a soldier of the nation and send him off in battle to defend the nation and also to help preserve the Union, once you have done that, then no power on Earth can deny the full rights of citizenship in due course." (quoted in Gen. Colin Powell's speech, printed in Washington Post, 10/6/97)
In Massachusetts the call was put out, and so many volunteers appeared,
a second regiment was created. The 54th regiment, led by Colonel Robert
Gould Shaw, a white man from an abolitionist family, numbered 600 men.
St.-Gaudens' memorial to the regiment depicts them marching in formation
in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse, May 18, 1863. Two months later,
in July of 1863, the regiment went into action in South Carolina, defeating
a Rebel charge. A few days after that, they were ordered to launch an attack
on Fort Wagner, which was a strongly fortified Confederate post. In the
attack, 261 of the 600 men of the 54th Regiment were killed; among the
first was Colonel Shaw. Thirty-four years later, at the dedication of the
Shaw Memorial on May 31, 1897, Sergeant Carney, the flag bearer of
the regiment who, although seriously wounded in the battle had been able
to carry the Union flag to safety, again marched forward with the flag
of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment.
Background Information on Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was born in Dublin in 1848. His father, Bernard, was a shoemaker born in southwest France who had emigrated after his apprenticeship first to London and then to Ireland, where he met and married his Irish wife. The harsh conditions created by the Irish potato famine of 1848 determined another emigration, this time to the United States when Augustus was just six months old. They settled in New York, where Bernard was successful as a craftsman of "fine French boots" that were very popular with both women and men in New York society.
Augustus determined early to become an artist, and his father apprenticed him to Louis Avet, another French emigré, who was one of the first stone cameo-cutters in America. At the same time, St.-Gaudens studied at night at tuition-free Cooper Union. Since Augustus was from the first completely bilingual, he was equally at home speaking French and English. At 19 he went to Paris to study classical art and architecture and continued to earn a living as a cameo cutter. He studied for several years in Rome as well, where he met and married Augusta Homer, an American art student.
St. Gaudens returned to the United States and began work on the first of many major commissions, which was a monument to Civil War hero Admiral Farragut. He worked in New York City for years, where he also tutored young artists and taught at the Art Students League. He completed some of the finest American sculpture produced during the nineteenth century including the Adams Memorial in Washington D.C., the Peter Cooper Monument in New York City, and, in 1897, the Shaw Memorial in Boston, for which he completed over forty separate sculpted heads of African Americans as studies.
Augustus and his wife first rented, then bought an old inn in Cornish,
New Hampshire, where they converted the barn into a sculpture studio and
often spent their summers. In 1900, when St. Gaudens was diagnosed with
cancer, they moved to Cornish permanently, and Augustus produced a large
body of work--relief coins, public sculpture, and relief portraits--during
the last seven years of his life. His wife and son established the Saint-Gaudens
Memorial at Cornish in 1919, which was given to the National Park Service
Show an illustration of St.-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial to the class without saying anything about it, and ask: What form of art is this? (sculpture) What is the main thing that differentiates sculpture from painting? (3-dimensionality) Is this sculpture indoors or outdoors? (outdoors) What is the subject of this sculpture? (Civil War, Massachusetts 54th Regiment) If the students figure this out, have someone tell the story of the 54th Regiment; if they don't, tell them what it is and help them recall the story from their American History lessons. Ask them what is unusual about this group of men in the Civil War (all African Americans except for Shaw)
Tell the students that when a sculpture is made to commemorate an historical event or figure, it is usually referred to as a memorial sculpture (write the term on the board). Tell them the name of the artist who made this memorial sculpture is Augustus St.-Gaudens, and tell them some biographical information about him. (It is important that they know he was growing up during the time of the Civil War, that he was commissioned and began the work twenty years after the event, and that he worked on the piece for fourteen years.)
Tell them the name of the sculpture and ask who Shaw was (leader of the 54th Regiment, white man, son of abolitionist parents). Ask the students: Can you tell what is happening in this sculpture? (Soldiers are parading in formation in front of the Massachusetts State House.)
Who is the first man in the front of the parade? (drummer)
Can you find the flag bearers? Tell them the story about Sergeant Carney, the flag bearer who recovered from his wounds and was the flag bearer at the ceremony in 1897, when the sculpture was formally dedicated.
What do you see above the heads of the regiment? (an angel)
What gives this sculpture such a sense of forward movement and purpose? (cut off on both sides as if the line of marchers is endless)
What kind of lines do artists use to convey a sense of movement? (diagonals)
Where do you see diagonals? (horse's legs, legs of soldiers, rifles, flag poles, Shaw's sword)
What kind of line does St.-Gaudens create with the angel? (horizontal)
What do horizontal lines suggest? (rest, repose; in this case, perhaps death as the final resting place)
Do you see a line that is decidedly vertical? (Shaw's spine and torso)
What do you think that suggests? (determination--accept any thoughtful answers)
What prominent round shapes do you see in the sculpture? (coiled bedrolls or blankets)
Tell the students that by the time St.-Gaudens made this memorial sculpture, most of the soldiers in the regiment had died, either in battle or from other causes. He was fascinated with the physical features of African Americans and had not before sculpted them, so he went around the countryside looking for heads and faces of African Americans that he could use for models. He completed more than forty soldiers' heads in order to make his portrayal of the individual soldiers as true as possible. (Twenty-three soldiers are depicted in the Shaw Memorial.)
Write Augustus St.-Gaudens, Shaw Memorial on the board and have the students take out their journals or other writing materials. Make sure that one or more illustrations of the sculpture are clearly visible to them, and tell them they are to write three full paragraphs about it.
1. A paragraph describing the sculpture in as much detail as possible.
2. A paragraph assessing whether or not you think the piece is successful as a memorial sculpture. (Consider the time it was begun--20 years after the Civil War event it commemorated.)
3. A paragraph suggesting a subject for a memorial sculpture for our
own time, commemorating an historical figure or event from the last five
years. Try to convince the reader by giving solid evidence for your choice.
(Allow a few minutes for brainstorming with the class to prepare for this
paragraph. You might together come up with a list of possibilities for
the students to consider and then choose to write about.)
Fifth Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 30 - Sculpture, Review & Activity
Note to the Teacher:
Consistently throughout the BCP/Core curriculum Visual Arts lessons,
the students have been exposed to both relief and freestanding sculpture,
and it would be helpful for the current lesson if you are able to bring
those to mind for the class. If you have access to the slides provided
for K-2 lessons, by all means use them; otherwise, you will need to find
illustrations of some of the works they have studied. In Kindergarten,
they studied the Statue of Liberty and the heads on Mt. Rushmore, Native
American masks, a Renaissance horse, a French Medieval ivory, and a Calder
mobile as well as The Triumph of Bacchus, a relief sculpture from
Ancient Rome. This means that from the very beginning they were exposed
to a wide variety of sculptural techniques and forms. In First Grade they
saw some Assyrian and Egyptian sculpture and Degas' Little Dancer Fourteen
Years Old. In Second Grade they studied a piece from Ancient Greece,
a Hindu, a Buddhist, and an abstract sculpture by Henry Moore. In Third
Grade, the students study more Native American sculpted pieces and also
Trajan's column, a well-known relief sculpture from Ancient Rome. In Fourth
Grade, the students see some relief sculpture in the context of their study
of Gothic Cathedrals, and this year they have so far looked carefully at
some famous sculpture of Michelangelo and Donatello from the Italian Renaissance.
Recall and discuss relief and freestanding sculpture you have seen.
Discuss the elements of art most important in sculpture.
Identify the main problem for the artist in relief and in freestanding sculpture.
Hear the term negative space.
Identify the portions of the face that protrude in a relief sculpture.
Complete either a freestanding or relief sculpture in clay.
Research a sculpture observed on a walking tour in Baltimore (optional).
Coins, cameos, and/or medals illustrating portraits in relief sculpture
Pottery pitcher, amphora, or other pieces that illustrate characteristics of freestanding sculpture
Slides or other reproductions of relief and freestanding sculpture
Reproduction of St.-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial from Lesson 29
Clay for each student
Popsicle sticks, pencils, and other improvised tools for carving clay
Kohl, MaryAnn. Mudworks: Creative Clay, Dough, and Modeling Experiences. Bellingham, WA: Bright Ring Publishing, 1989.
Dozens of recipes are set out for cooked and uncooked playdough, modeling mixtures, and plaster of paris projects. A Resource Guide at the end gives names of commercial
clay and modeling products, annotates them, and gives names and addresses of their sources.
Opie, Mary-Jane. Sculpture. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1994.
Part of the Eyewitness Art series, this is truly multicultural in its
choices. Included are many public monuments and also some examples of relief
sculpture, from the ancient world as well as later historical periods.
Write Sculpture as a heading on the board; then, relief sculpture under it on one side and freestanding sculpture on the other. As you show and discuss various works of sculpture, write its particular or generic name under the appropriate heading. Show them the reproduction (from Lesson 29) of Augustus St. Gaudens' Shaw Memorial and ask what kind of sculpture it is (relief; memorial, public). Ask them: What everyday things do we all use that are examples of relief sculpture? (coins) Show them examples and establish the fact that, most commonly, relief sculptures on coins are profiles or 3/4 faces/heads of famous people. Ask the students: If you were making a relief sculpture, what parts of the face would come forward and stick out? (Have them examine their own faces to be sure of the answer--brows, cheekbones, nose, lips, chin.) Discuss with them other examples of relief sculpture from other cultures in other time periods they may have studied (suggestions from Note to the Teacher above). In the Shaw Memorial they already discussed the kinds of lines used to give movement to the sculpture. They need to talk about other elements of art exemplified in relief sculpture, such as texture, mass, light, and even color, which is dependent on the medium the sculptor has used. (You can remind them of the colors of ivory or stone relief sculpture from the Middle Ages as other possibilities for color, as opposed to the bronze of sculpture that has been cast, as with the St.-Gaudens piece.)
Next, discuss freestanding sculpture with them. Again, identify the elements of art in pieces they have looked at that you can illustrate to refresh their memories. They should observe that 3-dimensional shapes are more obvious elements in freestanding sculpture. Color is determined by the material, as in Michelangelo's marble sculpture or in sculptures of wood. Remind them of the various textures they saw in Degas' Little Dancer Fourteen Years Old. Discuss with them the difference between additive sculpture (of clay or wax when creating a sculpture that will eventually be cast in bronze) and sculpture of stone or wood where the process is one of chiseling away to create the form.
If you have examples of small, freestanding sculpture, balance one on the palm of your hand and ask: What special problem does the sculptor of a freestanding piece have to solve? (balance) Discuss with them the use of pedestals and other supports for freestanding pieces as opposed to relief sculpture that fronts the wall of a Gothic cathedral, for example. You might also remind them of mobiles, such as the Calder they saw in Kindergarten, where there is no pedestal for support, and balance is even more crucial, because movement is an added feature.
Finally, add the phrase negative space to the freestanding list
on the board. Show them a pitcher or amphora and ask them: Where is the
negative space in this sculpted piece? (between the handles and the body
of the cylinder) Have them identify the many important areas of negative
space in a piece such as the Degas Little Dancer or the abstract
Henry Moore in the BMA called
Three Rings, which they studied in
Second Grade. (Show the slide if you have it.)
Give the students a choice of creating a relief sculpture of a large
"face on a coin" or a freestanding animal sculpture. Give everyone sufficient
clay, plus sculpting tools if they are needed for the particular project.
Remind the students that, for those making the coin, they have a choice
of sculpting the face out of the flat surface by removing the clay that
surrounds it or adding features as separate pieces, shaped and then joined.
Those making a freestanding sculpture will have to consider how their piece
will stand, balanced, and whether they will need a pedestal. They can also
include negative space if they include horns, tails, or other appendages
that create negative space. They may also choose to carve an animal from
a solid block of clay or (more likely) add a head and limbs to a body.
Optional Sculpture Activity
(adapted from Massey & Darst)
Take the class on a walking tour in a part of Baltimore where there
are several pieces of sculpture to be seen outdoors, including those in
parks, in front of and on public buildings and churches. Have the students
work in small groups; a recorder in each group will keep a list, with the
rest of the group hunting out the name and artist of each piece, plus dictating
a brief description. After returning to class, have each group choose one
piece of sculpture for a research project. They should find out whether
the piece is a memorial, or commemorative sculpture; if so, what it commemorates
and when it was made. They should try to find some information about the
sculptor, describe the piece, and identify its material. Someone from each
group may wish to illustrate the report.
Fifth Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 31 - Mathew Brady
Look closely at some of the Civil War photography of Mathew Brady and others.
Discuss the effects on viewers of photographs of war and human destruction.
Note that before the Civil War, photography was used only for portraits.
Look closely at Brady portrait photographs of Abraham Lincoln (optional).
Hear about the workings of a camera (optional).
Compare two portraits of Walt Whitman, one painted and one photographed
Reproductions of photographs of the Civil War, see Suggested Books
Illustrations of the workings of cameras, see Suggested Books (optional)
Reproductions of painted and photographed portraits of Walt Whitman,
see Suggested Books (optional)
Ancona, George. My Camera. New York: Crown, 1992.
Color photographs illustrate this book, which is really about the art of using a camera for different kinds of photographs. Two brief sections (pp. 8 & 9, 46 & 47) show the exact workings of a relatively simple, modern camera.
Bostrom, Roald. Cameras. Milwaukee: Raintree, 1981.
A well-illustrated book that clearly explains the workings of the camera. It also shows how to make a simple camera (similar to the original camera obscura) and includes an excellent chapter "The Invention of the Camera," (pp. 9-13) that beautifully summarizes the subject.
Gibbons, Gail. Click! Boston: Little, Brown, 1997.
Extremely clear watercolor and colored pencil illustrations by the author make the workings of the modern camera and the development of its film perfectly clear to young readers. A very brief illustrated "History of Photography" makes up the last two pages.
Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas. Photographing History: The Career of Mathew Brady. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1977.
This is a good history of the beginnings of photography, including the contributions of the French Daguerre and the Scots Alexander Gardner. Chapter 9, "The Battlefield" is filled with photographs of the Civil War (pp. 96-115). Brady's "Cooper Union" portrait of Lincoln, taken in 1860, is on p. 16 and his portrait with son Tad Lincoln, on p. 91. A wonderful portrait of Walt Whitman is on p.128.
Sullivan, George. Mathew Brady: His Life and Photographs. New York: Cobblehill Books, 1994.
This very readable biography is appropriate for fifth grade readers. It shows Brady's photographs in chronological order, in keeping with the events of the text. It also serves as a kind of social history of Brady's times, including characters such as Samuel Morse and his invention of the telegraphic, P. T. Barnum, and "Boss" Tweed, all friends and contributors to Brady's early success as a portrait photographer. Chapter 5, "Brady and Lincoln," (pp. 59-72) includes nine portraits of Lincoln.
Van Steenwyk, Elizabeth. Mathew Brady: Civil War Photographer. Danbury, CT: Watts, 1997.
The newest juvenile biography is well written and documented with a good collection of photographs from Brady's studio.
Teacher Reference & for showing illustrations to class
Hughes, Robert. American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America. New York: Knopf, 1997.
A color reproduction of the Thomas Eakins portrait of Walt Whitman is on p. 300 (for 2nd optional activity).
Meredith, Roy. Mr. Lincoln's Camera Man: Mathew B. Brady. New York: Dover, 1946, 1974.
A remarkable number of Civil War photographs are included in this story
of Brady's seemingly inexhaustible effort to record the events of the war
for history. Many of the photographs were previously unpublished. A rare
and unpublished portrait of a very old Walt Whitman is #45. Seven Brady
portraits of Lincoln are included.
Background for the Teacher
Several good biographies of Mathew Brady are available to the students, but not a great deal is known about his early life, since he left no diaries, hardly any letters, and the only interview he gave was when he was nearly seventy. He was born in 1823 or 1824 in the Adirondack region of New York State, where his parents had emigrated from Ireland in the 1920s. Mathew was the youngest of five children, and his family seem to have been poor farmers. His health was not good as a child, and he had chronic problems with inflammation of his eyes. Because of his health, his parents sent him, as a teenager, to Saratoga Springs; there Mathew met a young portrait painter named William Page. In some way, Brady became Page's assistant or apprentice, following him to New York City in 1839, where Page introduced him to a former art teacher of his, Samuel F.B. Morse. At the time, Morse was trying to raise money to develop the telegraph that he had invented. He was also experimenting with camera technique and was in Paris at the time Daguerre made known his discoveries about making light-sensitive material by using silver-plated copper sheets treated with fumes from heated crystals of iodine.
Late in 1839 a pupil of Daguerre's came to New York City; he demonstrated
Daguerre's photographic process, sold cameras and how-to manuals. By this
time the exposure time of the coated plates had been reduced from 8 hours
to about a minute, and portrait photography studios began to spring up
in New York. Brady, at 21, opened a studio and gallery on lower Broadway
and rapidly became hugely successful as portrait photographer of living
American presidents and men of note. From the beginning, his poor eyesight
made it necessary for him to hire assistants. By the time the Civil War
began, Brady had already opened a second studio and gallery in Washington
D.C., which employed still more photographers. His fierce determination
to record the historical moments unfolding in the battles of the Civil
War required whole teams of photographers and untold difficulties transporting
the bulky equipment necessary for taking and developing photographs. Such
an ambitious project, never before attempted by anyone, drove Brady deeper
and deeper into debt; he died poor and disappointed in 1896, relatively
forgotten at the time, even though his Civil War photographs eventually
became a great legacy.
Start the class by showing Brady's photographs of the Civil War to the class. Identify for them some of the sites they have discussed in their History lessons this month, such as the battle at Antietam. Show them some of the photographs of numbers of war dead on the battlefield and let that begin a guided discussion about how those photographs make them feel. When they have responded, tell them that only a few days after the battle at Antietam, a man named Mathew Brady put up an exhibition in his New York City gallery called "The Dead at Antietam." Say to them: Supposing you had never seen any news clips on television, had never seen any television at all nor any photographs except a few portrait photos of famous Americans, how do you suppose you might have felt to see these photographs for the first time, of a war in which Americans were killing each other on their own soil?
When they have had time to express themselves, tell them about Mathew
Brady's life and contribution to the beginnings of photography and, especially,
his idea about recording living history in photographs. If they have read
any of the student biographies suggested above, be sure they are aware
of the following points about early photography.
1. From the time of the Renaissance in Italy (in the 1500s), people
knew how to project an image through a small opening into a dark room (camera
obscura, or dark chamber in Italian). It wasn't until 300 years later
that they discovered how to capture and preserve the image
through chemically treated metal plates.
2. In the 1830s, when Daguerre made his discoveries that allowed an
image to be captured and preserved, it took about 8 hours to expose the
plate--and there was no negative, just the one image, which was called
a daguerreotype, after the inventor of the process of treating the plate
with particular chemicals.
3. Even in the 1840s, the time when Brady and others opened photography
studios and galleries for portraits, everything was dependent upon natural
light. On a dark day, no photography was possible. Brady's New York studio
was on the top floor of a four-storey building, and he had the idea of
constructing skylights, which greatly increased his possibilities for good
and varied light for his portraits.
4. When Brady and his photographers were working, there was no such
thing as a hand-held camera. George Eastman introduced the first Kodak
box camera in 1888. Up until that time, and even when Brady's photographers
went from battlesite to battlesite in the Civil War, the camera was a very
large and heavy instrument, mounted on a tripod, and the plates had to
be developed at once with a complex chemical process in the field in order
that the image not be lost.
1. Invite someone to speak to the class who is knowledgeable in photographic techniques. Ask the person to describe and demonstrate for the students just how a camera works, including things such as shutter speed, focal lengths, specialized lenses, aperture, and--if possible--darkroom procedures as well. If no one is available, assign students the task of researching the topic, using some of the Suggested Books above.
2. Display for the class one of the Brady portrait photographs of Walt Whitman and a reproduction of the painted portrait of Whitman by Thomas Eakins from 1888. Ask the students to write a comparison of the painted and photographed portraits, in the light of what they know of Whitman from studying his poem about Lincoln in literature this month.
3. Eakins himself was one of the first painters to be passionately interested
in photography, and his use of the camera as a way of catching scenes and
figures that he then used as studies for paintings would make an interesting
research project for a student with particular interest in the subject.
4. If you have a copy of the Sullivan book, suggest that a few students look carefully at the nine portrait photographs of Lincoln made by Brady's studio (pp. 59-72). After discussing the portraits among themselves, each one should write a few paragraphs about what they have observed. These portraits, showing clearly the strain of war and office, would provide a good starting point for the students to consider "reality" vs. the kinds of photographs (and paintings) that "remove the warts," brighten the smiles, and smoothe out wrinkles.
5. Apparently, in the early days of photography--which was entirely
a field of portrait photography--many painters feared there would never
again be any call or appreciation for painters to make portraits. This
would be a good topic for a few thoughtful paragraphs: Do you think this
proved to be true? Give concrete evidence for your opinion.
Ancona, George. My Camera. New York: Crown, 1992. (0-517-58280-5)
Bostrom, Roald. Cameras. Milwaukee: Raintree, 1981. (0-8172-1404-6)
Hirsch, E. D., Jr., ed. What Your 5th Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993. (0-385-31464-7)
Gibbons, Gail. Click! Boston: Little, Brown, 1997. (0-316-30976-1)
Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas. Photographing History: The Career of Mathew Brady. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1977. (0-399-20602-7)
Kohl, MaryAnn. Mudworks: Creative Clay, Dough, and Modeling Experiences. Bellingham, WA: Bright Ring Publishing, 1989. (0-935607-02-1)
Massey, Sue J. And Diane W. Darst. Learning to Look. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1992. (0-13-528795-2)
Meredith, Roy. Mr. Lincoln's Camera Man: Mathew B. Brady. New York: Dover, 1946, 1974. (0-486-23021-X)
Opie, Mary-Jane. Sculpture. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1994. (1-56458-613-8)
Powell, General Colin. "A Black Soldier Reflects," Washington Post, 10/4/97.
Reef, Catherine. Civil War Soldiers. New York: Holt, 1993. (0-8050-2371-2)
Sullivan, George. Mathew Brady: His Life and Photographs. New York: Cobblehill Books, 1994. (0-525-65186-1)
Van Steenwyk, Elizabeth. Mathew Brady: Civil War photographer. Danbury, CT: Watts, 1997. (0-531-20264-X)
Teacher Reference and for showing illustrations to class
Greenthal, Kathryn. Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master Sculptor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985. (0-87099-437-8) & as distributed by G.K. Hall, Boston. (0-8161-8789-4)
Hughes, Robert. American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America.
New York: Knopf, 1997. (0-679-42627-2)