Teachers' Orientation Pages to:
Making Connections in Art
Exhibit and Collection
Currently the only objects from this online module on
view in the Museum are the piano and the hair wreath.
This online exhibit features works of art from other
Museumlink art sub-modules and arranges them in
groups. The groups are based on the idea of the view-
ers' tendencies to want to find connections among
artworks and between artwork and their lives. The staff
has arranged four sets of five artworks that are related
to one another by a theme. The four themes are Com-
ing of Age, Remembrance, Abundance, and Sense of
Place. The five works in each theme may at first seem
to be very disparate objects. By looking for similar
uses, characteristics, content, or context, and using
some `lateral thinking', viewers can relate an artwork
to others, and to their life experience or society or
For example, a story of Helen Gilchrist is told in two objects in the Coming of Age section and its
links. Helen was a teenager when she was sent from a farm in Illinois to a finishing school in New
York. She made the bedcover and was given the piano to perfect her sewing and musical skills for
her return to Illinois and subsequent life as a cultured wife. The most `different' object in this
section is the photograph of a young woman by Nathan Lerner, taken when he was seventeen. Com-
ing of Age for him included, perhaps, fathoming the mysteries of love, or of women. The other two
images are more straight forward, a hand-made portrait that celebrates a daughter's marriage, and a
picture painted by a young lady learning a domestic skill. Consider these modules as practice before
going out and finding your own connections among art works.
Text and Grade Levels of Activities
The questions for this section are meant to prompt your own discussion of how the image creates a
Sense of Place or a Remembrance. There is no one way to interpret themes because each viewer
brings his own experience and perception to each artwork. The best way to promote student interpre-
tation of artworks is to present images to them for open-minded discussion and close looking using
one or more questions from the DBAE Teacher's Orientation section. Once teachers and students are
accustomed to trusting themselves to look carefully and find details and elements in artworks for
themselves, the more comfortable land enjoyable the experience is. It is like any other skill that
increases with practice.