I’m pleased to introduce the Civil War in Art: Teaching and Learning Through Chicago Collections (www.civilwarinart.org) website! Organized and funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art, the site offers 128 high resolution images from the collections of the Terra Foundation and its partner institutions: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Public Schools, the DuSable Museum of African American History, and the Newberry.
Designed primarily for students and teachers in grades 6-12 social studies, history, and American Studies classes, the site is organized by theme, and offers a variety of high resolution images of paintings, engravings, and photographs to political campaign ephemera and statues. Through the objects chosen, teachers and students can learn ways that people thought about and processed the Civil War. The site also includes a pop-up glossary, a zoom function, links to additional sources, and teacher created lesson plans.
Each item (the Newberry contributed 25 to the site) includes bibliographic information, context/framing paragraphs, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading.
In addition to staff from the partner organizations, Margaret Storey an Associate Professor of History and Mark Pohlad an Associate Professor of Art and Architecture both from DePaul University contributed framing essays, as well as editorial assistance, to the project.
A national launch will take place in about a month. In the meantime, classroom projects designed by teachers will be added to the site.
Thanks to the Scholl Center, Catherine Gass, and the Library Services staff for their assistance with researching, locating, and digitizing the items.
Please visit the site! Your comments and suggestions will be welcome!
Rachel Rooney, Director, Professional Development Programs for Teachers