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Oh Freedom! Online Conference: Speaker Abstracts
Keynote Address: 150 Years of Civil Rights in American Art
Richard J. Powell
From its beginnings in the years immediately following the American Civil War, the campaign aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans and restoring their voting rights inspired visual documentation and creative representations of its struggles and achievements. This talk traces these image-based responses to the "Long" Civil Rights Movement, focusing on the evidentiary, fine art, and propagandistic ways in which graphic artists, painters, sculptors, photographers, and architects in the United States acknowledged this social and political crusade, and gave "The Movement" significant, artistic form.
Teaching Civil Rights History through Art in Your Classroom
Paul Gardullo and Anna Forgerson
Curator Paul Gardullo and museum educator Anna Forgerson will explore the historical and cultural context of the Civil Rights Movement along with teaching strategies to utilize this information in the classroom. Using artworks selected by conference participants from the Oh Freedom! website, Gardullo and Forgerson will focus on ways to construct meaning through thoughtful, object-based methods in order to begin to understand how the Movement connects to the larger American experience.
Using Oh Freedom! to Teach Civil Rights
Meghan Bill, Shareen Dash, Elizabeth K. Eder, and Jennifer Jablonsky
Join the online conference project team to explore Oh Freedom!, a new Smithsonian website that uses artwork, music, oral histories, objects, and primary source documents to teach about the Civil Rights movement. Learn how to use the interactive timeline, create and share lessons correlated to national standards, collect images for your classroom, and more.
The Power of Objects: Civil Rights Collections at the National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History's civil rights collections grew out of the political turmoil of the 1960s that engulfed the nation's capital and the country. Some material was collected by curators, several of whom were personally active in local civil rights organizations, and other items were literally left behind on the Smithsonian's doorsteps. The collection today includes items ranging from 19th century abolitionists broadsides to contemporary protest signs. This presentation will explore how this collection was first formed, look at some of the most significant items in the collection, and discuss what new directions the museum is considering.
Smithsonian American Art Museum Chief Curator Virginia Mecklenburg discusses her curatorial perspective on the vision and creativity of African American artists and the various ways these artists have expressed notions of Civil Rights from protest to identity and representation to community.