- Explore History in Art
- Lesson Plans
- More Resources
Oh Freedom! FAQ
If you have a question pertaining to one of the topics below, please click on the specific link to see our listings of frequently asked questions. If you have a question or comment on other topics, please send an email to AfricanAmericanArt@si.edu by clicking Contact Us in the lower right corner of any screen. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
- Using the Site
- Using the Timeline
- Using the Collect Feature
- About the Artists
- Lesson Plans
- Other Questions
Using the Site
How is this site organized?
Oh Freedom! offers art and history resources that engage students and deepen their understanding of civil rights history.
Thirty-eight featured artworks form the heart of the site. On every artwork page you will see questions that prompt careful looking (Looking Questions), a label providing historical and artistic context (About This Artwork), an artist biography (About This Artist), and supplemental objects and recordings (Related Material).
Most of the art and civil rights content appears in the section Explore History in Art. Subsections include the following elements:
- Timeline, which sets featured artworks within the context of major civil rights events and notable African American cultural milestones. You can access the featured artworks from here.
- Art listing, which groups artworks into three eras—Early Civil Rights, The Modern Civil Rights Movement, and Beyond 1968. You can access the art pages from here.
- Artists index, which alphabetically lists the creators of featured artworks. Life dates help place them historically, and names link to artist biographies on the art pages.
- Collect, which allows you and your students to save and group artworks that you like or that you plan to use in a unit or in classroom activities.
The Lesson Plans area contains user-submitted content. Here you can share your own lesson plans or find those submitted by colleagues. Educators can also Start a Conversation with other teachers here.
The More Resources section contains bibliographies and a glossary of common art and civil rights terms. Where these words appear in text on About This Artwork pages and in captions that accompany the Related Materials, they are linked to their definitions. The More Resources area also contains information about Teaching with Oh Freedom!
How can I use this site?
The site offers tools that allow you to enlarge and zoom in on artworks; save, tag, discuss, and take notes on artworks; reference major civil rights events and notable African American cultural milestones in relation to the featured artworks on the interactive Timeline; print art images and their related information; and submit and discuss lesson plans. You must first complete a short registration form and sign in so you'll be able to retrieve your collections, notes, and tags. See sections below for specific questions about how to use these and other features.
How do I register for the site?
You must first register with the site to use the Collect, My Notes, and My Tags features. Registration is free, secure, and the information is used only for this site. Click on Register in the top right of any page. It will ask for a User Name, First Name, Last Name, and Email. The best usernames are alphanumeric. Usernames are NOT case sensitive. So if you try to create a username "Paul" and there is already a username "paul" it will not allow you to use the capitalized version. If you create a username with a space or underscore in it, the space or underscore will NOT appear when your account is created.
How do I log in to the site?
After you have registered for the site, use your login for subsequent visits. After you have logged in by entering your Username and Password, you will have access to the Image Dashboard with your saved images, notes, and tags.
Using the Timeline
How do I use the Timeline feature?
For instructions on how to use the Timeline, scroll down to the bottom of the Timeline page at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/Timeline#instructions. You can also download and print a quick reference sheet at http://americanart.si.edu/education/resources/ohfreedom/pdf/Timeline.pdf.
How do I change the events and dates visible on the Timeline?
For instructions on how to use the Timeline, scroll down to the bottom of the Timeline page at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/Timeline#instructions. You can also download and print a quick reference sheet at http://americanart.si.edu/education/resources/ohfreedom/pdf/Timeline.pdf. Note: any changes that you make to the Timeline view will not be saved once you exit the Timeline feature.
How can I find out more about the time periods noted at the bottom of the Timeline?
For information about the three eras of the Civil Rights movement, see The Long Struggle for Civil Rights at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/struggle. Alternately, when you click on the era names at the bottom of the Timeline (Early Civil Rights, The Modern Civil Rights Movement, and Beyond 1968), short descriptions will pop up below the Timeline. You might need to scroll to see them.
How can I print information about a particular artwork?
To print a particular artwork along with its contextual information (including the Looking Questions, About This Artwork, About This Artist, and Related Materials), first click on the headings to view the material you wish to print. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Print This Page button. Print This Page will reproduce ONLY what is shown on your screen at that time. When the headings are not expanded, the hidden text will not print.
How can I print just the artwork image and related credits?
Scroll down to the bottom of any artwork page and click on the Download This Artwork button. You will get a portable document file (pdf) of the image and credit, which you can print either single- or double-sided. You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to download the pdf. Get the free Acrobat reader at http://www.adobe.com/products/reader.html.
How do I enlarge the featured artwork images?
From any art page, you can simply click on the main art image (at the top of the page) for a full-size picture. Depending on your screen resolution, you might need to click on the enlargement again to see the actual size. When you hover over the picture with your cursor, a plus sign will appear if the image can be enlarged more. Use your browser's back button to return to the original size.
How do I use the Zoom It feature?
You can enlarge and explore some images on Oh Freedom! using Zoom It, but you must have the free Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer. (To download Flash, go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/.) First, click on the words Zoom It in the credit line at the bottom of the image. An enlarged image will appear. Click on the image or use the plus sign to zoom in. Click on the image and drag your mouse to move it left, right, up, or down to view specific areas. To make the image smaller again either click on the minus button in the lower right or click on the mouse button to go back to the original size.
Why can't I zoom in on all the artwork images?
The Zoom It feature is currently available only for artworks from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Even without Zoom It, you can click on any artwork for a larger picture. Depending on your screen resolution, you might need to click on the enlargement to see the image at its correct size. When you hover over a picture with your cursor, a plus sign will appear if the image can be enlarged more.
How do I discuss the artwork images with others?
To comment on or discuss an artwork, see the guidelines and instructions in the Comments section at the bottom of any artwork page. You can comment as a guest after entering your name and email, or by logging in to the site.
How can I integrate the artworks on this site into my classroom lessons?
For suggestions about how to use artworks in your classroom see Teaching with Oh Freedom! at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/teaching#teaching. Also see the section below about how to use the Collect, My Notes, and My Tags features. You must first register with the site to use these features.
Using the Collect feature
How do I collect an art image?
For instructions on how to collect an art image, see http://africanamericanart.si.edu/myomeka/help.
How do I tag an art image?
For instructions on how to tag an art image, see http://africanamericanart.si.edu/myomeka/help.
How do I make notes on an art image?
For instructions on how to make notes on an art image, see http://africanamericanart.si.edu/myomeka/help.
About the Artists
What is the easiest way to find out if a particular artist is featured on the site?
To find an artist, use the alphabetical list of artists at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/artists.
How can I find out more about a particular artist?
To read an artist biography, choose a name from the list shown in the Artists index at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/artists and then click on an artist's name. The link will take you to an artwork page, where you can click on About This Artist to expand the relevant text. For example, you can find Charles Henry Alston's biography on the page that features his painting Walking at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/items/show/18#artist.
How can I submit a lesson plan?
To submit a lesson plan to share with other educators, log in or register with the site, follow the instructions, and fill out a lesson plan template at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/share.
How do I view a lesson plan?
To view a lesson plan select one from http://africanamericanart.si.edu/items?type=10. Lesson plans appear in the order they were received.
How do I discuss the lesson plans with others?
To submit a comment or to discuss a lesson plan, you can register as a guest by entering your name and email, or you can log in to the site. See the instructions at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/discuss.
How do I use the audio and/or video features on the site?
Audio and video are found on the site in either the About the Artist or Related Material sections of an Art page. You will need to install Quicktime to listen to audio or watch a video. Get the free QuickTime plugin for MAC or PC at http://apple.com/quicktime/download. To listen to the audio, click the arrow button on the silver bar under the screen. Videos will load automatically.
How do I use the Search function?
Enter the term you are looking for into the Search box in the upper right of each page and click the Search button. Your search results will appear. This will direct you to the page where the term appears, but not to the term itself.
Where can I find definitions for useful civil rights and arts terms?
Some important civil rights and art terms are defined in the Oh Freedom! Glossary. Just click on a highlighted word or phrase when it appears in the text and you will go directly to that definition. The Glossary can be found at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/glossary.
Where can I find more resources about the Civil Rights movement?
For more information, refer to the annotated bibliographies in the More Resources section, which include a Teacher Bibliography at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/teacher_bibliography, a Student Bibliography at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/student_bibliography, and a General Bibliography at http://africanamericanart.si.edu/general_bibliography.
What if I have a question that is not covered in this FAQ?
If you have a question or comment on other topics, send an email to AfricanAmericanArt@si.edu by clicking Contact Us in the lower right corner of any screen. We will get back to you as soon as possible.