Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Taking a look at Thomas Hart Benton, painter of the mural at the Truman Library, and two other regional artists, Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry.
Author:
Marty Brown
Course:
Fine Arts
Time Frame:
four forty-five minute class periods
Subjects:
Thomas Hart Benton
,
Culture

Grade Levels:
3, 4, 5

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

Thomas Hart Benton, painter of the mural at the Truman Library, and two other regional artists, Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry are considered the most important artists in the Regionalism movement. This unit will take a look at each of these artists and compare and contrast their work and their lives.

Rationale:

Students will learn abou the art work of regional artists.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
T.H.B. - Threshing Wheat 1939 The Lord is My Shepherd 1926
G.W.- Stone City, Iowa 1930 American Gothic 1930
J.S.C.- Wisconsin Farm Landscape 1941 The Stockman 1929

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
Technology Required:
  • Search engines - Netscape Navigator
  • Books - John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood: A Portrait of Rural America by John Steuart Curry, Grant Wood, and Joseph S. Czestochowski
  • Full description of activity or assignment.
    • Create a three column chart listing birth dates, hometown, economic standing, education, personal life, travel, etc.
    • Gather together copies of articles and prints for a vertical file

    Scope of Student Work: Each 45-minute class will be divided into three 15-minute sections: First, Investigation and Research: The students will look at the web site of the "Artist for the day". Second, Communication and/or Collaboration: In small groups, kids will pour over samples from a vertical file of relevant clippings. Third, Student decision making: The kids will fill out on their own charts what they found interesting about the artist and his work. Fourth and last day of the unit, the students will get together in small groups and create one chart using Microsoft 4.0 Works, using all of the above learning styles.

    Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
    • Students will display their charts on the computer/TV hook up and present their information.
    • Students will turn in their own copies of the chart, with a paragraph about how their copy changed after meeting in a small group, and what they learned from other students