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American Scenes

Send a Postcard: Pick a scene and imagine yourself there. What are your surroundings like? How do you feel being there? What kind of things might you be doing? Write a postcard to a friend describing your experience. Share the postcards and have classmates guess which scene is being described.  

Combining Scenes: To produce his final paintings, Albert Bierstadt combined elements from several different pictures. Take photographs or make sketches of various scenes in your community. Then combine elements from different scenes—a building from one, a tree from another—to create a collage or a painting.  

View FSA Photographs: View thousands of Farm Security Administration photographs taken by Walker Evans and many other photographers during the Great Depression. Click here to access the Library of Congress Web site.  

Travel Log: Ed Ruscha paid special attention to the buildings and signs he encountered when he traveled Route 66. The next time you go on a road trip, keep a travel log of the things you see along the way. Then create an artwork inspired by what you saw.  

A Collection of American Scenes: Use Art Collector, a special feature of the online database ArtsConnectEd, to view a collection of American scenes from The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. (Art Collector is free but you'll need to log in.) Then search the database to add more scenes. Click here to get started. Click here to learn more about Art Collector.  

December 2005