Sister Wendy's American Collection

Sister Wendy's American Collection


Explore this rich collection of art and culture, in these resources from SISTER WENDY'S AMERICAN COLLECTION. Sister Wendy Beckett traveled across America, visiting six of the county's most influential art museums. Check out these resources to learn more. 

 

  • Mimbres Bowl

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the art and culture of the Mogollon people who lived in New Mexico until 1300 A.D. The artifact is from the final period of their history, the Mimbres period (1050 -3000 A.D.) The Mogollons created beautiful pottery that was essential in death rituals. Museum of Fine Arts, Mogollon culture, American, A.D. 1000-1150.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Grand Piano

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" analyzes the Grand Piano, originally commissioned by Spanish Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy. The piano was built in 1796 in London during a time of rapid advancement in the art of piano making. Many artists are believed to have worked on the intricate piece, including John Broadwood, who owned Broadwood and Son. Museum of Fine Arts, John Broadwood, American (1751-1808), 1796.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" analyzes the work of John Singer Sargent, The Daughters of Edward Darely Boit. At the time of its creation, this piece was considered unconventional because of its large size (8 feet) and the scattered positioning of the four subjects, which opposed usual formal arrangements for portraits. Museum of Fine Arts, John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925), 1882.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Tugra of Suleyman the Magnificent

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the tughra, or monogram of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and the ornate nature of calligraphy, the basis of Islamic Art. Tughras are all composed of the same patterns of ovals, arabesques and lines, yet each sultan's is unique. Representational art was discouraged by Islamic faith so over years calligraphy became a decorative form of art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Turkish, Istanbul, Mid-16th century.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Royal Statuary of Hatshepsut

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" analyzes one of the pieces of art from the reign of the female Egyptian pharaoh, Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut led a prosperous kingdom in which she built new monuments and restored damaged temples of her predecessors. Despite this, her successors attempted to erase her name from history; the only record of her lies within the reliefs of her temple at Deir al-Bahri. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Egyptian, Thebes, 18th dynasty.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Bis Poles

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the bis poles of the Asmat people of New Guinea. These 15-foot-high wooden poles carved from mangrove trees played an essential role in cultural beliefs. The carvings on the pole depict figures and symbols of Asmat religion, including a canoe to take the dead away. The poles were also used in head hunting ceremonies, which restored the balance of the world after a person had died. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Asmat people, New Guinea, 20th century.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Ocean Park Series #49

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" analyzes the work of Richard Diebenkorn, an American artist inspired by Matisse's work. Deibenkorn's work is described as "abstract landscape" because it has qualities of Abstract Expressionist, but it still retains a connection to landscape painting. He began the Ocean Park series in 1966 while teaching at UCLA. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Richard Diebenkorn, American (1922-1993), 1972.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Netsuke

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the origin of netsuke. The name for the decorative little toggles that made their debut in late 17th-century Japan literally means "root for fastening." Netsuke were not subject to the strict rules of dress or the restrictions of art because they were technically neither. As a result, no subject or material was off limit to artisans. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Baku, Monster Who Eats Nightmares, Gechu, Japanese, 18th century.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the work of Mary Cassatt, one of the few women and the only American in the French Impressionist circle of artists. Cassatt's early work displayed the powerful influence of Impressionism on color, brushwork, and play of light. The depiction of the subject is also unmistakably Impressionistic: mother and child are unposed, natural, caught in the moment. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mary Cassatt, American (1844-1926), 1880.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Standing Bodhisattva

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the statue, Standing Bodhisattva, which depicts a saint who has passed through the 10 degrees of perfection necessary to achieve nirvana but elects to stay on earth and relieve the suffering of less enlightened others. The blending of Western and Eastern cultures is evident in this bodhisattva, attired in the clothes of an Indian prince but with the body, hair, and facial features of classical Hellenistic statues. Kimbell Art Museum, Pakistan, Gandhara region, 1st-2nd century A.D.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Maison Maria with a View of Chateau Noir

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" analyzes the piece Maison Maria with a view of Chateau Noir by Paul Cezanne. Cezanne's art challenged both the Romantic, neoclassical and newer Impressionist styles of popular painting during the 19th century. Maison Maria exhibits the compositional characteristics, for instance, the imbalance of the house that are unique to Cezanne. Kimbell Art Museum, Paul Cezanne, French (1839-1906) c. 1895.

    Grades: 9-12
  • An Exiled Emperor on Okinoshima

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discussed the painting An Exiled Emperor on Okinoshima and which Japanese ruler sitting on a remote beach it portrays. Traditionally, the solitary figure has been identified as the emperor Godaigo (r. 1318-1389), but recent scholars believe it may be the other emperor exiled to Okinoshima, Gotoba-in (r. 1184-1198). Kimbell Art Museum, Mitsushige, Japanese, of the Tosa school c. 1600.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Still Life with Two Lemons

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" analyzes masterful still life work of Dutch artist Pieter Claesz. The Dutch were the undisputed masters of the genre however, Pieter Claesz, perfected the still life by creating a sub-genre, the ontbijtje, or breakfast piece. His work is distinguishable by his use of light as a unifying element and the emphasis on the texture of each object.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Stag at Sharkey's

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses George Bellow's painting, Stag at Sharkey's. George Bellow was part of the Ashcan School, a group of artists that focused on the dark realism of urban American. Stag at Sharkey's embodies the grittiness, violence and masculinity of New York in the early 1900s. The Cleveland Museum of Art, George Bellows, American (1882-1925), 1909.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Hours of Queen Isabella the Catholic

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses Queen Isabella the Catholic's prayerbook, called the Book of Hours. The book was created by the artists of the Ghent-Bruges School and given to Queen Isabella by a subject. Each illustration is a mini painting, embellished in gold, of a biblical scene. The prayerbook is important because it is portable and has lasted much longer than larger religious works of art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ghent, Flemish, c. 1497-1500.

    Grades: 9-12
  • City Landscape

    This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses Joan Mitchell's abstract expressionist work, entitled City Landscape. Mitchell is well known for her landscapes, which are often characterized by light backgrounds and streaks of bright color. Abstract expressionism was mostly a male dominated field, but Mitchell distinguished herself and rose to fame through her lyrical approach to painting.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Sister Wendy, Her Life

    This article from the WGBH production Sister Wendy: "American Collection" is a brief biography of Sister Wendy Beckett and her journey to becoming a devoted art appreciator and connoisseur.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Museums

    This interactive page shows the six featured American museums from the WGBH production Sister Wendy: "American Collection."

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    This article from the WGBH production Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, its location, brief history and exhibits.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    This article from the WGBH production Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the Metropolitan Museum of Art, its location, brief history and exhibits.

    Grades: 9-12

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