The Division of Education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art has released a new set of teaching posters, Five Women Artists, designed as a classroom resource to provide fresh inspiration for students and new opportunities for discussing art, artists, and art’s place in society. Philadelphia public schools are being offered poster sets free of charge through generous grants from Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Delphi Financial Group, Inc. The poster set celebrates a distinguished group of American artists represented in the Museum’s collections.
The Five Women Artists posters provide striking examples of needlework, watercolor, oil painting, terracotta sculpture, and photography. The artworks in the set are Embroidered Picture, c.1750-60, made by an anonymous girl in Boston; Study for “Divine Law,” c.1917, by Violet Oakley (1874-1961) of Philadelphia, who was the creator of 43 murals in the Pennsylvania State Capitol building; Orange and Red Streak, 1919, by Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) whose canvases express intense experiences with nature; Mother and Child, 1954, by Elizabeth Catlett (born 1915) whose work focuses on women in their roles as mothers, workers, and freedom fighters; and We Are Your Circumstantial Evidence, 1982, by social critic Barbara Kruger (born 1945), known for her large photographs overlaid with Futura Bold slogans, which are often displayed in bright red frames.
Since 1995, the Museum’s poster sets have provided a versatile, interdisciplinary resource for teachers who wish to incorporate art in their curricula. “Throughout the Philadelphia region, teachers have responded with lots of enthusiasm—not only art instructors, but teachers of social studies, English, language, and math,” said Marla Shoemaker, Senior Curator of Education. “We’re grateful to Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company whose support has ensured the success of so many of our education initiatives.”
Larry Daurelle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, added: “We’re thrilled that the work of these inspiring women artists is now presented in a wonderful poster set available for use in classrooms to stimulate young minds and to encourage them to pursue their individuality, talent, and conviction.”
The Guerrilla Girls, a feisty, nationally renowned group dedicated to “fighting discrimination with facts, humor and fake fur since 1985,” helped to unveil the new posters to a packed auditorium of teachers at the Museum recently. “We applaud the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its poster initiative for beginning the 21st century with women artists at the forefront of history and education,” said one gorilla-masked member of the group.
Each full-color, laminated, 18 x 24-inch poster offers a wealth of interpretive material on the back, including maps that show where the artist worked and presents related art projects for students. The resource book for teachers provides further material on the artist and the featured artwork, plus worksheets, a glossary of art terms, recommended books, and learning activities for grades K-12.
An advisory group of 18 education and art professionals provided resources, debate, and critiques in shaping the teaching poster set. The group consisted of teachers from public and private schools in the Philadelphia area, as well as curators and scholars from neighboring institutions.
Other teaching poster sets available through the Museum include Images of the Middle Ages; The Figure in the Impressionist Era; African American Artists: 1859 to the Present; and The Arts of Asia. Teaching poster sets cost $44.95 (except for The Figure in the Impressionist Era, priced at $49.95). The poster images and excerpts from the texts can be viewed by visiting the Museum’s website at www.philamuseum.org (see Education). All are available for purchase by visiting the Museum’s Online Store or by calling 1-800-329-4856. (Philadelphia public schools are offered one of each poster set free of charge.)
Five Women Artists teaching posters and resource book were funded by a generous grant from Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Delphi Financial Group, Inc.