Clark Atlanta University Learn Lead Change

Teacher Study Guides

Art Galleries
Trevor Arnett Hall, 2nd Level
(404) 880-6102/6644 - (404) 880-6968 (fax)
Tuesday - Friday, 11:00am - 4:00pm

Teacher - Study Guide | Questions | Answers

Subject: art, language arts

Theme: art history

Objectives: Students will (1) know the purpose of galleries and (2) appreciate the preservation of material artifacts and exhibitions in galleries

About the Galleries and Permanent Collections: Clark Atlanta University has a long established tradition in promoting the visual arts. Beginning in 1942, the university hosted national exhibitions for African American artists who did not have access to public or cultural institutions because of segregation. During a period of 29 years, over 900 black artists from around the country sent their works to compete in the Exhibition of Paintings, Prints and Sculptures by Negro Artists of America (Atlanta University Art Annuals). Artworks by artists who received purchase awards became part of the permanent collection, which is now over 400 pieces. Though many of these artists were virtually unknown to mainstream art institutions, they became, and continue to become very famous since the inception of the Annuals. The Galleries have earned the distinction of possessing one of the largest and most historically significant collections of art by African Americans. Over the years however, the Galleries have broadened their scope to include artists of all ethnicities. The purpose of the University Art Collections is two-fold: (1) to maintain and cultivate a representative collection of American art, and (2) to encourage scholarly research giving special attention to the development of African American artists within the historical context of American art. The Galleries and the collections serve the interest and goals of both the University and general public by providing a range of aesthetic and educational experiences. This is accomplished through public programs which share knowledge that generates an understanding of American art through the development and import of temporary exhibitions.In collaboration with the 1996 Olympic Games, Clark Atlanta University renovated its former library facility to re-house the collections in compliance with museum standards.
The picture before you reflects one section of the Galleries as they appear now.

The Visit: In addition to learning more generally about art and social studies, students will learn to read identification labels, distinguish various types of mediums used by artists, differentiate between realism and abstraction, and identify forces motivating artistic expression. Career options in conservation, fine and graphic arts, and arts administration will also be discussed.

Pre-Visit Discussion: Query students about the museums and galleries they may have visited in the past and what they learned and remember. What were they surprised to discover? Then ask them what they imagine they'll see or learn at the Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries. Inquire which students and/or their parents collect and the nature of their collections. (A collection usually consists of three or more objects.) Explore their reasons for starting the collection and why it could be important in the future. Prepare students to note in writing a few works which particularly strike their attention.

Post-Visit Assessment: Ask a selection of students to give an oral or written account of what they learned. Focus on their recall of particular artists and why they may have been attracted to the work. Inquire about their least favorite piece and why they disliked it.Have students develop a manual for visiting art galleries to be used by other students. The manual should include the following:

1. How to prepare for the visit
2. Appropriate behavior
3. Questions to ask
4. How to read identification labels
5. Responsibilities of gallery personnel

After the visit to the Galleries, each student will prepare a mini exhibit of his/her collection and give a three-minute talk on the nature of the collection and how it is being preserved.