Picturing Early America:

People, Places, and Events 1770-1870


This site is a resource for K-12 Teachers exploring Early American art and culture. Our website is designed to assist teachers of American history, literature, art, geography, social studies, American studies, and other fields, who wish to incorporate American art into their classrooms. It was developed from NEH Summer Institutes held at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts, during 2009 and 2010. Twenty-five teachers from around the country traveled to historic Salem each year to participate in the Institutes, which explored Early American portraiture, history painting, and landscape, with particular focus on works drawn from NEH’s Picturing America initiative. The program’s multidisciplinary approach to content and pedagogy can be seen in the site's resources, which include podcasts, unit plans, and print and electronic bibliographies.

Paul Revere

The Teacher Resources link will bring you to the heart of the project. Each one of the podcasts highlights an artist or theme in Early American art, edited from lectures given at the 2010 Institute. The unit plans, developed by our teacher participants in 2009 and 2010, provide innovative strategies for getting your students excited about American visual art and for using visual resources to introduce new topics and explore them in depth. Our web and print bibliographies are a guide to further research in Early American visual culture and other resources in New England.