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Picture This: A Young Person's Point of View
June 8, 2009

Our Teacher Programs Coordinator, Suzannah Niepold, describes one of our Education Department's local outreach activities.

Hearst Reception

Eighth-grader Eli Ferster reading his composition about Thomas Le Clear's painting Interior with Portraits. Photo by Sally Otis.

Three hundred and fifty D.C. eighth graders spent their spring semester studying eight artworks from the American Art Museum as part of Creating American Stories, a partnership between the museum and three local schools. This activity is funded by the William Randolph Hearst Endowment for America’s Artistic Heritage. Each student selected one work to respond to in writing. Their compositions ranged from historical fiction to deeply personal reflections connecting the art to their own lives, insecurities, and dreams.

If you’re interested in learning more about Interior with Portraits, take the Director's Choice tour, wherein the museum director, Elizabeth Broun, shares her thoughts on the painting. The director traces her interest in art history back to her grade school days in Kansas, when the "picture lady" would visit her classroom and share images of the world's great paintings. Perhaps one of the students in the Creating American Stories program will be similarly inspired? We'd like to think this could happen.

Posted by Jeff on June 8, 2009 in Picture This


I think that it is wonderful that art programs are being instituted. Being married to an artist has made me appreciate art more, and I think it is very valuable for students to understand and appreciate art.

I remember taking one art class when I lived in Illinois in the 6th grade. I loved my art class where I learned how to draw in perspective and still life pictures. My art teacher taught me so much in one semester to where I could appreciate art. I think more schools should offer art, not just to talented art students, but to all students.

This program will help the students create a life long connection to the arts that will appeals to their senses and emotions. Sadly, the schools I attended as a child did not offer any such programs or classes.

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