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Underneath It All

Editor’s note: This weekend is the last chance to see Making Mainbocher. The exhibition closes on Sunday, August 20. In fashion exhibitions, many things vie for attention. The focus, of course, is on the garments with their rich fabrics, vibrant colors, and sparkly embellishments. But, how do these pieces go from collection storage (hanging on More

A Tribute from France

Between now and November 11, 2018, we will commemorate the centennial of the United States’ participation in World War I. It was one of the greatest conflicts in human history, claiming more than 17 million lives and leaving more than 20 million wounded. The Great War, as it was called, shattered the illusions of an More

America’s Documents of Freedom

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation are often referred to collectively as the Documents of Freedom. As a group, these documents demonstrate the evolution of American democracy and freedoms. The lessons in this unit examine how changes in government impact individuals differently; how freedom is interpreted through More

Slavery and Freedom in America

This unit examines the broad meanings of slavery and freedom in America through the life of a woman named Hannah Harris. Hannah was a weaver on Robert Carter’s plantation in Virginia. In anticipation of her freedom, she sent Carter a note asking to purchase her loom. The lessons in this unit include detailed analysis of More

Sew What! Samplers as part of American History

Samplers can teach us about the domestic arts, societal beliefs, and women’s education. In this unit, students will analyze samplers and other primary sources (school records, advertisements, and photographs) to understand the connection women have had over time to the domestic arts, especially sewing. Students will discover the process and purpose of creating samplers and how More

African American Life in the Nineteenth Century

John and Mary Jones were two of Chicago’s most influential and prominent black citizens in the late nineteenth century. By examining primary documents and artifacts related to the couple, students will learn about African American life in Illinois from 1818 to 1867. The lessons in this unit investigate the lives of John and Mary Jones More

Fighting for Freedom: African Americans in the Civil War

This unit explores the African American’s experiences during the Civil War. Students will learn how government policy evolved over time regarding African American service in the Union forces and examine issues of propaganda and unequal treatment. The unit utilizes a variety of primary source materials, including illustrations, photographs, and documents. Students will complete a variety More

The Civil War: Up Close and Personal

Confederate Private William D. Huff began a diary after he was captured during the Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 18 and 19, 1863. In his diary, Huff narrates his experiences at Camp Douglas, Chicago’s confederate prison camp. He includes descriptions of escape attempts, harsh punishments, and disease. The diary ends with Huff’s parole and return More

Through the Camera’s Lens: The Civil War in Photographs

This unit uses the work of the studio of Mathew Brady to explore the process of photography during the Civil War, discuss issues of early photojournalism, and interpret specific events and places of the Union experience of the Civil War. Students will analyze a variety of photographs depicting naval scenes, images of battlefields, and camp More

Chicago’s World’s Fairs

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, world’s fairs and expositions celebrated the past while introducing visions of the future. Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and the A Century of Progress World’s Fair in 1933–34. The lessons in this unit cover the art and architecture of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition; the connections More

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