ArtsConnectEd/ArtsNet Minnesota

Art and Artists
 Berenice Abbott
 Giovanni Canal
 Frank Gehry
 Marsden Hartley
 Louis Lozowick
 Mexico (Nayarit)
 David Nash
 Georgia O'Keeffe
 Vincent van Gogh

Inner Worlds What is Art?   Identity Designing Spaces and Places
Marsden Hartley
Discussion Questions/Activities

Why do you think the artist changed his name? Have you ever thought about changing your name? What name would you choose? Why?

Hartley made more than 1,000 paintings. If he had made only 100 paintings, would each one be more valuable? Would you pay one million dollars for Storm Clouds, Maine, if you had the extra money? Why or why not?

Do you see any geometric shapes in this painting? Organic shapes?

Was Hartley trying to reproduce nature in this painting?



  • Choose a natural climate such as the desert, plains, mountains, or tropics, and research the flora (plants) and fauna (animals) that are indigenous (native) to that climate. Paint a picture of that environment.
  • Create your own ideal dream climate with your ideal fantasy flora and fauna. Draw a detailed picture of yourself in this environment.
Minnesota student with dreamhouse
Minnesota student with dreamhouse
Pretend you are a naturalist. Select an insect or bird and learn everything you can about your subject. Write a paragraph describing your subject. Find a photograph of your subject and make an illustration. Using both written text (words) and visual text (art), describe how your subject appears, where it lives, and what it eats. Pretend this insect or bird is an endangered species. You may be the last person to record these details.

Hartley used a technique called the Segantini "stitch" to paint Storm Clouds, Maine.

Look closely at this painting and read about the technique. Design a landscape composition in pencil. Next, using your markers, create a landscape drawing using 1/2-inch long vertical lines of pure color. The color will appear mixed when viewed from a distance. Fill in all the space with the Segantini "stitch."

Hartley, Storm Clouds
Marsden Hartley, Storm Clouds, Maine
Vocabulary Terms

endangered species--An animal or plant that is in danger of extinction or ceasing to exist.



geometric shapes--Shapes with regular contours, and straight edges such as squares, triangles, or circles.

naturalist--A scientist who studies plants and animals from the natural world.

organic shapes--Curving, free-form, irregular shapes echoing nature.

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Abbott, Broadway to the Battery Look carefully at the photograph Broadway to the Battery. How many of these questions can you answer from looking at this photograph?
  • What season of the year is it?
  • Which direction was Berenice Abbott facing when she took this picture? (You may need to look at a map of New York City)
  • What time of day is it?
  • What New York landmarks can you identify?
  • What is the name of the ship in the harbor?
Berenice Abbott,
Broadway to the

Use historical photographs of your community to compare the past with the present. Look at an older picture of a main street in your town and compare it with how the street looks today. Take photographs to document the ways your town has changed.


Zwingle, Erla. "A Life of Her Own."

Sundell, Michael G. Berenice Abbott: Documentary Photographs if the 1930s. The New Gallery of Contemporary Art, 1980

Abbott, Berenice. Changing New York. New York: Dutton, 1939 (printed as New York in the Thirties. New York: Dover, 1973).

Vocabulary Terms
modern, modernism--In art history, this term refers to the philosophies of art made in Europe and the United States during a period roughly from the 1860s through the 1970s when certain artists began to take radical steps away from traditional art in order to be deliberately different from the dominant, official taste. Modern art or modernism is characterized by changing attitudes about art, an interest in contemporary events as subjects, personal artistic expression, and freedom from realism. Modernism can be seen as artists' attempts to come to terms with the urban, industrial and secular society that emerged during the 19th century in Western society.

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Themes, Resources, Participants, Sitemap, Help

Discussion/Activities, About the Artist, About the Art, Teacher Lessons

Inner Worlds | What Is Art? | Environment | Identity | Designing Spaces and Places
About the Art | About the Artist | Discussion Questions/Activities | Teacher Lessons