Art handlers brought two NCMA works out of hiding today for a special group of students from Perry Harrison School in Chatham County. Thomas Sully’s portrait of Udney Maria Blakely (1830) and the silver tea and coffee service (1818-19) made for her by silversmith Anthony Rasch have been off view since the American galleries were closed last year, in preparation for the new building.
We worked with Registration to bring them out of storage because seeing art objects in person can make a huge impact on students. Reproductions of works of art sometimes can seem like illustrations that accompany a larger story. By seeing the works of art “in the flesh,” students realize that these objects have a life and history unto themselves; they become the story. These students have been studying early American history through works of art and other primary sources.
The students and their teachers are participating in the Art of Collaboration, an NCMA project that helps non-art teachers integrate the visual arts into their instruction.