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      Paintings , drawings, and early photographs provide a representation of the antebellum years in Kentucky and they usually have the perspective of the client who commissioned them, and are not sympathetic to the lives of slaves. The exception is two of the paintings used in the documentary by Thomas Satterwhite Noble, an artist born in Lexington, KY.

Quilts represent important artistic expressions and some quilt patterns can be traced back to African textiles. Historians are just beginning to explore the connection between the use of traditional bed coverings and secret communication among slaves.

The making of Kentucky's Underground Railroad-Passage to Freedom was itself a journey. Two years in the making, and two years in planning prior to that, many different types of visual artists contributed to both the television and the Web productions. Visit behind the scenes and learn more about the artists on this project and their careers.

  1. Look at the painting below from the documentary. Respond using this four step critiquing process.

    Last Sale of the Slaves

  2. Make a classroom quilt, either using fabric or paper, or make a virtual quilt like students in this class.

Connections to Kentucky's Core Content for Assessment for Visual Arts

Art Elements, Principles, Media, and Processes

Grades P-5

  • 4.1.39 Analyze how an artist uses various media and processes to communicate meaning in a work of art.
  • 4.2.31 Identify various purposes for creating works of art.

Grades 6-8

  • 4.1.34 Identify and describe a variety of art media, art processes, and subject matter to communicate ideas, feelings, experiences, and stories.
  • 4.2.31 Describe and compare the characteristics and purposes of works of art representing various cultures, historical periods, artists, and/or styles.

Grade 9-11

  • 4.1.35. Identify skills and training necessary for a variety of careers in visual arts.
  • 4.2.31 Know how media, art processes, subject matter, symbols, ideas, and themes communicate cultural and aesthetic values.
  • 4.2.37 Analyze, compare, contrast, and interpret the cultural and historical context of artworks using visual arts terminology.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 09-May-2006 10:39:20 Eastern Daylight Time