Picturing America on Screen is a group of 25 films created by 9 talented directors, which presents a sampling of American art that range from the mystery and beauty of Anasazi pottery to the sculptural poetry of contemporary artist Martin Puryear. The artworks are those included in the Picturing America project of the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) and the Institute for Museum and Library Service. The NEH program was launched in2008 to introduce Americans to their artistic heritage and to the possibilities inherent in using art as a link to teaching and understanding America’s past. And as an adjunct to this endeavor, the notion of short films as an even more interactive and engaging tool, led to the “on Screen” project. Aside from the artworks themselves now was added the unique voice and personality of various filmmakers as well as an array of participants, experts and scholars, who amplify these artworks in many unexpected ways, making the films a lively and vibrant addition.
The Picturing America images, additional information, and the teacher’s resource book in English, French, Arabic and Portuguese, are available online at picturingamerica.neh.gov. ALA’s Programming Librarian website provides creative programming ideas for librarians, including supplementary material and content. Further online educational resources are available through the extensive library of humanities lesson plans offered by EDSITEment, a joint venture of NEH and Verizon.