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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Bias & Influence in American Revolutionary Art

Just like modern day advertisements and jingles the American colonists showed their feelings and opinions through paintings, silver work, drawings, prints and furniture. This online gallery allows you and your students to apply their background knowledge of the time leading up to and during the American Revolution to delve deeper into the influence, bias and message of the piece. Like contemporary art, the art of the 17th century reflected the opinions, politic views and emotions of the artists. However 17th century art was a primary source of information and documentation of world events, biblical interpretations, and mythology and, in the case of Revolutionary art, important events. Traditional art can be viewed much like the Internet or cell phones today. Art and artists purpose was much different during the 17th century from modern day art.


Students will be able to apply their prior knowledge of the American Revolution to find influence, bias and message of art from that time period.
Students will be able to identify objects present and absent from the selected art to determine meaning.
Students will think pair and share their ideas with tablemates.
Students will be able to identify influence, mood, focus, message, meaning and bias from the selected pieces.

All of the objects in this online gallery are on view at the MFA, except for “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Leutze which is on permanent view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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