In this online gallery students will use objects from the Museum's Chinese collection to learn about the philosophy of Daoism.
Description: In this online gallery students will use objects from the Museum's Chinese collection to learn about the philosophy of Daoism. In closely examining paintings and ceramics that date from the 6th to the 20th centuries, they will discover the notion of Dao (way, or path) and the attempt by artists to capture this vital but elusive notion in their work. Over many centuries, Daoism coexisted with Confucianism in Imperial China in a somewhat yin/yang relationship. Therefore the online galleries Confucianism and Daoism can be considered as two parts of a single study, and we suggest that teachers begin with Confucianism and then turn to the more difficult concept of the Dao.
Grade Level: Can be adapted for classrooms from 6-12th grades Subjects
Learning Goals: In exploring this lesson, students will...
• Be introduced to the basic concepts of Daoist philosophy
• Be encouraged to look closely at the art of Imperial China as a way of understanding the values and social institutions of the culture that produced it
• Appreciate the beauty and fine craftsmanship of art made over the past 3,000 years
Using this Resource: Language Arts and Foreign Language teachers may be interested in the relation of Daoist philosophy as its communicated in writing that accompanies visual art. Social Studies teachers covering Asian history, and civilizations, will find this lesson a useful supplement on Chinese culture. Visual Arts teachers will be interested in how the prints utilize landscape, perspective, and calligraphy to communicate a state of mind. For Sample Related Classroom Activities, download the PDF available under Related Resources at the bottom of this page. The objects in this tour are just a beginning. We encourage you to explore the Museum’s online collection through this web resource—or even better, to visit the Museum and walk through the physical galleries—to look for other objects that will provide further insights into Daoism and its visualizations in the arts.