The intent of this gallery is to explore with students how art and writing can be interrelated, and how visual study of a work of art can enhance one's verbal and written understanding of the artwork, as well as the historic and cultural values presented.
Description: Samba Spirit: Modern Afro-Brazilian Art presents the work of 20th century Brazilian artists of African descent who draw inspiration from all aspects of Brazilian culture, reflecting on history, religion, music, and dance. Each artist presented in this gallery presents a glimpse of daily life, often drawing from their own memories and personal experiences, creating a story that draws from cultural traditions. Some artists present the life of a laborer, recalling Brazil's history of slavery, which was abolished in 1888. Other artists present images of music and dancing, reflecting cultural traditions such as Samba and Frevo, as well as the yearly tradition of Carnival. Religious traditions are also explored in several works, including how African religions, brought over through the slave trade, adapted into new religions such as Candomble, and how these belief systems interacted with Christianity brought over by Europeans.
Reflecting on this multi-faceted cultural inspiration, this gallery explores how an artwork can present a story and a culture's history to the viewer. The intent of this gallery is to explore with students how art and writing can be interrelated, and how visual study of a work of art can enhance one's verbal and written understanding of the artwork, as well as the historic and cultural values presented. This gallery is designed to help improve students' critical thinking, interpretation, and writing skills.
Learning Goals: In exploring this lesson students will...
- Learn about the intersection of multiculturalism and social justice as expressed in twentieth century Brazilian painting.
- Discuss what narratives, ideals, or morals may be expressed in the composition of each painting.
Using this Resource: Connections to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
Reading and Writing standards for Literature 6-12
Grade 9-10 Standard 7: Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what's emphasized or absent in each treatment.
ELA20: Consideration of Audience and Purpose
Common Core Writing Standards 2, 4, 5, 7
History and Social Studies
WHI.20: Describe the development and effects of the trans-African slave trade to the Middle East from the 8th century on and the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the Western Hemisphere from the 16th century on.
Arts Connections Strands
Standard 6: Purpose and Meaning in the Arts
For relevant supplementary materials and classroom activities, refer to the web links posted under Related Resources at the bottom of this page.
The objects in this lesson are just a beginning. We encourage you to explore the Museum's online collection through this web source - or even better, to visit the Museum and walk through the physical galleries - to look for other objects that will provide further insights into this exhibition.