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Scholar-Official in His Study
Bust of Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
Three Musicians
Malcolm X #3
  • Why do people want pictures of themselves and others? Look at the artworks in this section and brainstorm in a group. Consider patriotism, celebrity, community pride, identity, status (to show someone's place in society), commemoration (to preserve memories), innovation (to create a new art style), and homage (to express respect or appreciation) in relation to these works.
  • Which contain recognizable people? Which are abstract? Why? Compare the sculptures of Benjamin Franklin and Malcolm X and discuss the differences between realism and abstraction. What are the strengths of each style?
  • Brainstorm how the people depicted might be portrayed using contemporary materials (e.g., video, LED sign, graphic novel, website). What would be most appropriate for each one? Why?
  • What do the objects in Mandarin in His Study add to our understanding of people? What objects would you include in a picture of you? Draw a self-portrait including these objects.
  • How is music portrayed in Three Musicians? What sort of music do you "hear" when you look at this image?
  • Choose one artwork and write a brief biography of the person depicted. Take turns reading the biographies aloud and guessing which person is described. Discuss how the writings relate to the images.

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