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Curriculum Connections

Jam Session
Jam Session, 1943
Claude Clark, American
Oil on canvas
20 x 18 inches (50.8 x 45.7 cm)
Purchased with the Julius Bloch Memorial Fund created by Benjamin D. Bernstein, 1998
1998-65-1
[ More Details ]
Language Arts/English
Elementary School
What kinds of dancing do you do with your friends and/or family? Describe how you move, the music you dance to, and whether you like to dance, or not.

Middle School
Write a description of hip-hop dancing. Include a glossary of terms.

High School
Compare hip-hop and jitterbug moves, using Jam Session as a primary source.

Social Studies
Elementary School
When he was a child, Claude Clark’s family moved from the South to the North. Which states are southern states? Which ones are northern? Why did the Clark family move?

Middle School
Learn about the Great Migration through the paintings and poetry of Jacob Lawrence. Find references to Jim Crow laws, lynchings, and the Ku Klux Klan in the paintings.

Recommended resources:
  • See Jacob Lawrence’s paintings of the Great Migration at columbia.edu/itc/history/odonnell/w1010/edit/migration/migration.html or in his book The Great Migration: An American Story (New York: Museum of Modern Art; Washington, D.C.; Phillips: Collection; New York: HarperCollins, 1993)

High School
Learn more about the Great Depression through the artwork of Philadelphia artist Dox Thrash and the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration.

Recommended resource:

Art
Elementary School
Experiment with dancing to music and “freezing” like statues at two- or three-minute intervals when the music stops. Have everyone observe one another when frozen. Then draw, paint, or use cut-out shapes (paper or cardboard) or sculpture wire to create dancing figures.

Middle School
Take turns posing and making quick action sketches. Using construction paper, cut out figures based on the dancers in Jam Session. After experimenting, glue them into a final composition.

High School
Compare Jam Session to art by Aaron Douglas and William Henry Johnson. Investigate The Dance (Merion Dance Mural), 1932–33, by Henri Matisse, at the Barnes Foundation. Create an abstract version of Jam Session using simplified, flat shapes and a new color scheme.

Recommended resources:
  • Learn more about Aaron Douglas at artic.edu/artaccess/AA_AfAm/pages/AfAm_3.shtml.
  • Richard J. Powell, Homecoming: The Art and Life of William H. Johnson (Washington, D.C.: The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1991), “Jitterbugs I–V,” 170
  • Great French Paintings from the Barnes Foundation: Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Early Modern, (New York: Knopf, in association with Lincoln University Press, 1993), 274–291 (Henri Matisse)
 

For more information, please contact The Division of Education by phone at (215) 684-7580, by fax at (215) 236-4063, or by e-mail at .

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