Gallery 225a
  • Gallery 225a

America Diversifying, 1945-2000

Grade Level: 
Student Level: 
High School

By examining American art and artifacts from the museum's collection, this series promotes discussion of America's national character and heritage. All five lessons, developed by teams of teachers, are accompanied by reinforcement materials specifically designed to foster critical thinking skills. These programs may be scheduled individually.

America Diversifying, 1945-2000, is the final lesson in this series. The empowerment of various segments of American society from the postwar period and beyond forms the major focus for this lesson. Students discuss such themes as civil rights, changing gender roles, the rise of the consumer, the decline of social hierarchy, and the impact of technology on American life and art. An in-program viewing guide provides an interactivity for students to design their own symbols for these developments.

Program Format: 
  • Introduce major themes of the lesson.
  • Discuss social conditions surrounding Abstract Expressionism.
  • Discuss the growth of suburbia and effect on cities.
  • Discuss blurring of boundaries in society and art.
  • Discuss empowerment of formerly disenfranchised citizens.
  • Discuss imagery related to the role of women, consumerism, and technology.
  • Discuss works that demonstrate expanding viewpoints in the later 20th century.
  • Conceptual art interactivity, time permitting.
  • Students will be able to explain major domestic developments after 1945.
  • Students will be able to trace social unrest, protest, and change in the United States during the later 20th century, and see its impact on contemporary art.
  • Students will be able to analyze the origins, major developments, controversies, and consequences of the civil rights movement.
  • Students will be able to explain how advances in communication and transportation have impacted areas including globalization, the environment, and popular culture.
  • Students will be able to explain how the United States has been affected politically, economically, and socially by its multicultural diversity.