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Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists Tulsa Public Schools – Eighth Grade Art Assessment Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists Oklahoma Fine Arts Standard Two: Visual Art History and Culture Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

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Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

Tulsa Public Schools – Eighth Grade Art Assessment


Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

Oklahoma Fine Arts Standard Two: Visual Art History and Culture


Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

Oklahoma Fine Arts Standard Two: Visual Art History and Culture

The student will recognize the development of Visual Art from an historical and cultural perspective.

Describe and place a variety of specific significant art objects by artist, style and historical and cultural context

Identify themes and purposes of works of art and artifacts in history and culture

Demonstrate a basic knowledge of several fields of art such as painting, sculpture, drawing, computer graphics, printmaking, architecture, and fiber arts

Identify how visual art is used in today’s

world including the popular media of advertising, television, and film


Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists

You will look at the work of three artists from the United States. They painted in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Their names are Frederick Remington, Georgia O’Keefe, and T. C. Cannon.


With his dynamic representations of cowboys and cavalrymen, bronco busters, and Native Americans, 19th Century artist Frederic Remington created a mythic image of the American West that continues to inspire American today.


Remington was born in Canton, New York, in 1861. He briefly attended the Yale School of Art and the Art Students League of New York before heeding the call to “Go West.”

As a young man he traveled widely throughout the country, spending most of his time sketching the people and places in the new American frontier.

In 1886, he was hired by HARPER’S WEEKLY magazine to capture the beauty of “The West” for their readers.


His illustrations showed big open scenes, heroic figures, and moments of danger and conflict.

Many say that his illustrations and later his sculptures each tell a story, and often his favorite theme was the life and death struggles of the individual against overwhelming forces.

Look at this sculpture…can you guess why it is called a Norther? Can you feel the wind blowing?


Remington painted many night scenes, call “nocturnes.” A lack of light effects how clearly we see color. Squint your eyes and the bright colors you normally see become grey or neutral.


Remington worked hard for several years to capture moonlight by doing outdoor studies at his home in New York. You rarely see a moon in the picture. He kept the source of moonlight just off the page.


For Remington, night was dangerous and threatening but always on the verge of extinction. Day was coming but not just yet.


Remington’s Nocturnes all take the peacefulness out of rural night scenes. They are full of psychological tension and danger.


His nocturnes show mystery and danger. Sometimes the danger is seen, as in this wolf. In other paintings the danger is threatening or coming. In all of the paintings, the silence of the night is ominous.


This painting was finished only one year before the artist died. The warriors stand before a large fire off of the canvas to the bottom left. There is a solemn stillness about the scene.


Over the course of his career he painted more than three thousand drawings and paintings, 22 bronze sculptures, a novel, a Broadway play, and over one hundred articles and stories


In each of these works of art, he returns again and again to his vision of the west as a place of independence, individualism, and stoic heroism.


In the mid-1890’s, Remington turned his talent to sculpture and quickly mastered the medium. Each sculpture has tiny details that are true to the life in the west.

Each of his 22 sculptures tells a story about a western character.


Some say that his romantic depiction of the West encouraged the settling of the West.

Others claim that many Western movies are based upon his work. Director John Ford claimed that his film She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, starring John Wayne, was inspired by Remington’s work


Several U S stamps feature the work of Remington. Look at the price of this stamp. How much are first class stamps costing today?


You may want to see a Remington sculpture or painting in person. The largest collection in the world is housed in the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa.


Georgia O’Keefe loved to paint flowers, mountains, seashells, leaves and animal bones she found in the desert. She painted them large and up-close.


Georgia O’Keefe was born on her family’s large Wisconsin farm in 1887, twenty six years after Frederick Remington. Her bright, clear paintings show the beauty she found in the simple, natural things around her.


Although she painted things from nature, she rarely painted people or animals.

She was very knowledgeable about plants, flowers, and landscapes.

If you look closely, you can see the details of how these leave’s colors are changing. Do you know what tree they come from?


Georgia O’Keefe’s mother thought art was very important, she and made sure Georgia and her sisters had art lessons while they were growing up. Georgia did so well with her lessons that her parents encouraged her to go to art college after she graduated from high school.

At one school in New York City she won a prize for her paintings.


Here are two pictures of Georgia O’Keefe from when she was much older. They were taken by a very famous photographer whose name was Alfred Stieglitz. He took many pictures of her throughout her life.

When she was younger, she was very beautiful. Use your imagination and try to imagine her younger. Alfred Stieglitz asked her to model for him. They fell in love and later married.


Here is a picture of Georgia when she was younger. It is not a flashy picture. Stieglitz was trying to show the beauty of her character. What could you guess about her character from looking at this picture?

Is there a beauty that shines from within?


Gerogia O’Keefe and Alfred Steiglitz lived in a hotel in New York City. She loved the wide-open view she saw, and started painting pictures of the city.


Georgia made many still life paintings. She often rearranged things she saw and simplified them. She made the seashell above very large to give it a special power and strength.


Here are two of her landscapes. Georgia O’Keefe loved the mountains of New Mexico. The New Mexico state theme is “The Land of Enchantment.”

Georgia was enchanted with New Mexico and built a home there in the desert. She spent most of the year there painting.


She loved the large, clear and dramatic skies. She was excited with the power of the thunder storms and dust storms. She loved looking at the millions of stars at night.


When Georgia became an older woman, she started spending more and more time painting in New Mexico. She and Alfred would travel back and forth between New York and New Mexico. When he died, she moved there permanently.


A red canna is a flower. This painting is such a deep close-up it doesn’t even look like a flower. It is an “abstract painting.”


An abstract painting takes something that is real and changes it or distorts it into something else entirely. Georgia O’Keefe did many abstract paintings that were based on nature.


You may view an actual O’Keefe painting in the following museums:

  • Chicago Art Institute
  • Brooklyn Museum-New York
  • Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art-New York
  • Museum of Modern Art-New York
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.
  • Sheldon Art Gallery, Lincoln Nebraska
  • San Antonio Museum of Art
  • University of Arizona Museum-Tuscon

A Student interpretation of the style of Georgia O’Keefe


T. C. Cannon was a member of the Caddo-Kiowa tribe. He used humor

to comment on his status as a Native American artist. He never wanted

his background to limit the way people looked at his art. As he put it, “I

have something to say that comes out of being an Indian, but it is also a

lot bigger than just my race.”


T. C. Cannon was born in 1946 in Lawton, Oklahoma. His full name is Thomas Wayne Cannon. He is considered one of the most creative and influential American Indian artists of the 20th Century.


Through his art work, he had a important role in helping change the direction of traditional Indian painting. He used bold colors and modern artifacts in combination with Indian traditions.


During the 1930’s and l940’s Indian Art was flat and very stylized.

T. C. Cannon studied all different art styles in art school. He learned

different techniques from the traditional and blended them into his work.


One might say that he was a “bi-lingual” artist. He used two different languages of art….traditional Indian symbolism and Western experimentation.


T. C. Cannon’s work became very popular both in the United States and abroad. He exhibited in many art museums and galleries while he was alive. Often his shows “sold out.”


In many of his paintings, Native American people were the topic. They show both traditional clothing and modern accessories. What things from both cultures do you see?


The colors he uses are bold and contrast so that vibrate against each other creating the illusion of movement and rhythm. His brushstroke is quick, yet controlled. Bits of under painting sometimes show through.


His work is praised because he can capture the past and the

present together, using a solitary Native person as his focus.


Placing a traditional image in a modern setting illustrated that

Indian people are modern people who maintain their heritage

in contemporary times.


He stated that an Indian Painting was any painting done by an Indian. He believed that there was an Indian sensibility, the idea that Indians share a history and an upbringing.


T.C. Cannon was only 32 years old when he died in an automobile crash. His work may be found all over the world today.

Philbrook Museum is one local place you can visit to see his work.


Let’s think about Art

  • If you were to make a drawing or a painting in the style of one of these artists what would you include?
  • Would you consider bright intense colors or night time colors?
  • Would you paint common people and places, romantic people and
  • places, or traditional people and places?
  • Would you paint or draw a portrait, landscape, or a still life?
  • What aspect of the United States of America would you draw or
  • paint….and why?
  • Think about one of the three artists and make either a portrait, a still life, or a landscape. The portrait can be a self-portrait.Use crayons, markers or paints. Use forms and shadows to give a mysterious quality to your art work; or use bright contrasting colors to make a bold statement.

The End

Many thanks to the Visual Arts Assessment Committee:

Carole Odierno-Memorial High School

Carol Dvorak-Carver Middle School

Fran Kallsnick-Byrd Middle School

Joe Sizemore-Nimitz Middle School

Linda Barnett-Wright Elementary School

Janet Gillis-Carnegie Elementary School

Janet Lefler-Key Elementary School

Ann Tomlins-Fulton