Active Art: 1930s Explore the 1930s Get inspired Move Create Reflect
Introduction You will use MMUVA (Movement with MUsic and Visual Art), an innovative art creation program, to create your own work based on events of the 1930s. The MMUVA program was inspired by the visual art of Jackson Pollock, who got his start as a government-employed artist in the 1930s through the New Deal. Before creating your own artwork, you will explore the art of Jackson Pollock and his peers, reasons for the New Deal, causes of the Great Depression, and the music of the 1930s.
During this webquest, you will: Explore abstract visual art created with music and dance, using the MMUVA (Movement with MUsic and Visual Art) program. Recognize art in the style of Jackson Pollock. Describe how Jackson Pollock and other artists survived the Great Depression. Identify causes of the Great Depression. Identify the impact the Great Depression had on Americans. Explore music of the 1930s. Generate a timeline of events through the 1930s. Create MMUVA art using inspiration from events and music of the 1930s. Reflect on your art and describe the choices you made to create it.
Tasks Timeline Art & Reflection Your group task is to develop a timeline of events. • As you work through the activities, keep notes on the timeline worksheet. • Use your notes to create a timeline to show others what you discovered. • Decide how to creatively present your timeline – horizontally or vertically, with words and/or pictures, on paper or some other material or using the computer, with colors or not. Your individual task is to develop a piece of MMUVA art. • During class time, experiment with the program to see how it works. • Choose music from the 1930s and a theme for your work. • Reflect on the work in a paper.
Webquest Outline First-time users: Click to continue. Returning users: Click the link where you want to start this time. What is Abstract Art? What is MMUVA? Jackson Pollock Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Project The New Deal The Great Depression Music of the 1930s Conclusion
Task notes: • Keep track of when things happened for your timeline. • Think about how you might create abstract art. What is Abstract Art? Art doesn’t have to be a realistic picture of something. Abstract art can represent or reflect a feeling, a sound, an image, or even a taste. It can have different meanings for different people. It may not even have a meaning. Start your webquest using the links below. • How do people respond to art? Watch this movie to get some reactions. • Take a look at a slide show of abstract art pieces. Think about your reaction to each piece. How do the different pieces make you feel? • Read about the history of abstract expressionism. Pay special attention to the section on Context. What is abstract expressionism? What effect did the 1930s have on abstract expressionism? NEXT: How can you make abstract art? Home
Task notes: • You’ll use MMUVA to make your own artwork at the end of this unit. What is MMUVA? Who inspired it? • You will make abstract art with MMUVA, which stands for Movement with MUsic and Visual Art. Take a look at this video to see what MMUVA does and how it works. • Who created MMUVA, and why? Watch this video to learn more about its inspiration. MMUVA’s first name was “Michael Jackson Pollock,” a play on words between recording artist Michael Jackson and visual artist Jackson Pollock. • During your work time, you will have time to play with MMUVA for yourself. NEXT: Who was Jackson Pollock? Home
Jackson Pollock Jackson Pollock was a leader of the Abstract Expressionist movement. He developed the action/drip-painting technique. • Watch this video to see Jackson Pollock working on one of his famous drip paintings. Notice how motion is used to create visual art. • Pollock worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) & Federal Arts Project (FAP) from the late 1930s through the early ’40s. See more about his life and art here. NEXT: What were the WPA and FAP programs? Why did they exist? Home
Works Progress Administration • Task notes: • Keep track of dates and events for your timeline as you read. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal to decrease the unemployment rate during the Great Depression. It existed from 1935 to 1943. WPA employed tradesmen for various jobs, including cleaning up local communities and the construction of new roads, schools and libraries. Learn more about the WPA at this here. Visit this link to see “12 WPA Projects that Still Exist.” Are any of these projects familiar to you? Home
Federal Arts Project (FAP) • Question for thought • How is the FAP’s “artistic nationalism” different from “abstract expressionism”? • The FAP was developed out of the WPA to employ artists. • Artists received $23.50/week and were expected to produce one major piece of art within a specified timeframe or to work a certain number of days on a mural or architectural sculpture project. • The FAP accounts for the largest creation of American Art. Watch this video to learn more about the WPA and FAP. • One important aspect of art, at this time, was artistic nationalism. What is this? Click these links – Rediscovering America, Work Pays America – to learn more. NEXT: What was the New Deal? Home
The New Deal • Task notes: • Keep track of dates and events for your timeline as you read and watch. • Be on the lookout for stories that might inspire your artwork. • Questions for thought • What are some things the New Deal promised the American people? • What are some programs resulting from the New Deal? To help the American people in the hard times of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced the New Deal. Learn more by exploring the links and video below: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Roosevelt Pushes the New Deal (video) The New Deal NEXT: Why did America need a New Deal? (Or, what was the Great Depression?) Home
The Great Depression: 1929-1939 • Task notes: • If a story makes you feel strong emotions (angry, happy, hopeful, sad), consider using it for your artwork. • Questions for thought • Check your worksheet for questions about the Great Depression. The Great Depression affected all American people. Learn more about it at the following pages: • What was the historical context? The Great Depression Begins (video) • What caused the depression? The Great Depression • Who was affected? Children and the Great Depression, Human Meaning of the Depression • What made it worse for some? The Dust Bowl (video) NEXT: Music in the 1930s Home
Music of the 1930s • Task notes: • Think about how you might move to your music. • Task notes: • Choose music from the jukebox for your MMUVA composition. • Relate your music to a story from the 1930s. Much of the popular music of the 1930s reflected the events and national mood of the time. • Explore both parts of the 1930s jukebox (1930-34 and 1935-39). • Listen to at least four songs from each part. Scroll down to read the text that goes with each song. • Be sure to listen to “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” and “Symphony in Black.” Choose whatever others you like. Home
Conclusion Through this webquest, you have learned about events from the 1930s, abstract expressionism, and Jackson Pollock. Before you finish, have you: • …completed your timeline with your group? • …created your own abstract work with MMUVA? • …reflected on your abstract work?
Credits Lesson Resource: http://www.soe.vt.edu/IDEAS/MMUVA-project.html Lesson developed by: • Vanessa Williams • Liesl Baum • Somiah Muslimani • Phyllis Leary Newbill