Archive for 'Educator Resources'

We’re on Khan Academy

“Museums—having increasingly positioned themselves as educational resources—have the potential to fill the gaps left by the inadequate resources on Asia in schools throughout the nation.” – Bridge Program Evaluation

It has always been our goal to spearhead efforts to close these gaps. That’s why we’re really excited about our new online courses on Asian art history at Khan Academy. As a Khan partner, we are among world-class institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences, who are all doing their part to bring knowledge to the people in new and different ways.

If you haven’t heard of them before, Khan Academy is a non-profit educational website that aims to provide no-cost, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Courses range across all types of topics, from math to humanities. It’s not surprising that they reach over ten million students a month.

When Khan Academy came to us, they had little information on Asian art history. Once they saw our rich repository of videos, essays and more, they knew that we would be a good fit. We were likewise excited by the opportunity to reach a new audience, so we worked together to create the course. Now you can dig deeper into Asian art history while getting stats on yourself and earning fun badges. Check it out!

Khan Academy

Asian | Education: Our New Site for Teachers

Education website homepage

Today we’re proud to announce the launch of our new site for teachers.

The new site features lesson plans, videos, discussions of artworks, activities, school tours, professional development, and everything else you might need to bring Asian art and culture into your classroom. You can even save the things you like so you’ve got your materials all in one place.

We’re adding more content all the time, so if you don’t find what you’re looking for today check back later or let us know and we’ll tell you when it’s coming. And we’d love to hear your feedback: leave your comments in the blog or contact our education team.

This site was made possible by the generous support of Bank of America and The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.







Curator Talk: Michael Knight on the Ming Dynasty

Our own Senior Curator of Chinese Art, Michael Knight, will be giving a talk on the arts of the Yongle reign (1403-24) of China’s Ming dynasty. The Yongle (“Eternal Happiness”) emperor was certainly among the most dynamic of the Ming emperors, and also the most active in the arts. What cool things will you learn?

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Here/Not Here – Jakkai Siributr

Dubbed “one of Southeast Asia’s leading contemporary artists,” Jakkai Siributr is noted for his detailed tapestries and installations that comment on the religious, social and political issues facing Thailand today. Asian Art Museum Art Speak interns sat down with Jakkai to discuss his three works in the exhibition Here/Not Here: Buddha Presence in Eight Recent Works (on view at the Asian Art Museum from April 1–October 23, 3011) and his perspectives on politics, art school, free time, and much more:

Jakkai on His Recent Works

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Can “good guys” be bad and “bad guys” be good?

In Bali, good and evil, or “good guys” and “bad guys,” take on a different meaning from the usage with which some people may be familiar. Good guys are at times bad; bad guys are at times good. These counterparts are equally valued, as both must exist to maintain balance in the universe. Hear Asian Art Museum Storyteller illuminate this duality in her telling of the story of  Rangda, the Balinese witch, from the perspective of Rangda herself. View representations of Rangda in the Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance exhibition, and hear this story and more, first-hand, on a storytelling tour for all ages at the Asian Art Museum.

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Art At-A-Glance: Stories of Rama’s Youth

The Story of Rama (the Ramayana), about a prince and his long hero’s journey, is one of the world’s great epics. It began in India and spread among many countries throughout Asia. Its text is a major thread in the culture, religion, history, and literature of millions. The people of Bali have long practiced rituals, music, dance, and storytelling; made crafts; and used artifacts to tell this ancient story. They also combined Hinduism with their local beliefs about the spiritual powers of animals, creating Balinese Hinduism and their own interpretations of the Story of Rama.

Story ScrollThe series of events depicted in the scroll (left) comes from a northeastern Indian version of the Story of Rama (the Ramayana). As is typical of scrolls from Bengal, in northeastern India, the scenes unfold in a linear fashion. This painted scroll would have been carried from village to village by a storyteller-priest who who would narrate the stories in public performances. The scroll was unrolled scene by scene as the storyteller’s narrative unfolded. Such paintings not only served as visual aids but simultaneously affirmed the existence of the mythic world they represented. Moreover, the recitation of religious stories and the audience’s participation through listening and viewing were means by which worshipers could demonstrate their piety and accrue religious merit.

Especially for Teachers: Through the study of The Story of Rama (The Ramayana) as well as a broader view of the arts and culture of Bali, students can experience how the literary, visual, and performing arts can provide a lens through which to understand the world—and to reflect on their own identities and world views. Prompt your students to explore how artists communicate events and characters with the use of the Lesson: Epic Story Scrolls (Grades 5-8). In this lesson, students will work in groups to observe and describe scenes in the scroll, then compare the context of the scroll’s use with those of scrolls illustrating other epics. They will then create a biographical scroll from the perspective of a character in The Story of Rama (The Ramayana). View The Abduction of Sita (an Excerpt from the Ramayana) video with your students to provide additional context for this lesson.

Art At-A-Glance: The Demon King Ravana Riding a Mythical Bird

Ravana (Bali)The Ramayana, the epic story of Prince Rama, recounts his trials as he tries to rescue his wife, Sita. This statue, currently on view in the Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance exhibition, depicts the antagonist, Ravana (Balinese: Rawana), on his mount, the bird-like Wilmana. The demon king kidnaps Sita, taking her to his island kingdom of Langka. Uniquely, in the Indonesian version of this Hindu story Ravana rides his mount instead of a chariot when he kidnaps Sita.

Hinduism originated in northern India and moved to Southeast Asia through maritime trade. More than 1,000 years ago, evidence of Hinduism existed in much of Southeast Asia. Though Hinduism is still popular in Southeast Asia, the Indonesian island of Bali is the only place in this vast region where a form of it is dominant even today. One of the ways Hinduism spread was through the telling of the Ramayana, a 1,000-year-old Indian epic.

Especially for Teachers: Download the Ravana handout (pdf), for activities related to this object and the Ramayana (The Story of Rama) to conduct with your students in the museum or in your classroom. For related videos and curriculum guides, visit the Asian Art Museum on ArtBabble (a video site dedicated to art content) and the Asian Art Museum’s  Educator Resources page. We would love to hear your feedback on our new Art At-A-Glance format. Stay tuned: there are more to come!

What do Hebrew and Baybayin have in common?

Like Baybayin, a pre-Spanish Philippine writing system, the Hebrew alphabet was originally written using a pictographic script. Hear Christian Cabuay, artist and author of “An Introduction to Baybayin” and Julie Seltzer, Torah Scribe-in-Residence at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, share their perspectives on these two writing systems.

Some questions to ponder as you watch:

  • Can writing forms reveal information about belief systems? How so?
  • Can writing be considered an art form? Why or why not?
  • What are the similarities and differences between these two writing forms and that of languages you are familiar with?
  • Can you make any additional connections?

Check out the conversation over at the Contemporary Jewish Museum: