Picturing America: Childe Hassam's "Allies Day"
Childe Hassam created this painting, titled Allies Day, in May 1917, shortly after Woodrow Wilson declared that the United States would enter the first World War to support the Allies. Hassam, an American Impressionist, supported Wilson's decision, though many other Americans—including, for years, Wilson himself—did not want to get involved in the war. Learn more about Hassam's celebratory painting with Picturing America.
View the video (6 minutes) from Picturing America.
- What was the context in which Hassam created this painting?
- How are art and politics connected in Childe Hassam’s painting?
- What is the relationship between art and propaganda?
- How does impressionism contribute to the painting and its political message?
Hassam's work could be readily integrated into a unit on the first World War and U.S. attitudes toward intervention. The following EDSITEment resources are a good place to start:
- Closer Reading Commentaries: EDSITEment has two Closer Reading Commentaries dedicated to American art and World War I: Part 1 and Part 2.
- Curriculum: U.S. Entry into World War I: A Documentary Chronology (grades 9-12): Explore the decision to enter the war from various perspectives, as well as the current resonance of these debates.
- Lesson Plan: Edith Wharton: War Correspondent (grades 9-12): Heroic pro-war images like Hassam's often contrasted with the grim realities of modern conflict. In this lesson, students work with journalistic accounts of the war before writing their own.
- Lesson Plan: Poetry of the Great War: From Darkness to Light (grades 9-12): Dive into another way of representing war in this lesson, which works with the writings of authors such as Edgar Guest and Wilfred Owens.