Picturing America: Washington, Franklin, & Lincoln
George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln are three of the best-known figures from U.S. history, and the portraits of them by Stuart, Powers, and Gardner are instantly recognizable. In this video from Picturing America, political caricaturist Steve Brodner brings a new perspective to the artistic rendering of these three men by drawing out the characteristics he finds most resonant.
View the video (6 minutes) from Picturing America.
- How do these three pieces of art tell stories, according to Brodner?
- How do Lincoln's facial features communicate a narrative about his presidency and the recent national past?
- What draws people to Franklin?
- Why does Brodner question whether or not Stuart wanted to paint "Washington the human being?
- How does Brodner describe his caricature process? What does he seek to capture?
- What do the different media—painting, sculpture, photography, and caricature—allow these artists to express with their work?
- Caricatures are often irreverent. Does that description fit Brodner's drawings?
EDSITEment has a plethora of resources about these three figures and the historic events in which they played parts.
- Curriculum: What Made George Washington a Good Military Leader? (grades 9-12)
- Curriculum: Before and Beyond the Constitution: What Should a President Do? (grades 6-8)
- Lesson Plan: Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion (grades 6-12)
- Closer Readings Commentary: Emanuel Leutze's Symbolic Scene of Washington Crossing the Delaware
- Lesson Plan: Benjamin Franklin's Many "Hats": Hiram Powers Statue (grades K-5)
- Student Activity: Benjamin Franklin's Virtues (grades K-5)
- Lesson Plan: Jefferson vs. Franklin: Revolutionary Philosophers (grades 6-8)
- Lesson Plan: Picture Lincoln (grades 6-8)
- Student Activity: Picturing Lincoln (grades 6-8)
- Curriculum: Abraham Lincoln on the American Union: "A Word Fitly Spoken" (grades 9-12)
- Curriculum: The Growing Crisis of Sectionalism in Antebellum America: A House Divided (grades 9-12)
- Closer Readings Commentary: Lincoln's Enduring Legacy