About Face


Robert Indiana PrintWhy have artists created portraits throughout the ages? Does a portrait have to be a likeness of a person's face? These are some of the questions students will discuss in this tour of portraits from ISU's permanent art collection. Students will visit the Heritage Lounge where portraits of ISU's presidents hang. Created by diverse artists, including Indiana's famous Impressionist painter T.C. Steele. Dating from 1910-2009  our portraits represent a variety of styles and influences. In the University Art Gallery students will view portraits by African American printmakers who, under the WPA program, sought to counter degrading stereotypes that were prevalent in popular media at the time. Students will also explore symbols and icons in Robert Indiana, and Warhol's spontaneous and formal photographic portraits.

Students will create an "auto-portrait" (symbolic self-portrait) during their visit or as a post-tour activity.

Academic Standards:

Visual Literacy

  • Reflect on and discuss the nature of art, aesthetic experience, and aesthetic issues concerning the meaning and significance of art. Discover personal meaning in the works of art.
  • Analyze the effective use of symbols, elements, principles, and media in works of art, using appropriate terminology.

Creating Art

  • Apply elements and principles of design
  • Utilize skills of critique.

Responding to Art

  • Understand art in relation to history and past and contemporary culture.
  • Explore artwork and artists of Indiana.
  • Identify symbols or icons in works of art.
  • Analyze icons in contemporary works and uses of imagery in visual culture.
  • Identify local art-related careers and support of art providers, utilizing community art resources and evaluating their effect on daily life.

Curriculum Integration

The UAG’s collection of approximately 3,600 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, prints, and photographs offers unique opportunities for University faculty of all disciplines to engage students in relevant discussions about original works of art. Visits to the Gallery or class discussions with the Curator or visiting scholars can better engage visual learners and get students to think about any topic from a different perspective.

To request a presentation on or off campus about an object(s) in the collection, a lecture about the WPA collection, or an overview of the collection, contact Grace Pringle at (812) 237-3720.

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