Teacher's Guide Introduction


Take students to the exhibition Eye Contact: Modern American Portrait Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, either in the museum or online (http://www.npg.si.edu/cexh/eye/index.html). Explain that the exhibition contains many different kinds of portrait drawings of famous Americans. Drawing media represented in Eye Contact include charcoal, collage, crayon, felt-tip marker, pastel, watercolor, and graphite pencil.

1. Give students ten minutes to walk through the exhibition or to click through the online exhibition so that they can get a feel for the objects.

2. Have them focus on one portrait that interests them or that they think is revealing of some sitter trait. Students should record information about the portrait on the Data Retrieval Sheet.


Have students discuss the portraits that they wrote about on their Data Retrieval Sheets. Why did they choose their portrait? What does their portrait reveal about the sitter?