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Black and brown people wearing red, yellow, and white drape their bodies over the branches of a large tree.


"The body of the dancers, or phantoms, become sources of knowledge, and their gaze holds the viewer accountable, something that is too often missing from history and art; holding space in historically white spaces in ways that they have never been inhabited before.” -Carolina Caycedo, artist

Painting of an outdoor setting with pond and trees, populated with characters on horseback and on foot along a path in the foreground and additional figures interspersed in the background.

Object Story: Landscape with Riding and Walking Figures, a River, and a Village (Overmantel)

Painting made to hang over a mantle depicting various people along a pathway.

Design embroidered on cloth, with the alphabet repeated in four different fonts and a verse underneath, completed at the bottom with the maker's name, age, and location.

Object Story: Mary Craig Hamlen's Sampler

A needlework sampler from 1802 by Mary Craig Hamlen, age 9.

A green painted high back Windsor writing arm chair with a wooden paddle surface attached to the left arm of the chair as a writing surface; possibly by Ebenezer Tracy, Sr., Lisbon Township, New London County, Connecticut.

Object Story: High-back Windsor Armchair with Writing Arm

A popular and well-known style of chair in early American life.

Climbing the Ladder of Success through Education

In America, there is a strong belief in the value of education as way to help individuals advance in society.

A Seat at the Table

In the earliest days of the American colonies, it was common for a household to own only one chair, and use of the chair was reserved for the man of the house while women and c

Icon with a light bulb, star, and shapes above a pencil.

Activity: Are Sneakers the Windsor Chairs of the Shoe World?

Consider how specialized goods become more affordable for all.

Overview: Out of Many, One?

Americans have long created an identity based on distinct principles and values that define the country. This unit explores the tensions between being an individual and being part of a group or nation and provides insight into what it means to be an individual in America, today and centuries ago.

Painting of two-story wooden church with tall steeple, surrounded by small groups of people approaching with sticks and logs; detritus falling out of windows.

Object Story: Before the Burning of Old South Church in Bath, Maine

On July 6, 1854, an angry crowd set fire to this church in the town of Bath, Maine.

Icon with a light bulb, star, and shapes above a pencil.

Activity: Judgement and Group Belonging 

Consider what influences group behavior and the formation of in-groups and out-groups.