Picturing America about page background

About Picturing America

Screenshot of original Picturing America interface.

A screenshot of the original Picturing America website.

Great art speaks powerfully, inspires fresh thinking, and connects us to our past.

Picturing America, a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, told America’s story through its art in forty large, high-quality reproductions of selected masterworks of American art from 1100 to 1996. Designed to reach K-12 classrooms around the country, the project also featured an in-depth Teachers Resource Book that provided educators with ideas and background information for using the works of art in core subjects, as well as a dynamic online compendium of lesson plans, interactives, and more.

During its lifetime, Picturing America was distributed to over 55,000 schools and public libraries. In partnership with the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it also served 20,000 Head Start centers across the country.

Although the active life of the project has now ended, the National Endowment is very pleased to continue to offer educators access to the digitized version of the Teachers Resource Book in five languages, with activities organized by elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as over a dozen lesson plans and interactives based on Picturing America works of art, through NEH’s EDSITEment website.