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question 1: Confronting Stereotypes Analyze the work Liberation of Aunt Jemima by Betye Saar. How does Saar confront racial stereotypes? Is this an effective method to change ideas and stereotypes? Are there other examples where stereotypes are attempted to be subverted by claiming and utilizing them? The image of Aunt Jemima is said to be based on Nancy Green, a black woman born into slavery in 1834. During the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Nancy Green, aka Aunt Jemima, acted as spokeswoman and made pancakes for the R.T. Davis Milling Company. The term â€œAunt Jemimaâ€ is a derogatory term, used as a female version of Uncle Tom. How has her image changed over the past 100 years? What does the icon of Aunt Jemima suggest? Look at other images of Aunt Jemima, such as No More! by Jon Onye Lockard among others and compare them to Betye Saarâ€™s The Liberation of Aunt Jemima
question 2: Utilitas The ancient Roman engineer and architect Vitruvius wrote that buildings should embody three characteristics: firmitas (structural soundness), venustas (proportional beauty), and utilitas (form). Utilitas also incorporated gender by assigning buildings and details as masculine (like the Doric column) or feminine (like the Ionic column). Neo-classical architecture is seen as masculine while Rococo is seen as feminine. Think about architecture that is well-known in your community and assign it a gender and explain your rationale.
question 3:Gender Roles Gender roles have been defined in the art and culture of a society. In Peter Paul Rubenâ€™s Abduction of the Daughters of Leucippus the idealized body and gender behavior in women is shown as rounded, nude, pale, and helpless whereas the men are shown with muscles, sun-darkened skin, and determined expressions. The women seem to feign resistance to the men who are carrying them off, while the men are claiming what they think is rightfully theirs. How are the roles of genders being played out today?
question 4:INDIGENOUS PEOPLES When you think of Native American art and culture, what is the first thing you think of? (Common responses usually include silver and turquoise jewelry, tepees, feathered headdresses, etc.) These responses are usually romanticized and generalized versions of Native American culture. Ask what Native American culture is like today, and youâ€™ll still get a similar response. James Luna in The Artifact Piece confronts these misconceptions by showing that Native American culture is contemporary and not an old or idealized one. James Luna is a member of the LuiseÃ±o Indians at the La Jolla Reservation in North Country, California and is a performance artist. Compare Lunaâ€™s work with that of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, a contemporary Native American artist affiliated with the Flathead Salish tribe.
question 5: Guerrilla Girls Gone Wild Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? was an early poster created by the Guerrilla Girls in order to bring attention to racial and gender inequalities in the art world. Go to the Girlsâ€™ website http://www.guerrillagirls.com/posters/index.shtml (Links to an external site.) to see more examples of posters and other mass media â€œadsâ€ they made. View at least ten different poster designs. Which are the most effective? Which are the least effective? Why? Which is the most artistic? The least artistic?