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"Artzy" Art during World War II

Introduction Unit Objectives
Unit-At-A-Glance/Lesson Plans Artzybasheff Bibliography
Teacher Resources Supplemental Activities
World War II WebQuest Literary Terms and Vocabulary
Student Chatroom Student Portfolios
Home University of North Texas
TEKS/TAKS Standards Online Tutorials
WWII Letters Links Initial Artzybasheff images


This site focuses on a unit of instruction that integrates Studio Art, Art History, World History, American History, Social Studies, Language Arts and Theater Arts.  The unit of instruction we have created can be used effectively in any of these areas of instruction.  The primary purpose for this unit is the study of how advertising, specifically the ads of the artist Boris Artzybasheff from Life Magazine during the early 1940's were influenced by social aspects of different cultures that were brought on by events caused by World War II.  The following outline illustrates the sequential events that influenced the work of Artzybasheff, as well as the work of other artists whose careers also reflect the conflicts of that era.  This outline suggests the recommended order of ideas to be introduced during this unit of instruction.  The supplemental activities serve as extensions of the unit and are completely optional, to be included at the discretion of the instructor.  These activities can be found by clicking on the Supplemental Activities link in the table at the top of this page.

I.  Artzybasheff's WWII images from Life magazine

    A.  Analyze images

          i.  ACTIVITY 1--brainstorming

    B.  Literary terms defined

    C.  Background of the Artist

    D.  A brief look at some of his other art work

          i.  Anthropomorphic art

             a.  Juxtaposition of machines and human figures

                 1.  ACTIVITY 2:  (supplemental) Drawing hands and feet

                 2.  ACTIVITY 3:  (supplemental) Human figure proportions

                 3.   Machines as inventions (supplemental)

                      aa.  ACTIVITY 4:  (supplemental) Leonardo da Vinci's inventions (online game)

                      bb. ACTIVITY 5:  (supplemental) Mixed Media Sculpture--Machines

             b.  Caricatures

                  1.  Political cartoons

                       aa.  Look at Artzybasheff's cartoons in Life magazine

                       bb.  Look at other examples of political cartoons (supplemental)

                       cc.  Look at Time magazine covers of anthropomorphic cartoons

                  2.  Portraiture 

                       aa.  Realism in portraits

                       bb.  Artzybasheff's realistic portrait covers on Time magazine 

                              1.  ACTIVITY 6:  (supplemental) Designing a magazine cover

______________Refer back to the original images for further analysis_______________


II.  World War II 

     A.  Influence of the 1940's

         i.  World War II

             a. ACTIVITY 7:  (supplemental)  Webquest

                 1.  Versailles Treaty

                      aa.  Germany

                            1.  Hitler/the Nazis

                            2.  Fascism

                            3.  The Holocaust

                                 aaa.  ACTIVITY 8:  (supplemental) Visit to Holocaust Museum

                                 bbb.  ACTIVITY 9:  write responses to letters from people directly involved in the war

                 2.  U.S. Position in WWII

                      aa.  Pearl Harbor

                             1.  Japan's role

                             2.  POW's in U.S.

                      bb.  American Patriotism

                             1.  FDR's 4 Freedoms

                                  aaa.  Norman Rockwell's posters (look at posters)

                                           1.  Saturday Evening Post (look at examples)

                                           2.  Social Realism

                                           3.  Regionalism

                             2.  Propaganda posters

                                  aaa.  Other freedoms

                                  bbb.  Women in WWII (look at posters)

                                            1.  Women in the workforce

                                            2.  Women in the Military

                                            3.  Pinup Girls

                                  ccc.  U.S. Soldiers (look at posters)

                                            1.  Dear John Letters

                                            2.  ACTIVITY 10:  Written responses to soldiers' letters and diaries

                   3.  Role-playing with different perspectives

                        aa.  ACTIVITY 11:  Writing a short skit that includes characters from different societies during the war, set in a given situation.

                        bb.  ACTIVITY 12:  Analyzing these different perspectives--writing assignment

_________Refer back to original images for further brainstorming and analysis_______________


III. Anthropomorphic Art in Literary Terms

    A.  Writing Metaphors

    B.  Visual images as metaphors

    C.  Metaphor game

    D.  Illustrating metaphors


____________Refer back to original images for further brainstorming and analysis______________


IV.  Anthropomorphic Images and Cartoons

       A.  Walt Disney's animated cinema

             i.  Watch Cartoons Go To War

                  a.  ACTIVITY 17:  (supplemental) Designing Flip books

                  b. ACTIVITY 18:  (supplemental) Designing an animated cartoon poster

            ii.  Look at Walt Disney's anthropomorphic cartoons

            iii.  Look at comics, animated stills, political cartoons, and propaganda cartoons

                 a. Visual metaphors in cartoons

                 b.  Narrative in cartoons

                 c.  Anthropomorphic images in cartoons

                 d.  ACTIVITY:  Make a scrapbook of cartoons     

 B.  Illustrating narratives

          ii.  Illustrated Children's Books

              a.  Aesop's Fables

                   1.  ACTIVITY 13:  (supplemental)  Reading Assignment and discussion

                   2.  ACTIVITY 14:  Game--matching Fables with the artwork that illustrates each one

                   3.  Anthropomorphic images in the illustrations

                   4.  Metaphors in the fables

              b.  Basic history of illustrated books.

              c.  ACTIVITY 15:  (supplemental) Write a children's story or fable--"Fractured fairytales"

                   1.  ACTIVITY 16:  (supplemental) Illustrate the story written

_____________Refer back to original images for further brainstorming and analysis____________


V. Art Movements (optional section)

     A.  ACTIVITY 19: Starting a journal scrapbook

           1.  Website on how to keep a journal

     B.   Regionalism

            1.  Grant Wood (look at examples)

            2.  ACTIVITY 20:  (supplemental) Drawing landscapes

      C.  Figurative realism

            1.  Look at examples

             2.  ACTIVITY 21: (supplemental) Drawing people

       D.  Cubism

             1.  Pablo Picasso's "Guernica"

             2.  ACTIVITY 22: (supplemental) Cubistic design

       E.  Surrealism

             1.  Influences of Salvador Dali on Artzybasheff

             2.  Marcel Duchamp

             3.  European influences on American artists

                  aa.  Avante-garde

                         1.  Guggenheim Museum

                         2.  Abstract Expressionism

                              aaa.  Government view of Abstract expressionism

                              bbb.  William de Kooning

                              ccc.  Kandinsky

                                       1.  ACTIVITY 23:  (supplemental) Abstract Expressionism desigm     

        F.  Photography (supplemental section)

             1.  ACTIVITY 24:  Mini photography portfolio in black and white

                  aa.  Emotional effects of Black and White pictures

                          1.  Graphic design

                  bb.  History of Newspapers

                          1.  ACTIVITY 25: (supplemental) Writing new captions

             2.  History of Photography (optional)

             3.  History of Camera (optional)

             4.  War photography

                   aa.  Censorship in the media

             5.   The War in the Media

                   aa.  Magazines (refer back to Artzybasheff's Time magazine covers)

                    bb.  Posters

                           1.  Review purposes for posters

                           2.  Review situations in WWII

                    cc.  Discuss the role of the poster today

                    dd.  Discuss some current issues

__________Refer back to origianl images for further brainstorming and analysis________________


VI.  Final project

      A.  Take another look at Artzybasheff's WWII images

            i.  Review literary terms

           ii.  Choose a machine part from a random list provided by the instructor

                a.  Draw an illustration in which your chosen machine part becomes anthropomorphic