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A Window into History
Volume 115, Program 25
3/21/2013
Originally aired on 9/24/2004
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Can artists affect the course of history? Host Mike Farris talks about one who did, on this edition of Home School Heartbeat.


Explore art history with the Drawing on History high school curriculum! Order a copy at the link below.
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Mike Farris:
Throughout history, artists have often been on the cutting edge of their culture, frequently using their talents and notoriety to spread their political ideology.

Would you believe this is true of Paul Revere? He used his famous engraving, The Boston Massacre, to make a clear political statement. He published it just three weeks after that fateful event in March of 1770, portraying the British as brutes who killed innocent bystanders in broad daylight.

In reality, it was a bloody fight at night. Four men died on the spot and another later died of his wounds. Though Revere’s engraving shows the British soldiers lined up ready to fight, both sides were riotous and disorderly. Omitted from Revere’s painting are the snowballs, oyster shells, rocks, and sticks that had been thrown by the colonists earlier in the evening. Revere sought to encourage the anti-British sentiment through his art. It was no mystery whose side he was on.

Paul Revere’s engraving, though not a completely factual representation of the event, did present an accurate picture of the popular opinion and helped spread the sentiment that eventually led to the American Revolution.

Art is a window into history, but we need to remember that artists sometimes deliver opinions, not just facts. This is especially true today, and that’s something you don’t want your kids to miss. I’m Mike Farris.


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Teaching History with Art

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Looking for ways to incorporate art into your history curriculum? Our resource sheet lists a variety of helpful publications, from art prints to curriculum options. Request your free copy today.

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