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Educators' Guides Archive

Archive of Educators' Guides

These guides include images selected from the Center's exhibitions paired with suggestions for integrating photography and its artistic interpretations into diverse curricula. These guides can be used to enhance the study of areas such as art, photography, humanities, history, literature, composition, poetry, creative writing, architecture, American studies, sociology, multiculturalism, family studies, science, philosophy, geography, and natural history. Special emphasis is given to visual education through the development of observation skills and the vocabulary needed to respond to and interpret photographic images.

Educators' Guides

[chipped cement wall with portions of letters V at top, S, T at bottom]

Features photographs of Mexico and complements study in many subject areas, including art, photography, Mexican American studies, language arts, geography, and history. Suggested issues include documentary photography, photography as abstraction, and the personal vision and style of individual artists. Related topics include what an archive is, how foreign locations have stimulated artists for centuries, and how other locations differ from where one lives.


Examines a national documentary project about twelve diverse communities exploring the changing face of grassroots activism in America, as seen through the distinctive visions of some of the nation's most original photographers, and compelling interviews by leading folklorists and oral historians. The guide, distributed to K-12 teachers through museum venues and on the Indivisible website, enables teachers to integrate the exhibition's photographs, interviews, and themes into their own interdisciplinary curricula in conjunction with a visit to the museum gallery.

[pale palmate leaves amid ferns]
ca. 1948
ca. 1949

The photographs in Intimate Nature: Ansel Adams and the Close View represent an under recognized and rarely examined aspect of Ansel Adams's half-century-long career: his study of the intimate details of nature through the close view of his camera. This guide addresses historical, technical, and aesthetic issues central to Adams and to this body of work It explores issues such as the beauty of the natural world, interaction with nature on a direct and human scale.

A selection of photographs and first-person narratives from the project, which examine the often painful social and emotional lives of girls and how, for so many, their well-being and self-esteem are tied to appearance. It addresses contemporary media, beauty and fashion industries, peers, and even parents as perpetuators of body identity issues that contribute to the sense that a female's appearance is the primary expression of her worth and thus an ongoing project for improvement.

This material complements study in many subject areas, including art, photography, writing, popular culture, media arts, women's studies, sociology, psychology, literature, medicine, and history. Faculty can use numerous suggestions to engage students, from exploring the photographs and narrative texts to integrating exhibition content into course curriculum.

Created by Cass Fey, Curator of Education, Center for Creative Photography

Explores the artistic and social visions of seven immigrant photographers who came to the United States during the period between 1920-1950. The artists-Alexander Alland, Robert Frank, John Gutmann, Otto Hagel, Hansel Mieth, Lisette Model, and Marion Palfi-helped shape a new style of photography, and produced fresh, startling, and often controversial views of this country. The guide complements study in many subject areas, including art, photography, American studies, sociology, history, literature, and creative writing.


For the traveling exhibition organized by the Center for Creative Photography. The exhibition brings together work by eighteen photographic artists from all avenues of contemporary practice who share the same classical subject-the sea. This guide will complement study in many subject areas, including art, natural history, science, environmental studies, history, philosophy, geography, literature, poetry, and creative writing.

Richard Torchia

Explores the basic elements of photography, the camera obscura, and light projections. This guide documents the six temporary installations in the Center's galleries during Encounters 7.

[photographer standing in front of Golden Gate Bridge]

Complements study in many subject areas, including social studies, language arts, art, photography, American studies, Asian American studies, architecture, geography, and history. Suggested issues include the definition of national identity and stereotyping of "outsiders," how art forms are influenced by popular culture, and the "truthfulness" of a portrait photograph. Related topics include portraiture and self-portraiture in different art media, the many ways in which we outwardly express our nationality, and a comparison of the artist's portraits of famous places to one's own travel photographs.

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