Project Overview

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This web site explores the art, life, and times of the Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). The site, funded by an NEH Curriculum Development Grant beginning in 2005, was created through a collaboration of scholars, university professors, museum educators, web designers, and classroom teachers.

The site offers an online resource for teaching about the art of Rembrandt focusing on twenty works held in collections across the United States. Rembrandt is frequently thought of as a “European” artist. While many of his works are found in museums in Europe, he is represented in the holdings of many museums and collections across America. This project is generally targeted at educators in grades 6-12 who wish to use the works of Rembrandt to teach and enhance instruction in core content areas including language arts and social studies. It is designed to support the efforts of those teachers interested in broadening the base of traditional teaching using the visual arts as the catalyst. This site also links to standards in Social Studies and the Arts and aligns with outcomes recommended by the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.

Included as instructional material are video, musical, and audio features related to Rembrandt’s paintings, etchings, and drawings, a slide show of Rembrandt’s artworks, an interactive Rembrandt timeline and map, and links to primary source documents. Most importantly, it includes digitized instructional resources that contain lesson leads, art historical information about each Rembrandt work, and reproductions that the user can zoomify, together with a “rollover” feature that helps to decode the work in order to better understand its meaning. The web site also has reference links to individual state content standards, virtual museums, and online publications.

The user can enter the site through any of its three major links, Introduction, Rembrandt’s Life and Times, or Teaching and Learning, and then navigate to areas of personal interest.

In addition to teachers, the web site targets individuals who may be interested in using the works of Rembrandt as an overall instructional resource. These may include university faculty, museum educators, art historians, teaching artists, home schoolers, and others in related fields in education, the humanities and social sciences, as well as technology.

We hope that all users of the site will have an “aesthetic receptiveness” that motivates them to enhance their teaching and learning experiences by incorporating Rembrandt’s art into their life and work.