PKI Teaching Guide
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From Field to Studio: The Art of Paul Kane Interactive DVD and Teaching Guide.
Welcome to From Field to Studio: The Art of Paul Kane online teaching guide. The guide refers to the “site map with links” feature on the DVD From Field to Studio: The Art of Paul Kane and provides teachers and parents with additional textual information and suggested activities for the videos and activities of the DVD. This online guide can be added to and updated on a regular basis. We encourage any correspondence with your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction and Rationale
The artist Paul Kane is a fascinating, complex character whose story provides an intriguing entry point to understanding 19th century Canadian history. His remarkable travels in the Northwest at a time of great transition, and his visual recordings and written observations of First Nations and Métis peoples are of great significance for those interested in Canadian History, First Nations and Métis Studies, Art, Art History, Media Studies, Social Sciences, and Anthropology.
From Field to Studio: The Art of Paul Kane provides an exciting method of bringing this fascinating character to life, and helps raise important questions about how we approach the historical record of the times Kane worked and traveled in. In many respects From Field to Studio: The Art of Paul Kane raises far more questions than answers about Canada (or Rupert’s Land) in the mid-1800’s. However, Paul Kane opens the door to many fascinating opportunities for research and reflection about the fundamentals of understanding the contributions of First Nations and Métis people to Canada’s story. Indeed, so much of this record requires more study and correction. Kane’s record, though incomplete provides a starting point and an impetus for some re-evaluation.
Kane sketched and painted First Nations and Métis people at a time of enormous transition. His field sketches and writings often capture this quite accurately, but later in the studio, he frequently modified his sketches to conform to a more Romantic ideal of unspoiled nobility and purity. The documentary and its interactive features provided in From Field to Studio: The Art of Paul Kane offer insight into not only a fascinating story, but also into the way history is constructed, and how primary and secondary sources are both created and used.
The documentary with interactive features also offers commentary from a variety of people, particularly from the First Nations and Métis communities. This helps to demonstrate how history is in many ways a composite of many differing and sometime opposing viewpoints, and provides and opportunity to evaluate and develop an awareness of bias and interpretation in history.