Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Post-Visit Questions and Activities

Reviewing this material after your trip will lengthen the impact of the materials students saw and inspire more creative thinking. Reviewing these post-visit activities with your students prior to their visit will prepare them to gather information during their trip.

  • Choose four or five exhibit items that interested you during your visit for an imaginary "mini-exhibition." Decide on a theme or concept that connects the chosen items. Write your own exhibition descriptions for these items. You may follow the format used at the Ransom Center but be creative in your description of the item and its relevance to the theme or concept of your mini-exhibition. Design the catalog that will accompany your exhibition.

  • Create a work of art that is inspired by or related to an exhibition item that you admired during your visit. Write a short paragraph or paper that describes your influence and how you interpreted this influence in your own creative work.

  • Discuss how an original primary source viewed at the Ransom Center differs from mass-produced copies of the item (e.g., reproductions of paintings as prints or postcards, books published from manuscripts). What effect does seeing the genuine original item have? Do reproductions somehow change the meaning that the artist intended the work to have? If so, how?

  • Assume the role of your teacher. Choose one of the items from the exhibition and design an activity for students that explores why you think this exhibition item is important. Does the item relate to a particular theme, concept, or area of study in your classroom? How will you get your students motivated to learn more about the item?

  • Select an exhibition item that you liked or disliked. Imagine you are an art critic, book reviewer, or journalist. Develop ten questions that you would like to ask the creator of the item during an interview. How do you think the artist would respond?

  • You have been asked to select five items from the Ransom Center exhibition to appear in a feature article in Rolling Stone magazine. How will you decide on the five items to be chosen? Propose the items that you think are the best representations of the exhibition for that article, and explain the reasoning behind your choice. How would your selection of items change if you were preparing an article for Time or Newsweek? How about Entertainment Weekly or People?

  • Consider the manuscripts, letters, and books featured in the exhibition you toured. What insights did viewing these items give you into the writing process? How about the visual items, like paintings, prints, photos, or posters? Did they give you insights into visual creativity?



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