Linking Art and Geography Education: A Museum Model for Elementary and Middle Schools

  • Ruth Straus Gainer Independent Consultant, Potomac, Maryland
  • Lydia Lewis National Cathedral School
  • Erich Keel The Kreeger Museum


A program designed as a model for schools and museums to use in teaching art and geography in concert is described. The role of place in art-making and art interpretation is emphasized. Docents and teachers are trained to discuss geographic information related to materials, styles, and content of art from diverse cultures. Students observe that people everywhere make art, they make it in different ways, and what they make is influenced by where they are and their perspective of that place. Students discover other cultures and viewpoints based on direct observation of specific objects. Art projects incorporated in the program enable students to represent their mental maps of concepts taught, thus providing feedback about the nature of their spatial thinking and organization.