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Arts in the Basic Curriculum: Storytelling and Art

This resource guide provides supplemental resources to accompany the Saint Louis Art Museum’s “Arts in the Basic Curriculum” (ABC) program. ABC is a multi-visit tour program for student groups that offers six themed tours to choose from.

Theme Summary

Storytelling and Art explores the many ways that artists from varied time periods and cultures have incorporated stories into works of art and ways that writing may be inspired by art. Art and literature have long been intertwined through creative movements, illustrated stories, performances, and the need to describe what we see. Students will explore the collection with focused writing activities that encourage unique narratives and personal responses while collecting vocabulary and descriptive skills. 

SLAM Resources

SLAM Self-Directed Field Trip

Art often tells stories. Sometimes by looking carefully at a single work of art, we can find many elements of a great story: the characters, the setting, the plot, the dialogue, and the resolution. On this virtual field trip, we invite you to explore four artworks from the Saint Louis Art Museum’s collection to uncover some of the stories they tell and even write a few stories of your own!


Link to full field trip excercise:

Richardson Memorial Library Books


MOBIUS Books by Allan Rohan Crite

Artist Biographies

Google Books

Google Book Search

Close Looking

Doll (akua ba)

Asante artist, Ghana; Doll (akua ba), early–mid-20th century; wood, glass beads; 16 1/2 x 6 7/8 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Thomas Alexander 155:1977

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Houston Chandler, American, 1914–2015; Gorilla, c.1946; wood; 8 5/8 x 7 3/4 x 5 1/8 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase 1124:2010; © Houston Chandler

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Douglass Square

Allan Rohan Crite, American, 1910–2007; Douglass Square, 1936; oil on canvas-covered artist's board; 23 1/2 x 27 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of the Federal Works Agency, Work Projects Administration 354:1943

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Study for Frankenstein #1 (Study #1)

Glenn Ligon, American, born 1960; Study for Frankenstein #1 (Study #1), 1992; oil stick and gesso on canvas; 30 1/8 x 22 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Minority Artists Purchase Fund and funds given by the Contemporary Art Society 70:2001; © Glenn Ligon, Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth, New York, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Chantal Crousel, Paris

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Śiva Natārāja (Śiva, King of Dancers)

Siva Natārāja (Siva, King of Dancers), 12th century; Indian, Chola dynasty; bronze and iron; 34 5/8 x 28 5/8 x 11 1/2 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, William K. Bixby Trust for Asian Art 4:1938

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Amphora with Herakles and Apollo

Attributed to Antimenes Painter, Attic Greek, active 530-510 BC; Amphora with Herakles and Apollo, 530–510 BC; black-figure ceramic; 15 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase 39:1921

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Pair of Doors

Pair of Doors, 15th–16th century; Spanish, associated with Mudejar; painted wood, iron, and gilding; 179 1/8 x 106 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase 81:1937

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