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Activities

These activities focus on works of art in the Whitney’s collection and special exhibitions. Through discussion, research, art making, and writing activities, we hope to encourage close looking, foster conversation between students, and connect artwork to classroom learning. Learn about our four artist-centered themes.

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STUART DAVIS, OWH! IN SAN PAõ, 1951

Make everyday objects exciting.

Stuart Davis (1894–1964) once described this painting by saying “Owh! in San Pao has the general character of a still life, seen in a blasting international mood. Instead of a utensil, we see an event.” 1 The utensil that Davis was referring was a coffee pot. Ask students what they think this quotation means in relation to what they see.

Ask students to describe other everyday objects they see in this painting. Ask them to consider how Davis’s choice of colors, lines, shapes, patterns, and words transformed the still life painting into “an event?” How do the various elements come together to convey a “blasting international mood?”

1. Stuart Davis, from 1951, audio recording, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 19, 2012.

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Stuart Davis, Owh! in San Paõ, 1951  52.2  On view For Teachers