In the March 24 column "Where Portraits Tell the Story of America," David Shribman was so positive about the value of art in our lives and history. During my 37 years in education, if there was one area I felt to be of great importance, especially in my field of history, it was the revelation and stories told in the art of any period in history.
While in Colorado as an elementary principal, I had the National Humanities Faculty offer our school an 18-month grant to "integrate the arts into the elementary curriculum." That was 1972, and the general structure of the grant is still used in all of the elementary schools in that district today.
In North Allegheny Intermediate High School, the study of European and United States history utilizes the styles of portrait painting down through the ages to demonstrate the ages of man through observable characterizations in style and techniques. Along with those changes in man, paintings also project details of the activities through the periods. What students see are actual events, portrayed as they happened, not through just a writer's eyes .
My thanks to the editor for his article on the value of using art to better understand history and people. Educators and politicians, as well as others, would benefit greatly in comprehending our world today.