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A picture paints a thousand words, but whose words are they and what are they saying?

After the successful launch of their Black History Month programme, St Albans Museum + Gallery are proud to announce a brand new Black History workshop for 2024: “Painting the Past” – an exploration of Black portraiture and what it can (and can’t) reveal to us about the lives of Black people living in Britain.

Meet icons of Black portraiture including Dido Belle and Sarah Forbes Bonetta, and explore their stories through the way they have been painted and photographed, as well as other less well known figures.

Students will be encouraged to think critically about the stories told through visual arts, and question what purposes these images served at the time of their creation and what they tell us today.

Adjusted to suit Year 3 - Year 8, each class will explore historical skills as well as Black history content in ways appropriate to their ages, whilst also enjoying a workshop filled with role-play, source work, games, and active participation for all.

This workshop is running alongside our exhibition "Becoming Us", co-curated with St Albans' African-Caribbean community.


Feedback from last years’ attendees:

“Really clear and engaging presentation. Great subject knowledge – the children were all interested and learnt a lot.”


“Interactive, engaging and pitched perfectly for Year 6. Great balance of activities to enhance children’s learning.”


“Children very engaged and actively participated in the workshop. They enjoyed learning about the life of Harriet Tubman and Walter Tull. The props helped to bring the session to life. The teacher had great rapport with the pupils. Thank you very much for the very powerful message.”

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