Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial

Thornton Dial, Don't Matter How Raggly the Flag, It Still Got to Tie Us Together, 2003

Teacher Resource Downloads

Click below to download a PowerPoint presentation of the exhibition and Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.

Thornton Dial, The Stars of Everything, 2004

Introduction and Exhibition Overview

Use this resource to prepare your students for a visit to see this exhibition or as follow-up after your visit. This exhibition can complement your K–12 curricula in language arts, social studies, and/or visual arts.

Thornton Dial

About The Artist

Dial's journey as an artist has been extraordinary.

Thornton Dial, The Stars of Everything, 2004

Activity: Reading a Work of Art

Project The Stars of Everything or any work of art from the PowerPoint and use the following strategy as an introduction to looking at and discussing works of art.

Thornton Dial, Setting the Table, 2003

Activity: Artful Thinking Routine

Dial drew inspiration for this piece from a traditional still-life painting by American artist William Merritt Chase, which he had seen in the nearby Birmingham Museum of Art.

Thornton Dial, Don't Matter How Raggly the Flag, It Still Got to Tie Us Together, 2003

Activity: Looking 5 (or 10) Times Two

In this piece, the image of a torn and ravaged U.S. flag symbolizes the struggle underlying American history and the quest for freedom, liberty, and equality.

Thornton Dial, All the Cats in Town, 1993

All the Cats in Town

Thornton Dial, Eye of Fabric, 2007

Activity: What Makes You Say That?

This is a tribute to the Southern quilt-making tradition.

Thornton Dial The Art of Alabama, 2004

"Reading" A Work of Art

Describing, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating.

Thornton Dial, In Honor, 2002

Activity: Artwork That Honors

This piece pays homage to African American quilt-makers from the rural South.

Thornton Dial Lost Cows, 2000-2001

Recommended Books for Teachers

These books can support your lessons on Thornton Dial and folk art.

Thornton Dial, Surviving the Frost, 2007

Activity: I See, I Think, I Wonder

This painting is an ode to the persistence of human life.

Thornton Dial, The Beginning of Life in the Yellow Jungle, 2003

Activity: Creative Questions

This epic work depicts the evolution of life.

Thornton Dial, The Last Day of Martin Luther King, 1992

Activity: Claim, Support, Question

The striped tiger here, made of twisted mop strings, represents Dr. King on the day of his assassination.

Thornton Dial Construction of the Victory, 1997


A list of key vocabulary terms.