Instructional Programs
 Office Information

The Art and Artifact Collection Office is open on Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm by appointment. Please note that AAC exhibits and collections are available year-round.

The phone number is 213-742-8351. The email address is

The AAC Office is located at 1330 W. Pico Blvd., Room 288, Los Angeles, CA 90015.


Cuneiform Tablet, Neo-Babylonian, clay, c. 500-699 B.C.

Roman Coin with bearded head of Janus, bronze, circa 225-217 B.C.

Greek Skyphos of the late 6th Century B.C. from the former Venice High School Latin Museum

 Within LAUSD

AAC has been partnering with a number of experts and institutions to develop meaningful lessons and opportunities for your classes. Lessons and field trips provide multi-sensory, hands-on, standards-based activities based on the rich and diverse materials of the Collection. They draw on the expertise of collaborating, regional specialists and offer integrated, engaging experiences available online, in the classroom and as tours. The AAC staff and interns are available to provide customized support for lesson implementation including class visits and curatorial assistance in the selection of thematically based materials.

Two opportunities are currently available: "LAUSD: Legacy of Learning" and Antiquities Handling Sessions. Both free exhibits build skills in numerous subject areas and tie into the Frameworks and Learning Standards for California Public Schools including:

Social Studies - Chronological and Spatial Thinking; Research, Evidence and Point of View; and Historical Interpretation
Science - Investigation and Experimentation
Visual Art - Processing, Analyzing and Responding to Sensory Information through the Language and Skills Unique to the Visual Arts
Theater - Creating, Performing and Participating in Theater

Click on this link to view a sample lesson plan for "Legacy of Learning."

Click here to view the California state standards for "Legacy." Click here to view the standards for the Antiquities.

LAUSD: Legacy of Learning

Teacher and GATE Coordinator Toni Chu at Delevan Elementary School showing her 3rd grade class the School Life Scrapbook.

Linda Maher, 3rd grade teacher at Vine Elementary School, shows her students the treasures in the trunk. 

Antiquities Handling Session

 The second classroom experience is the opportunity to carefully examine LAUSD's ancient artifacts in the classroom setting. Lesson topics include "Roman Objects of Daily Life," "Decoding Mesopotamian Cuneiform Tablets," and "Ancient Coins: Symbols and Value."  


Gage Middle School students in Sharon Chown's 6th grade Ancient Civilization class participate in a guided Handling Session with authentic ancient artifacts (left). Students follow up the lesson with class projects and student presentations in which the 6th grade "experts" present clay replicas of ancient Roman measuring scales along with oral reports to their classmates (right).

Thank you note from Michele Suttles' 3rd grade class at Weemes Elementary School 

Antiquities Handling Session

 The second classroom experience is the opportunity to carefully examine LAUSD's ancient artifacts in the classroom setting. Lesson topics include "Roman Objects of Daily Life," "Decoding Mesopotamian Cuneiform Tablets," and "Ancient Coins: Symbols and Value."  


 Partner Programs

The AAC encourages the creative instructional use of Collection materials and is constantly seeking new ideas and methods to support multi-sensory learning experiences for students. Toward these ends, the AAC will support curriculum development by teachers on an individual basis, by providing access to Collection artifacts and materials, contextual information, leads for further research and a lesson development template. Completed lesson plans as well as sample student project work will be shared with other interested teachers who wish to use the AAC Collection. Curator Leslie Fischer is available on a limited basis to present authentic artifacts to students, observe instruction, and answer any questions.

University of Southern California Archaeology Research Center

Art and Artifact Collection Curator Leslie Fischer has initiated a collaboration with the University of Southern California's Archaeology Research Center to develop the ArcSmart Program, a meaningful outreach program for LAUSD K-12 students and USC undergraduates. The partnership has received a grant from the USC International Museum Institute for its "ArcSmart" program. It funds the cutting-edge, high resolution photo documentation of LAUSD's antiquities, inclusion of images in USC's InscriptiFact database for early text-based artifacts, training USC Archaeology students to serve as docent ambassadors at LAUSD campuses, and the creation of curricular resources by USC students for LAUSD 6th graders. Real ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Mesopotamian artifacts are being brought to LAUSD classrooms to allow elementary and middle school students to "get their hands on the past" and transform their classrooms into museums. ArcSmart will also create a virtual museum with downloadable content (color PDFs and movable light digital images) as well as an enhanced, extended museum experience.Click here to view a full description, images and lesson plans from the ArcSmart Spring 2010 Pilot Program, and click here to view a graphical logic model of the program.

Frost Middle School students view and manipulate high resolution digital images of LAUSD's ancient treasures.
The PTM Viewer reveals surface markings that are invisible to the naked eye.

Arcsmart from USC IMPACT Show 54 .

J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa

The Art and Artifact Collection has partnered with the J. Paul Getty Museum to provide antiquities handling sessions as part of a pilot multiple-visit program. The program provides five in-depth experiences for 6th grade classes, including three visits to the Getty Villa and two school site meetings highlighted by an antiquities handling session. Students are provided access to both original works of art and touchable resources in order to excite curiosity and deepen their understanding of the role of art and artists in antiquity. 11 objects from LAUSD’s Art and Artifact Collection are integrated into the school site experience, and students keep a journal documenting their semester-long project as well as create a culminating final project.

Reed Middle School Students enjoy the first of three Villa visits, this one focusing on the techniques, materials, and symbols of ancient Roman fresco painting (left). 6th graders examine and share their observations of an ancient terracotta lamp (right).

UCLA Masters in Library and Information Studies


In the Spring of 2010 AAC Curator Leslie Fischer partnered with Ellen Pearlstein, Associate Professor in the UCLA Masters in Library and Information Sciences Program to introduce Ms. Pearlstein’s 30 graduate students to the AAC and to use LAUSD’s antiquities collection as a case study for her course titled  “Issues and Problems in Preservation of Heritage Materials.” Students participated in five class sessions at the AAC on topics ranging from environmental controls to collections management software programs. Lectures intended to raise the complex issues involved with meeting the AAC's mission of providing access to the collections while at the same time protecting and preserving the objects. On the final class session students were assisted by professional art conservators and designed storage and handling supports to be used in LAUSD classrooms for over 20 collection artifacts using archival quality materials. Ms. Pearlstein also assigned the students a real-world challenge – to design a portable exhibit of the antiquities keeping in mind their delicate conditions, varied materials (from ceramic to metal to glass), and a need for a low-cost, flexible transportation and display system. This in-kind assistance was a huge help to the AAC!




UCLA Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative

The AAC is pleased to announce the digital capture and web dissemination of its 15 cuneiform tablets which date back from 2150 BC. In November 2009 Sara Brumfield of UCLA scanned this collection and processed the tablet surface images according to Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative's "fat-cross" standards in order to make this previously unknown and unpublished collection accessible to all levels of the academic community. An English translation of these texts, originally written in Babylonian and Sumerian, in tandem with their digital images will be directly used by classroom teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District in order to enhance social studies curriculum, particularly studies of ancient civilizations. This is part of a larger LAUSD project to create partnerships with subject experts and institutions in order to provide meaningful lessons and opportunities using artifacts and primary sources as hands-on instructional tools. The addition of new digital content is part of the on-going mission of CDLI to ensure the long-term preservation of texts inscribed on endangered cuneiform tablets, and to provide free global access to all available text artifact data in furtherance of cuneiform research.

Harvard-Westlake Middle School

The curriculum development effort is being piloted by Moss Pike, a Latin teacher at Harvard-Westlake Middle School. Mr. Pike has drafted and implemented four lessons using ancient coins, cuneiform tablets, vases, and objects of daily life, respectively. Each lesson integrates student research with hands-on or close-up viewing opportunities of artifacts. In accompanying writing assignments, arts activities and oral presentations student participants enliven their learning about the ancient artifacts by drawing connections to current realia.

Moss Pike at the AAC (left), Students Apply Lessons to Develop Currency (center, bottom right) and Writing Systems (top right)

Autry National Center and California State University Dominguez Hills

The AAC Curator is collaborating with the Autry National Center, the Art Gallery of Cal State Dominguez Hills and Gardena High School's Alumni Association to provide art exhibition and curriculum experiences drawing on the groundwork laid by the 1999 exhibition "Painted Light: California Impressionist Paintings from the Gardena High School/Los Angeles Unifed School District Collection." Click here for a sample lesson plan. Please contact the Curator for information about the complete Curriculum Guide.

California's Living New Deal

We have connected with UC Berkeley's Institute for Research in Labor and Employment, the host of the California's Living New Deal project. This project is a growing collaborative effort to identify, map, interpret and commemorate the vast public works legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt New Deal. The LAUSD Archives has hundreds of historical photographs that document how Los Angeles schools were constructed and adorned under various New Deal programs. These images fill in the gaps of the existing body of knowledge and help create a comprehensive inventory of New Deal projects within California. By sharing our images we hope to provide universal access to researchers interested in learning about this vital period in history.