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Concepts of Beauty and Bias

The Concepts of Beauty and Bias Program is designed to increase self-esteem and decrease bias in young people while providing an opportunity to study art objects, from a hand-selected collection, in The Saint Louis Art Museum.

Students participating in the program will demonstrate critical thinking skills, develop the capacity to create and sustain an environment that respects cultural differences, fairness and equity, and acknowledge that concepts of beauty are greatly influenced by culture, time periods, places of origin, wealth and power. Students will also develop a common vocabulary for issues of diversity, bigotry and discrimination, and the capacity to recognize and acknowledge prejudice and discriminatory behavior.

Students will work with their teachers in pre-visit activities designed to heighten awareness and appreciation of aesthetic similarities and differences among the world’s cultures. Students will then visit the museum to explore, with the guidance of specially trained docents, a selection of objects from throughout the world that reflect cultural standards of beauty in the human form and in aesthetics generally. After the Museum tour, A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute facilitators will conduct mini-workshops that will provide insight into the nature of prejudice and stereotyping with regards to the cultures represented and their respective concepts of standards of beauty.

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