On Thursday, November 21st, the World Language Department took a group of students to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This trip was a collaborative effort of the Upper School sections of the department: Latin, Spanish, and French. Each teacher toured his language group through the museum introducing the students to both classical and modern examples of culturally specific chef d’oeuvres …
The Spanish students that visited the MET had the opportunity to enjoy pre-columbian art of what is nowadays Mexico, Chile, Perú and others. We had the chance to admire works by some of the most well known modern Spanish artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Juan Miró. Some of the students were really engaged in a lively discussion about Picasso’s paintings and how different they were to the other Spanish painters in the museum. We also had the chance to admire some drawings by the royal painter Goya, one of the most prominent Spanish artistic figures of the 19th century. It was a pity that the wing with art from Spanish artists like the royal painter Velázquez and El greco was closed on the day of the visit, but we used that time to visit the arms and armors gallery. Students were delighted by some of the armors, but what surprised them the most was the ‘small’ size of 15th and 16th century princes and warriors. The field trip was a wonderful experience that allowed students of Spanish to interact outside the classroom, enjoy the Metropolitan Museum, and for some of them to see New York for their first time.
Twenty-six Upper School Latin students, from the introductory to the Advanced Placement level, visited the Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Museum’s collection is among the most extensive in the United States, with objects ranging from the Bronze Age through Late Antiquity. Particularly impressive is the Museum’s collection of Greek painted pottery, Etruscan artifacts, and Roman sculpture. Highlights also included a massive column from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis, frescoes from Roman villas outside of Pompeii, and exquisitely carved Roman sarcophagi with scenes from Greek mythology. The Museum’s Classical art wing was recently substantially remodeled, and the setting was just as impressive as the large number of objects. Before the trip, students were given the task of selecting an object and discussing it as a source for the culture of ancient Greece or Rome, which they then composed as a written reflective and analytical piece. Several students also accompanied their Latin teacher to view a special exhibit of maps at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, located a short distance from the Museum. The exhibits included numerous, rare maps from the Renaissance based on Greek and Roman originals, and a meticulous digital copy of the famous Tabula Peutingeriana, a 4th century map of the Roman Empire.
Upper-Level French students were given a “learn as you go” tour focusing on the galleries of European Sculpture / Decorative Arts and European Paintings. Most of the touring commentary from the group was done in French which allowed the students to engage active language usage outside of the classroom in an organic setting. Paintings by Monet, Manet, Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat, and Degas were among the most celebrated pieces discovered. The differing styles and detail of the sculptures of Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol also gave way to inspiration for great discussion. As the group of eight students wandered through the galleries collectively, a side-track to the Musical Instrument gallery presented French-style craftsmanship in its displays. We were also lucky to be able to witness a special exhibition: Artists and Amateurs: Etching in Eighteenth-Century France. It is without surprise that walking through the Arms and Armor gallery gave new meaning to “Aux armes, citoyens!” Vive la France!….et vive l’art!
General Reactions: “C’est bon, ça!” Jeremy Pace
“C’est quoi, ça??” Kitty Carbon
“Allô? Vous êtes où??” Maddie Jung
“…” Elizabeth Ramah
“Ce sont des plumes?” Jordy Tshimanga
“C’est dommage!” Caleb Shelburne (about statue of Ugolino….)