Forty-nine seniors in Melissa Shaughnessy’s Spanish IV Honors classes attended a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Friday, April 27.
The visit to the MFA completed the 12th grade students’ eight week study of the art and literature of Spain and Latin America. The artists studied in class are: Antoni Gaudi, Diego Rivera, Diego Velazquez, Pablo Picasso, Francisco de Goya, El Greco, Frida Kahlo, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, David Siqueiros, Fernando Botero, and Jose clemente orozco.
The MFA currently features art by Picasso, Greco, Kahlo,Velázquez, David Siqueiros and Diego Rivera.
This year’s trip was organized, according to Ms. Shaughnessy, as a “scavenger hunt” in which students split up to locate various designated works of art. The works included one of the only Frida Kahlo pieces in the US. Shaughnessy said, “She (Kahlo) is known to have painted about 200 works, and only about a dozen are on display in public spaces in the US! So it’s really a true treat.”
Other works that students were to find were well known works of art such as the Water Lillies by Monet, some Van Gogh, the immense Chihuly sculpture, and the ancient Olmec mask/Egyptian tombs.
Students were enthusiastic about their experiences:
“My favorite part was the room with the Georgia O’Keefe” – Izzy Uong
“I loved the mummies and ancient art” – Rebecca Taylor
“Seeing the Velázquez portrait (of King Phillip IV) was my favorite because we studied it in class” – Zach Peterson
“I am so excited to say I got to experience physically seeing the art we have been studying in class” – Ari Roosa
“I loved the Van Gogh and Monet paintings, and of course FRIDA, BABY!¨ – Brianna Peppino
¨I loved the flower arrangements from art in bloom and the paintings¨ – Lily Matson
Mrs. Shaughnessy said, “Overall, getting to actually experience the art first hand was a high point for many kids. It makes a big difference in your interaction and perception of art when you can stand 12 inches away from it versus look at a projected image of it in a classroom.”
Mrs. Shaughnessy was happy with the diversity of exhibits her students saw. “I loved that the kids also got to see art by Monet, Van Gogh, Chihuly, and the ancient art such as mummies and burial urns from around the world. We also checked out the Japanese Tea Garden at the end of the trip, which was smaller and more meticulously cared for than we expected!”
She concluded, “I loved catching up with each of the groups and checking in to see what kind of styles they could spot in the crossover between familiar and unfamiliar artists. They did great at identifying common themes like sociopolitical issues and personal vs human suffering.”