Experiencing History Through Art

Each year our eighth graders, who are immersed in a deep, year-long study of the U.S. Constitution, make a series of visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is impressive how well students are able to pull from their experiences in language arts, in cultural studies, and in art to appreciate the museum experience.

Through the study of paintings, furniture, and other decorative arts we were able to see the influence of ancient Greece and Egypt on design in the post-Revolutionary period and to understand how art helps tell the story of life at the time of the Constitution’s creation.

An exploration of 19th- and 20th-century American art included discussions and activities centered on Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer as exemplars of a new psychological and narrative style. 

Our most recent trip was an exploration of modern and contemporary American art as expressions of American values and concerns.