By Hajira Ishtiaq ’19 and Alexa Delacruz ’19
Students from the Art and Literature classes took a trip to the Whitney Museum of American Art on April 10 to view the different forms of art.
The Whitney Museum of American Art is located in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. It’s most famous for its outstanding collection of modern paintings and sculptures loudly proclaimed as “made in America”.
Twenty students went on the trip, accompanied by Ms. Catherine Kaczmarek and Ms. Janice Pumelia. At the museum, the students were split into two groups, with Jano Cortijo and Queene guiding them around the museum and speaking about many prominent artists and their most intricate artworks. They were shown several pieces of abstract and modern American art, from famous American painters such as Grant Wood and Jacob Lawrence. The students also took a tour of the High Line, where they got a nice view of the city and viewed visuals of artworks on buildings.
“My favorite part of the trip was being able to interact with the tour guide as she showed us around the galleries and discussed the work in front of us,” said Graciela Rosas ’19.
Students analyzed The War Series made by Jacob Lawrence. The War Series portrays a first-hand account of the sense of regimentation and displacement that Lawrence himself experienced during his time in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. Students also studied The Migration Series by Lawrence in class, which illustrates the difficult journey of the mass movement of the African Americans from the rural South to the urban North and the aftermath of World War II.
“What was very interesting was that most of the artwork featured one or two main things yet there were several meanings behind each one, which demonstrates that there’s always a deeper concept behind each simple image,” said Stacy Miller ’18.
In class, students gained an understanding about things like the way artists use proportions and colors to evoke emotion. With this knowledge students analyzed different pieces of art presented in the museum.
“I learned that art of wars can have various perspectives depending on who is painting them,” said Briana Staten ’18. “For example with the first group of paintings we saw the artist had a nationalist approach towards it. Whereas, Jacob Lawrence was illustrating the realities of war since he had a first hand account on what goes on. Also, I really like the floor about protest. I find it interesting how we are still struggling through the same issues in society today that were protested 50, 60 years ago.”
Not only did the students gain a deeper understanding of American art, they also gained a free ticket to the museum again that holds two free passes.
“I hope the students will learn how to look at art and talk about it,” said Ms. Kaczmarek. “A lot of students have not ever been to an art museum before and aren’t used to seeing art in person. It’s different from seeing slides in class.”