Western Civilization students travel back in time to ancient Greece and Rome at the Met

The small Western Civilization class recently took their annual trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, also fondly called “The Met” in New York City on February 11. Accompanied by history teachers Mr. Williams and Mr. Bialkin, the students were able to see in person what they had been learning about for months. This trip to the museum was a well-deserved reward for the hardworking students. Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is now one of the largest museums in the world and is home to over 2 million pieces of art in 17 curatorial departments.

A tour guide lead them through the areas that displayed ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art in the form of pottery, statues, jewelry, and frescos. These cultures were especially fascinating to the students in Western Civilization, as the class places a very large emphasis on these aspects and time period in human history. Students then had the opportunity to break up into groups individually and explore the vast museum on their own. With three stories in the sprawling museum, it is impossible to see everything in the short hours the students spend in the galleries and it’s all too easy to get lost in the maze of rooms admiring centuries old masterpieces.

Students enjoyed the permanent exhibits of the museum, which included medieval European armour and art, European sculpture and paintings, Native American art, Colonial home furnishings, Near Eastern art, Islamic art, Asian art, a costume gallery, Egyptian art, modern and contemporary art, drawings and prints, musical instruments, and photography.

Some exhibits were only on display temporarily, waiting to be moved to their next home in museums all around the globe. These exhibits included American folk art, medieval Syrian and Iranian art, a collection from a woman from eighteenth century Europe called “Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France,” a photographic collection entitled, The Aftermath of Conflict: Jo Ractliffe’s Photographs of Angola and South Africa, medieval European playing cards (only three decks have survived to the modern age), and even a baseball collection from Jefferson R. Burdick.

From Ancient Greek sculpture to modern computer-generated designs, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a vast and fascinating place to explore. Students of the class wished they had more time, and since New York is only an hour away, a second visit for some is a tempting prospect!

The Western Civilization class outside the Met. From left to right: Gillian Graham, Gillian Van Houten, Adrian Krassowski, Luke Van Over, Cera O'Riley, Phill Akre, and Tara Meany.
The Western Civilization class outside the Met. From left to right: Gillian Grahame, Gillian Van Houten, Adrian Krassowski, Luke Van Over, Cera O’Riley, Phill Akre, and Tara Meany. Photo Courtesy of Phil Akre.