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    Overview of Five Art Museums Essay

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    Every child will be excited to visit The Museum of Natural History! Upon entering the Museum, even I wanted to head straight for the dinosaurs. As an art teacher, I easily connected everything I saw to various art-making projects. The mammal wing of the museum connects to the first grade non-fiction literacy curriculum. Some of the vocabulary words the students will be able to demonstrate when visiting this exhibit are: mammals, tusk, trunk, bull (male elephant), cow (female elephant) and Asia. Students will also be able to discuss the environment, explain and create the landscape as well as describe the texture of the elephant’s skin.

    Students can connect to this unit through art by experimenting with line, shape, and color as well as different mediums to create mammals and landscapes. First grade students can also connect to their unit of study on needs and wants. The Tribes of Northern Siberia exhibit demonstrates the needs people have in different climates. Heavy furs can help students to realize what the climate might be in that region. Students can return to the classroom and use recycled material to create items people need to survive. Weaving and sewing can be taught to students in order to connect to this exhibit.

    When walking through the Asian Masks section, students can engage in a discussion in order to figure out what the masks might have been used for. Upon returning to school, students can create their own masks and write their own story to coordinate with their project. Fourth grade students can connect to the Masks Exhibit through their Native American studies. Through the Blueprints for the Arts teachers help students gain knowledge of the art process through creating art as well as literacy, culture and community and art careers. Patterns and shapes are basic elements of art that can be found throughout the Museum.

    Children can use a sketchbook to draw the different patterns they see. Students can play Eye Spy Shapes as they walk through the different exhibits. Various skins and furs demonstrate texture, another element of art. In the Dinosaur Wing there was a huge rhinoceros. This rhinoceros was in an outline form, a contour line. This would be the perfect exhibit to teach students not only contour line but positive and negative space. Space and line are two more elements of art. At the Museum of Natural History, the possibilities for students to make connections to their curriculum and art are unlimited.

    These connections create enthusiastic learners that make teaching so rewarding. 2. The Jewish Museum My first thought was that the Jewish Museum wasn’t really an appropriate site for my students since they are mostly Hispanic. That thought quickly changed as I made my way through the galleries of the pristine and beautiful building. There was a collection of Menorahs that any child would be excited to study. The different holidays that are celebrated during the winter can be discussed. Following the discussion, students can create the different objects that represent the various holidays.

    All of these holidays create an academic reason for children to learn about and connect to history. The next item to catch my eye was a platter created with the technique known as repousse. This technique is an art process where a design is pressed into the back of a metal sheet. By studying this process, fifth graders will be exposed to their unit of study Ancient Civilizations, which will introduce to them in middle school. How motivating and inspiring is that, to study a sixth grade topic in fifth grade with an amazing art project and technique.

    When exploring the craftsmanship of the Ancient Civilization of Israeli students will also be exposed to the different jobs of the arts. Beautiful mosaics were on display at the Jewish Museum. Students can create their own mosaics in art class. By incorporating shape, color and pattern, students of all ages will be able to connect to the mosaics on display at the museum. When creating mosaics, students will connect to several elements of art as well as to the Blueprints by creating art, developing literacy through the arts, understanding historical contexts, different cultures and careers in the arts.

    Older students can create mosaics in a radial pattern and connect to geometry by using a tool such as a compass. Finally, I was able to see the magnificent work of Marc Chagall. Chagall’s work incorporates a great variety of art movements. Students will be able to discover the different influences within Chagall’s work by observation and discussion. This discussion will help students connect to contemporary art that changed the world of art forever. Picasso and Cubism, the bright color palette of Fauvism and the style of Post-Expressionism has influenced the work by Chagall.

    This is an extraordinary way to excite and introduce students to contemporary art. 3. The Asian Society The Asian Society was a very small but powerful museum. The current exhibit displayed the political issues of Iran. This exhibit had a substantial amount of important material relating to history as well as art. There were many letters documenting events in a timeline format. A timeline is a very effective tool children can use to explain their understanding of events. The ability to use a timeline will help children to understand all events.

    A trip to the Iran exhibit at the Asian Society easily transitions students into a letter-writing unit that will help them to be successful in life. Along with letter writing they can practice their writing skills or computer/typing skills. Although letter writing might not fit in to the art curriculum, the timeline technique is applicable to understanding any kind of progression. The progression of art movements, transitions in styles from particular artists, the timeline of technology and its affect on art, everything. There were narrative Aquatints on display.

    An Aquatint is an etching that is chemically treated to resist acid but is not a solid coating on a plate. In order to connect to this process, I could have the students document history by creating a narrative through the printmaking process. Students will connect to literacy, art-making and be able to have an extensive discussion about an event in history. Problem solving came to my mind by creating a paper bridge when seeing complex bridges on display at the Asian Society. After seeing the bridges, students will have the opportunity to work in teams in order to create a bridge of their own by manipulating paper.

    This critical thinking activity will help students learn about cooperation, teamwork and have a better understanding of another career in art as a civil engineer (Blueprints for the Arts). Robots displayed examples of shapes and primary colors (elements or art). Mixed media work on display using textures on cardboard and metal techniques would surely captivate the attention of my students (Blueprints for the Arts). Lines of calligraphic Arabic text created beautiful works of art that can be used to introduce calligraphy or word clouds to students. Calligraphy is an art form that children are fascinated by.

    Since calligraphy is taught the same way children learn to write, teaching the children calligraphy is very beneficial. Reinforcing the correct way to write will help the students perfect their handwriting skills that are significantly lacking. Word Clouds can help students remember their vocabulary words by creating a meaningful project connecting to the current unit of study. Anything to help students remember is a crucial part of their learning. For a small exhibit, the Asian Society had an enormous amount of information that can help students. Many of my students are from the Middle East and would deeply connect to this exhibit.

    Students would benefit greatly by the various aspects of this exhibit. Whether students connected to the various art techniques, or the more academic strategies, everyone will love this museum. 4. The Hispanic Society Located in Washington Heights, the Hispanic Society is a lengthy trip from my school. Although I wouldn’t be able to take my students due to the time restraints, I would recommend this institution to anyone teaching in Manhattan or the Bronx. It’s unfortunate that I cannot take my students to the Hispanic Society, especially since 75% of my students are from Hispanic immigrant families.

    Patrons are greeted in a courtyard with gorgeous iron and metal works surrounds this magnificent Beaux Arts Style facade. Students can study architecture and learn about Architects as an art career just by standing outside and studying the building. The Audubon family on the grand property formerly owns the building. Unfortunately, the grounds are in desperate need of a major restoration. As I entered the building I noticed the rooms were filled with traditional style paintings, pottery and sculptures by Hispanic masters.

    Architectural elements adorned the high ceilings and interesting molding. The magnificent works of Sorolla filled a room narrating many stories about the culture and that time period. Students will be able to interpret and discuss the events that happened during that time while noticing the different scenes displayed in the paintings. Students will immediately connect and compare the stories in the paintings to their present day life. Art is Literacy and this room is the definition of that. A narrative is on display, in Washington Heights, for the entire world to see and enjoy.

    Upstairs there were rooms with platters displayed. You can see the influences that contributed to the very diversified collection. While I noticed an Asian influence in some work there was a German presence in others. These platters could contribute to the motivation for a radial design lesson I have previously done with my students. Students can even create platters using clay and glazes with influences they observe. There was a case displaying many religious artifacts made of metal and stones. These pieces had me thinking about the repousee technique of metalwork.

    My students would have fun and gain a great deal of knowledge if they had the opportunity to create a metalwork sculpture to connect to these items. The body of work presented in this building is an enormous contributor to infusing literacy into art. As I left the property, I couldn’t help but imagine an orchestra playing on the Veranda as guests were served cocktails. This building must have been an important part of the neighborhood when it was constructed in 1905. 5. El Museo del Barrio The Museum of the Neighborhood. The name says it all. Right away you feel welcome at the El Museo del Barrio.

    Upon entering the El Museo del Barrio, there is a Dia de los Muertos sculpture greeting all guests. My students love Dia del los Muertos projects, there is a true connection to their culture and the time of year. Students would happily create similar projects by exploring the paper mache technique. The bright colors and the modern building definitely create a contemporary feeling. We went into the art space upstairs for a workshop. I love how the educator created an environment of collaboration and discussion fitting in with the theme of my school. We were given boxes to transform into something else.

    It is imperative that students be able to work together, communicate and complete a task successfully. This exercise presented a problem that needed to be solved. It is a skill that will significantly help students as they move through their life. Problem solving skills are essential to these children growing up with very little encouragement to do things on their own. Problem solving and hands on visual activities, the perfect contributor for creating life-long learners. Because we are so far into Queens, time is always an issue when traveling with my students.

    If possible, I would love to do a workshop at the museum with my students. As I entered the gallery, I saw simple still-life sketches that would be the perfect introduction to a tour. However, I was soon shocked to see a collage made up of crime photo headshots. It was quite disturbing and even racist. Then we saw a sculpture of a KKK outfit. This was very unsettling and I was nervous to see what else was going to be on display. There was a video of a naked man pouring paint all over him. I noticed a carpet installation compiled of three pieces. I walked around them and was puzzled as to their purpose or meaning.

    As I discussed the work with a classmate, I walked around objects. The guard overheard our discussion and told us exactly where to stand. I looked, I studied, I noticed. I saw what it was. WOW! It was the remaining World Trade Center building, smoke in the streets and the sky filled with remnants of the building that had already gone down. My school is named for Police Officer Ramon Suarez, who was killed in the Trade Centers on 9/11. This installation might be too obscure for my students but it was very enlightening for me. The painting Goat Song #5 was displayed in another part of the gallery.

    Across the gallery the same painting was created however it was carved out of the wall. The artist used a subtractive technique that would be very interesting for my older students to see and experiment with. It was amazing how the detail was so accurate and exact. I would love for my students to do a compare and contrast of these two pieces. Between the materials, the technique, the placement, and the timing of the work the students would have a lot to discuss. Students will have an automatic connection to creating their own work that resembles the art of another.

    If my students were to visit this museum, I would be very careful as to how we navigated through the gallery. My plan would be to take the students to see two works, the Goat Song painting with the same Goat Song on the facing wall and possibly the Carpet Installation representing the fall of the World Trade Center. These two exhibits present a meaningful El Museo del Barrio experience. 6. The Museum of Modern Art I LOVE the MoMA! I have been here many times, alone and with my students. It’s a big trip and a long day but so worth it. Today was no exception. Mya, the educator that led the tour, was probably the best guide yet.

    The information she discussed and brought to my attention was unbelievable. It’s amazing how you can see the same pieces of work again and again, but sees them differently each time. There is always something else to notice. If I am this excited about the MoMA, imagine how my students feel! Being able to take my students to this museum or any museum is a gift. A gift the students will remember forever. Mya had us looking at work by Picasso, Van Gogh, Bocconi, Dali, Jacometti, Pollack and Marisol. Each was different. There is engaging conversation going on about each piece we visit.

    Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso is the perfect introduction to Cubism, however I would take my students to see A Girl Before A Mirror instead. Since the setting of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a brothel, and the women are nude, I believe the painting is inappropriate. My students can create cubist self-portraits after viewing the painting A Girl Before A Mirror. The Persistence of Memory by Salvatore Dali introduces landscape as well as a dream state or things aren’t what they appear to be. This painting is the perfect tool to help teach about surrealism.

    Students can create an unlikely duo of two objects in order to show their understanding of surrealism. We can discuss landscapes and post-impressionism when viewing the Van Gogh. This technique of painting incorporates emotions and feeling in art. Students can experiment with different mediums in order to create landscapes with emotion. As students explore texture using paint or collage, they also can learn about the different utensils, brushes and names for technique. Impasto is the term used for creating texture with paint. You can see every stroke that Van Gogh created. Van Gogh is known for cutting off his ear.

    The children love this topic. When it is discussed at length, students become more aware of mental illness and other issues that people struggle with. Hopefully, this creates compassion and understanding in students. The 1913 sculpture by Bocconi is perfect to introduce the element of art known as form. The angles within the sculpture create geometric shapes that are forms the students need to connect to the basic forms they have been studying. The Jacometti sculpture changes the perspective by empowering the viewer. This sculpture has organic qualities with many natural shapes.

    These two sculptures can help children connect, compare and contrast the different forms within art. Drip paintings by Jackson Pollack are very interesting to children because they think its just paint splattered everywhere. For children to be able to discuss and understand this work of art they need to understand the process. Pollack was leaving his mark on society in a chaotic yet deliberate way. The actions are in the moment yet controlled. The texture works well in a unifying color palette. This painting style is known as Action Painting and the students can’t wait to experiment with this.

    Move the tables aside, lay down the plastic sheets put on a smock and get out your old paints and kitchen utensils. We will be sure to have some jazz music on while we create our masterpiece. When visiting the MoMA with my students in the past, they always stop and stare at the assemblage work of art by Marisol Escobar. So it was interesting to be discussing the Portrait of Sidney Janis selling Portrait of Sidney Janis by Marisol by Marisol Escobar with Mya. It would be interesting to take the students back to see this work again now that I have more of an insight on it.

    Which one is the sculpture and which one is real? Why do you think that? How do you know? All of these questions lead to a deep discussion that connects not only to this specific piece of art but also to the focus of my school, the Common Core and Danielson 3a and 3b. See you at the MoMA! Lesson Plan – Cubist Self-Portrait Objective – Pablo Picasso. Students will explore using craypas and watercolors on the same piece ? of art by creating a Cubist Portrait. Students will learn how to create multiple perspectives on one piece of art. Connections – Museum visit to the MoMA and discussion about Cubism and Picasso

    Blueprint for Teaching Visual Arts Seven Elements of Art – Common Core Curriculum – Danielson Framework for Teaching – Prior knowledge and skills in the Visual Arts Art Standards – This lesson incorporates the Blueprints for Teaching Visual Arts in the following ways: •Students participate in art making •Students engage in literacy through art – Engaging in conversation through observation – Use of accountable talk •Knowledge and skill of understanding Picasso and Cubism •Young artists are exposed to cultural resources (MoMA) •Students develop a love for life-long learning

    This lesson also demonstrates the use of the seven elements of art: line, shape, color, texture, space, form and value. Students will also discuss multiple perspectives which can also be transitioned into points of view from actual view. CCLS This lesson connects to the Common Core Learning Standards across every grade by developing and using oral language. Students are engaging in conversation through listening and speaking. Pre-Activities Students have explored line, geometric shapes, patterns and color. Students have previously experimented with craypas and watercolors discovering the resist technique.

    Students have previously created realistic self-portraits. Trip – During our visit to the MoMA, students discussed Cubism by observing and discussing the following paintings, A Girl in Front of the Mirror, Girl with a Mandolin, and Ma Jolie all by Picasso and Breakfast by Juan Gris. Students will sketch a part of the painting and try to find shapes that are familiar. Students will discuss what they think the artist wants viewers to know. Materials – Watercolor paper – Oil Pastels or Craypas – Mirrors – Visual Examples in a Smartboard Notebook interactive presentation: “Self-Portrait,” “A Girl Before A Mirror,” Girl with a Mandolin,” “Guernica,” “Ma Jolie and Three Musicians,” “Breakfast and The Coffee Mill,” and “Woman with a Guitar” Vocabulary Composition – The arrangement of elements in art Cubism – An abstract style of art Medium – The material you create art with Multiple – More than one Portrait – Artwork or photo of the face Profile – Side view of an object Realistic – Something that looks very real Sketch – To draw softly using many light strokes Engage – Remember the trip to the MoMA.

    Does anyone want to explain what Cubism is? Cubism is an abstract style of art that shows multiple perspectives of an object at he same time. Pablo Picasso and George Braque’s created cubism. How to Create a Cubist Self-Portrait 1. Look in the mirror 2. What is the shape of your face? 3. Divide your face in half; half of your face will be a profile 4. Where are your eyes? Where is your hairline? Your nose? Your lips? 5. What shapes do you see? Is your nose shaped like a triangle? 6. What shapes can you create with the various features of your face? Give students mirrors so they can find features of their face to incorporate into their artwork. End Session 1 Session 2 Discuss what the students remember about cubism and cubist self-portraits.

    Teacher will ask for questions or thoughts before students start their work. – Teacher will display the steps to creating a cubist self-portrait on the board – Students will now continue working on their Cubist self-portraits – Teacher will walk around giving constructive criticism Session 3 Quick discussion and demonstration with students in order to add paint to portraits. Discuss and demo the resist technique. – Show examples. Students will now paint their cubist portraits. – Students can also create a detailed background. – Teacher will walk around giving constructive criticism Session 4

    Finish Portraits/Assist students having trouble following instructions. Session 5 – Split up completed work for students to critique. – Students will discuss the portraits with a partner. – Using a post-it note, write something you like about the portrait. – Write something you notice that can be improved. Evaluate: See Rubric. Following the critique, students will be asked to write a self-evaluation based on the rubric along with some other questions. A. Can student explain and discuss Cubism and Picasso? B. Can student explain a cubist self-portrait? C. Student must give meaningful feedback on artwork.

    Evaluation/Reflection Attention Administration If you want to see a significant amount of academic growth for your students, the following information will change the way your students learn and think about learning forever! Consider this: What if Literacy + Math + Science + Social Studies + Technology + ART = Students that develop a love for learning. This can be the case because ART can make learning fun and fun means students will discover that it is fun to learn. A little fun in school can go a long way especially when gaining the interest of children to want to learn.

    Put the FUN back into learning by integrating ART. What is more fun then a trip to the city, New York City and the Museum of Modern Art, the MoMA? Our students can benefit significantly because the cultural center of the entire world is literally right at their fingertips. A resource few have access to is right out of our front door. So why not get on a bus and make our way through that front door, into the world, the world of ART. Our students need to be exposed to that world in order to realize how much potential they have to be an extraordinary part of their community and our society.

    Students will be able to open their minds to the many cultures that are out there. This culture can be developed, discussed, understood and learned through ART. Art is literacy, literacy is art, art is discussed, art is observed, and art promotes conversation all while illustrating narratives. Art can help children that struggle by creating a stronger connection to what they are learning. The educators at the MoMA (and all museums) facilitate discussion and questioning which create sponges out of our students. They soak up information in their own way with visual stimulation and motivation.

    Children not only develop an understanding of art and connect to the other curriculums but they become more confident in themselves. Title One School groups are able to visit the MoMA (and most Manhattan Museums) at no cost to students. This enables educators absolutely no excuse not to expose their students to the world and its culture. All museums have educational tours, workshops and programs creating a meaningful experience for students that would normally not have the opportunity to attend. The curriculum for every grade can be connected to so many different museum exhibits.

    Students can develop academically through discussion and conversation. Museums are the perfect resource for children to practice and perfect these skills. After attending a tour at the MoMA, students are given free passes to come back with their families. This is a gift of excitement and love for learning from children to their families. Families then have the opportunity to continue learning and engage in conversation therefore bringing literacy into their lives. Educated and engaged families are the biggest gift we as educators can give to our students and their community.

    MoMA workshops are free and can easily help our children learn how to problem solve and work cooperatively. Workshops can help children find their own identity by creatively solving problems with more successful outcomes. Imagine that a child has the opportunity that allows them to realize their ideas are successful. How can a child know that there might be a better solution to a problem if they don’t open their mind to the ideas of others? All of these concepts are accessible to children through museum workshops as well as hands-on visual activities in the classroom.

    MoMA also has programs where the educator comes into the classroom prior to a scheduled museum tour as well as after. The educator will work with a class by engaging in a discussion and an activity. After the tour, the educator returns to the class connecting all of the information. The classroom teacher is in contact with the educator and can arrange to connect to a specific topic. If students are studying character traits, then the artwork discussed will help the students connect to that specific concept.

    If students were writing personal narratives, then they would be exposed to artwork that had people in them. Students would be able to interpret a story based on the events in the pictures. What is the expression on the faces? How do you think they feel? Why do you think that is happening? All of the questions a child might have when reading a book. Details a child can recall when writing their own narrative. If you want to see children increase their test scores, integrate art into the curriculum with visits to museums and hands-on visual activities.

    When students connect to what they are learning through visual activities they develop a deeper understanding resulting in more positive outcomes. Students that learn through visual modalities demonstrate strong critical thinking skills. Participating in these activities also creates children that are socially more advanced. While observing and discussing art, students develop an understanding of history and establish a love for learning through a variety of cultural venues. A natural timeline can help children connect art to historical events.

    If a child had a visual aid to assist their memory a trigger to that memory in the classroom can be a word, phrase or topic that had previously been discussed in a museum or during an art project. By adding art across the curriculum a connection between the main subjects taught in school and learning is created. Enticing young children to solve problems through art and relevant concepts creates a pleasurable learning experience. The foundation for learning and understanding through art integration also promotes knowledge for careers in art. Students should be exposed to the various careers through hands-on learning and experimenting.

    In order for children to explore across the curriculum they need to be able to explore and understand the process. Observation and discussion allow children to discover and investigate creating a more meaningful process to reflect on. Children need to be able to discover and explore concepts so it makes sense to them. They become empowered and in charge of their own learning. Think of learning as an adventure for children. Imaginations can take over and the By making art and museum visits accessible to children, you are giving children limitless possibilities for a brighter future.

    Students will be able to connect seeing life in from different perspectives just like they interpreted art from different points of view by listening to others and having conversations. If a child is able to reflect on that big idea, then apparently they were able to develop those underlying skills necessary in the learning process. By analyzing and investigating students will formulate questions and thoughts in order to grow academically and socially. Art and connections through the arts creates a more meaningful connection to what is going on in the classroom.

    In conclusion, it is safe to say that by exposing students to art museums challenges students to see the different perspectives and exposes them to diverse ideas. Including art programs in school and visiting the MoMA expands the curriculum and should be a central part of student learning. These strategies will not only help to create an effective amount of academic growth for students but students will develop a love to be life-long learners. Everything a student needs to be successful is the result of integrating art into the curriculum.

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