On Wednesday, the Beavers (and eleven chaperones) loaded onto a school bus for our biggest field trip to date: a pizza party on the Upper East Side and a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art! After enjoying a light lunch at Mimi’s Pizzeria on 84th and Lexington Avenue, we went to the museum for an educational afternoon.
In conjunction with our continuing study of imaginary and mythological creatures, our agenda led us right to the Greek and Roman exhibits, to embark on a scavenger hunt to find evidence of chimeras, griffins, the sphinx, and others. As the Beavers wandered the halls of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, they noticed the beautiful bronzes, ancient stone pieces, and familiar shapes and animals. Using a trip sheet prepared by the teachers, they tallied off the number of Greek mythological creatures they noticed throughout the galleries. They stopped in front of the Greek sphinx to do a quick sketch and notice similarities and differences from the sphinx’ we had studied from our classroom library.
We then continued through to another sculpture hall of Ancient Greece to see a depiction of Perseus holding the head of Medusa in statue form. The Beavers enjoyed seeing this sculpture, as it is a more artful interpretation of a “scary” myth, as opposed to a shocking or frightening one. We discussed how many of the statues showed men and women in the nude, and discussed how as this might seem silly to us, it was done purposefully so that the viewer could appreciate the human body. The Beavers remarked how this interpretation of Perseus and Medusa was not scary at all, and unanimously agreed that it was one of the best parts of the Greek and Roman exhibits.
We then proceeded to the section of the museum showing sculptures and artifacts from Ancient Egypt, looking specifically for the Egyptian interpretation of the sphinx to compare and contrast. We observed and sketched the large sphinx at the Temple of Dendur and explored the temple itself. We then closed out our afternoon at the MET by visiting a nearby playground in Central Park. If you’ve never visited the “Ancient Playground” on 85th and 5th avenue, it is a must and was a real highlight of the trip!
Although it was a busy day, the Beavers maintained their attention and focus beautifully and were all interested in the all the MET had to offer. We encourage you to return with your family!