On November 7, the modern languages and art departments co-sponsored a field trip for Form I boys to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The purpose of this trip, according to Megan Ryan, chair of the modern languages department, was “to study works by Pablo Picasso, one of the masters, if not the master of 20th century art. The excursion offered an exceptional opportunity to link all three of our fields; Picasso, a Spaniard by birth, spent the bulk of his life living and producing art in France, where he also died.” Ms. Ryan noted that the field trip was inspired in part by art teacher Zack Davis’ summer trip to the South of France to study Picasso's pottery.
Ms. Ryan added, “Prior to the trip, boys in both the elementary Spanish and French classes viewed and discussed a video on the life and influence of Pablo Picasso.” Using the website Create Your Own Picasso Head, the French students did just that. They also wrote a brief description in French of their creation.”
At the museum, Ms. Ryan explained the cultural significance of the painting, "At the Lapin Agile," while Spanish teacher Giurissa Grace led the boys in a discussion of the painting, "Reading at a Table." Ms. Grace said, “The elementary Spanish students were asked to write a brief biography about Pablo Picasso and describe one of his paintings using the vocabulary and grammar learned in Spanish class. They will use this information in preparation for the adapted reading of 'Agentes secretos y el mural de Picasso’. ”
Mr. Davis focused on the formal aspects of both the aforementioned paintings, as well as those of the painting, "Woman Asleep at a Table." He then led the boys in a sketching activity. Mr. Davis noted, “Previously in the classroom, the boys looked at images of paintings by Picasso and were given short intervals in which to create a sketch using graphite to create value and volume. While at the Met, the boys observed three paintings which were executed at different times in the artist's vast career. Each painting they studied was significantly different in style as well as color, providing the boys with challenging yet rewarding studies. They were asked to focus on the basic elements, such as line and shape, as well as spatial depth. Each boy completed three sketches in small books which will be revisited during the approaching unit on abstract painting."
Both language classes will continue to build upon the Picasso theme by reading a short suspense novel in either French or Spanish that revolves around Picasso's famous work "Guernica."