Heronfield’s proximity to Boston provides students with unique opportunities to stretch their curricular understandings and explore the numerous cultural avenues the city has to offer. Throughout their time at Heronfield, students may visit the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Edward Kennedy Center, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, MIT, and many other institutions.
This winter, seventh grade students journeyed to the Museum of Fine Arts in order to experience Renaissance art in person, and to demonstrate their deepening understanding of how art and history often go hand-in-hand. Prior to the trip, students researched and prepared presentations on specific pieces of Renaissance art. Once at the MFA, students shared these presentations with their peers while standing beside their researched artwork. So evident was their passion for their respective presentations that many touring groups actually stopped to listen as the students explained both the historical context in which the artwork was commissioned and created, as well as the biblical context the artwork portrayed. Students then merged their understanding of history and art by explaining the artistic medium, stylistic techniques, and skills used by their respective artists.
After their presentations, student groups were able to explore galleries and collections that reflected their own personal interests. Students observed the restoration of ancient Chinese silk paintings, spent a significant amount of time studying the confluence of Takashi Murakami’s pop art with traditional Japanese paintings, and ventured into the ancient Greek and Etruscan collections where they marvelled over the transportation methods necessary to move a colossal statue of Juno into the museum.
Students’ social spirits thrived alongside their educational experiences during the bus rides to and from Boston, as students read aloud to one another, shared stories, participated in card and clapping games, and generally enjoyed the opportunity to socialize as a full class outside the classroom.