Class IV Travels to the Met

DECEMBER 9, 2021

In early December, Class IV students gathered with Ms. Anderson, Ms. Oshins, and Ms. Liberman in front of the Schoolhouse for a very exciting adventure: a field trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was their first field trip in two years—their last being when they were in second grade.

After a brisk walk, the students found themselves at the steps of the Met. Ms. Liberman, who has a background in art history, led the students through the spacious galleries, giving them the opportunity to experience three different pieces of artwork inside the famous museum.

To begin, Ms. Liberman led students up the stairs to the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rachmaninov Gallery. Ornate and ancient rugs, carpets, and tapestries were magnificently displayed upon the walls of the room, immediately capturing the awe of Class IV. One by one, students sat down in front of The “Seley” Carpet, a late 16th-century piece created from silk, cotton, and wool. Ms. Liberman asked students to take a moment and observe the Persian carpet, and then turn to a neighbor and explain what they noticed. After their conversations, students had the opportunity to share their observations with the class.

One student observed its symmetrical pattern, and another shared how she noticed a Chinese dragon—a great observation as the “floating cloud bands were of Chinese derivation,” according to the display summary.

After absorbing the grandeur of the first room, students moved on to another room, sitting down in front of a beautiful, blue and white mosaic piece.

Once again, students took a moment to absorb the intricacies of the aged artwork that stood before them, and then shared their findings with a partner. Amanda I. ’30 shared that the colors, patterns, and symmetry reminded her of the ocean. Leah E. ’30 said she particularly noticed the pattern lining the edge of the piece, and how she recognized it as Arabic text. Jacqueline Lee L. ’30 shared that she also admired its beautiful designs and bright colors.

Ms. Liberman explained that this piece was a Mihrab (prayer niche) and that the text was indeed lines from the Quran. She also shared that the prayer niche was created by many artists and used to be in a mosque.

Moving on to their last experience for their field trip, students gathered in the Koç Family Galleries. Ms. Liberman encouraged everyone to look up at the ceiling and think about what they’re viewing. The room was quiet as students gazed up at the ceiling, admiring the ornateness and complexity of the painted, wooden patterns. Ms. Liberman explained that the ceiling had been rebuilt several different times, and that it was a 16th century creation.

Before concluding the trip, students explored the three connected rooms with their partners, taking notes, and sketching the different museum items they chose to analyze.

“I liked learning about how different cultures make different pieces of art,” Scarlett B. ’30 shared. “It was really fun looking at all of the different patterns and similar patterns on different pieces of art.”