By Tanya Postian
On October 16th, the English Perspectives class took a field trip to the Yale Art Gallery. The gallery’s collection engaged every students’ interests and featured more than 4,000 displays. Not only did the students view amazing exhibits, but they explored art that provided a deeper understanding of their curriculum.
As the class took the trip as a measure to enhance student understanding of class material, it was important for the exhibitions to touch upon the many aspects of the class. Mrs. Eshoo, the English class’ teacher, says, “Perspectives is a class that combines literature, film, and art philosophy sort of in a bundle.” She had organized the visit and said that this was her second year conducting the trip. This year, the gallery included new exhibitions, providing for a vastly different experience.
The trip to Yale was a great part of the English course given that the focus of the Perspectives class is to analyze art and literature. The art displayed at the gallery was primarily paintings and sculptures that depicted European and African interactions. Jamie Gluckman, a student that went on the trip, said, “This past year we’ve been reading a lot of Congolese literature and how Europeans have infiltrated Africa. At the Yale Art Gallery, we looked at European Artwork and some of the African artwork and we compared them, and it’s cool to see because that’s what we’ve been reading about.” Upon going to the Art Gallery, the class was able to see connections between the art and their curriculum and visualize what they had been reading. The students had been studying how art differed based on where they were devised on a global spectrum. The students observed that European art consisted of predominantly paintings and textiles, whereas African art was comprised of sculptures. After returning to school, the students completed an analytical or opinionated writing composition about either a specific work of art that had spoken to them or the variety of patterns and comparisons seen throughout the whole gallery. The students observed different viewpoints surrounding a central theme that they explored in class which helped them understand global perspectives.
So how exactly did this trip benefit the students? Well, as Jamie Gluckman, said, “I’m delving into different painters and different styles of art.” Her remark demonstrates that because of this trip, students were able to walk away with a greater appreciation for art from all around the world. The trip also reinforced the students’ comprehension of many distinct cultures and their interactions with others. Mrs. Eshoo says, “Each student had taken away a number of pieces that really spoke to them in some way and that allowed them to understand either patterns of a time period or patterns of a culture. This was a wonderful trip that allowed the Perspectives class to connect their classroom studies with the world around them, each bringing a memorable experience back with them.
The Yale Art Gallery certainly proved to be an incredible field trip for the Perspectives English Class this year. The students enjoyed captivating art that connected the outside world to their course and hope to someday go again. If you have the opportunity, try and visit for an amazing experience!