What will I be doing on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018?
You will be looking at art - LOTS and LOTS of it! If you are not on the field trip with us, you will look at art "virtually," using the museums' websites. Your assignment is designed to help you become familiar with the museums while making direct connections to class content. Beyond the "assignment," you should use your time to just LOOK, THINK, REFLECT, and ENJOY! To make the most of this experience you will need to prepare ahead of time - and that is what this page is for.
How will I prepare myself?
Follow the directions below and as assigned (Art 2/CURIOSITY or Art 3/PLANNING). If you have done this before, this is your chance to review/seek/find/learn something new.
- FIRST: Read ONE of the articles posted below; take notes. Make note of how this information might be relevant to your field trip experience.
- THEN: Familiarize yourself with the museums + special exhibits. You CANNOT/ WILL NOT see everything - in fact, you'll only see a TINY fraction of what is on view. Use the links below to make decisions about what to see/what to skip BEFORE you get there. Make note of your intentions (understanding that things might change while on site).
- FINALLY: Use the remaining resources on this page to answer any additional questions you might have about the field trip - AND to learn about how these museums came to be. You do NOT need to explore EVERY resource but try to learn something new. Make note of the new/important information that you've gleaned as well as any questions that still remain.
The following articles provide insight into the ways that art "gets into" our head/heart/soul when we look at/experience it.
The exhibits linked below are well-organized and include good online resources. This information has been provided to help you plan your day but it is especially important for those unable to travel with us. Use collection search tools to find specific works/styles of art or artists in each museum.
National Gallery of Art
For Art 3 only (we will travel as a group after lunch)
Smithsonian Museum of American Art
How will I find my way around?
Select a small group (3 - 6 students) to spend the day with. Please note that Art 3 has a different itinerary than Art 2. The bus will drop you off (and pick you up) at the Natural History Museum. The art museums that you will be visiting are located on the National Mall and are easy to find. Familiarize yourself with the location of each museum and make a plan with your group so that you will be prepared to make the most of your limited time.
What is the schedule for the day?
FOR THOSE STAYING AT SCHOOL
- Meet in room #127 (Photography) for attendance at the start of your scheduled art class; if you have a laptop, you can stay there to work on your assignment - otherwise go to a computer lab.
- You will not be able to finish the assignment in 40 minutes but you can be very productive in that time. NOTE: You do not need to wait until the day of the field trip to start the assignment!
- Skip the next 2 sections and go directly to "Curious about how these museums got started?"
- Meet your bus in the student parking lot @ 7:45 am
- A detailed itinerary for the rest of the day is included with your assignment; follow it carefully as directed. NOTE: It is highly suggested that you review the assignment and set up your sketchbook accordingly PRIOR to the day of the trip.
- Have your ride on-call and ready to pick you up from school @ 6:30 pm. NOTE: our arrival time back in Richmond depends on traffic; keep your ride posted so they can be there when we arrive, whether that's earlier or later.
- Review the next 2 sections carefully.
What should I have - or not have - with me?
- Sketchbook and assignment, pencils (NO pens), phone/camera, a way to keep time, weather-appropriate clothes (layers; watch the weather forecast), and snacks/drinks for the bus (you will eat lunch at the museum cafe/we do NOT stop for dinner).
- $ for lunch. This is the menu for the Cascade Cafe at the National Gallery. No, it's not cheap but if you plan ahead, you can make smart food purchases. You are required to check-in with your teacher at this location!
- Additional spending $ if you want to buy something from the museum shops.
- Large bags or backpacks. All bags will be inspected upon entry to the museums. The guards will not let large bags/backpacks into the museum and if you have to check your bag, you will need to go back to retrieve it later. To make things easier for everyone, only bring what is essential for your visit and leave everything else on the bus. Click here for all museum policies.
What are the no-nos? (like you don't already know!)
- DO NOT touch the art AND keep a safe distance in order to avoid setting off the alarms and stressing out the guards ("art museum accidents" are in the news all the time....let's not go there, please).
- DO NOT touch or lean on walls, pedestals, or display cases! There are benches in some galleries and floor spaces where you may be able to sit as long as you are not blocking the path of traffic. Use common sense and ask the guards when in doubt.
- DO NOT use your camera more than your eyes; the whole purpose of this trip is to LOOK at art with your eyes, not through a lens. For the occasional photo, DO NOT USE THE FLASH!!! Photos are ONLY allowed in the permanent collections; special exhibits usually prohibit photography. Look for posted signs. If you are unsure, PLEASE ASK!
- DO NOT run, talk loudly or yell, act silly, or generally do anything that would call attention to your group, disrupt another patron's visit, or cause a guard to need to speak to you. You are representing MLWGS and we are trusting you to be independent.
- DO NOT use your phone for non-emergency talking/texting. The guards will be upset with you and you are supposed to be LOOKING AT THE ART. Keep the ringer OFF and, if absolutely necessary, go to a hallway or area outside of the galleries.
- DO NOT be late for any part of your itinerary.
How did these museums come to be?
- Andrew Mellon donates his collection plus an endowment to open the National Gallery
- Joseph H. Hirshhorn gifts his vast art collection to the nation
- The Freer Gallery was the first art museum on the Smithsonian campus/The Sackler Gallery was the second museum for Asian art
- The Smithsonian Institution was founded for "the increase and diffusion of knowledge”