What will I be doing on December 1st?
You will be looking at art - LOTS and LOTS of it - in a small group of your choosing; you must stay with your group - you may not be alone. You will have an assignment, which will guide your visit through the museums while you apply knowledge and practice skills that you have been learning in class. If you are not on the field trip with us, you will travel "virtually," using the museums' websites to complete the same assignment as the others. The assignment will be explained in class but you will need to review it on your own in order to prepare yourself - and your sketchbook. This preparation is key for time management while on site. If you finish your assignment and find yourself with free time, great - use the extra time to LOOK, THINK, REFLECT, and ENJOY!!!
How will I prepare myself for the day?
Everything you need to know is posted below. Take time to explore these resources and document select findings in your sketchbook, as part of the Curiosity page/SB #3:
- FIRST: Read at least one of the articles; consider how it can be relevant to your experience
- THEN: Familiarize yourself with the museums + special exhibits that you will visit; you can't see everything in each museum but these special exhibits are well-organized and include good web resources, especially for those unable to be there
- FINALLY: Use the remaining resources to answer any additional questions you might have - and to find out more about how these museums came to be
The following articles provide insight into the ways that art gets into our head/heart/soul when we look at/experience it.... consider this as you prepare for the field trip:
With our limited time, you cannot see it all. Focus on these 3 museums/special exhibits and then check out whatever else intrigues you:
National Gallery of Art
How will I find my way around?
The museums that you will be visiting are all located on the National Mall. The bus will drop you off (and pick you up) at the Natural History Museum. Please familiarize yourself with the location of all these museums so that you will know where to go and so you can make the most of your limited time. Inside the museums, use museum maps and ask the guards for directions as needed.
What's the schedule?
FOR THOSE STAYING AT SCHOOL:
- Meet in room #127 (Photography) for attendance; if you have a laptop, you can stay there to complete your assignment - otherwise go to a computer lab to complete the assignment
- Meet your bus in the student parking lot @ 7:45 am for an 8:00 am departure. Don't be late! It's a 2 hour drive and the museums open at 10:00 am, we want to get there as soon as possible.
- The specific schedule for the day will be included with your assignment; follow it carefully in order to stay accounted for, to make the most of each museum, and to make good progress on your assignment.
- Meet your bus in front of the Natural History Museum (same place you were dropped off) @ 4:00 pm for a 4:15 pm (or as soon as possible) departure from D.C..
- Have your ride 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.
- Make sure to wear a watch and/or have a fully charged cell phone so that you can keep track of time throughout the day. Smart phones can also be used for navigation and museum apps.
What should I have - or not have - with me?
- HAVE: Sketchbook, pencils (NO pens), phone/camera, 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).
- DON'T HAVE: 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.
- HAVE: $ for lunch. This is the menu for the Cascade Cafe at the National Gallery (there is also a printed version on the art room door frame). 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!
- HAVE: Additional spending $ if you want to buy something from the museum shops.
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 disrespect this opportunity and the related responsibility.
- 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.
Curious about how these museums got started?
- 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”