Kindergarten students visited the Museum of Modern Art for their first field trip of the year. They were lucky to arrive at the museum before it opened and enjoyed a private tour of some highlights in the permanent collection.
The boys had been learning about specific artists and artworks before their trip. As they made their way through the museum, the educational guide asked them for a thumbs-up when they saw a painting they recognized. Everyone was especially excited when they noticed Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31 painting from 1950. When asked, the boys described Pollock’s painting process and mentioned that he enjoyed listening to jazz as he painted. They were invited to stand up and perform their version of Pollock’s painting method.
Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, 1914-26, was another stop on their tour. The boys were amazed by the scale of the artwork and felt as though the three canvases filled up the entire room. They examined the colors and shapes and discussed what feelings the imagery inspired in them. Using the painting as inspiration, each boy drew a place that they loved.
There were a lot of thumbs-up as they moved to the next gallery, where they viewed Pablo Picasso’s Three Musicians, 1921, and Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43. They compared both paintings and imagined how it would feel to be transported into each painting. The guide showed them pictures of the artists and two of Picasso’s friends who are depicted in Three Musicians. The boys were excited to discover a dog in Picasso’s painting and noticed that its head was only visible in a shadow.
In another gallery the boys stopped in front of The Red Studio, which was painted by Henri Matisse in 1911. They quickly realized that several objects from the painting were actually in the gallery! After learning that Matisse found that the color red was essential in connecting all of the objects depicted in the painting, the boys had the chance to look at their drawings again…through colored lenses. Each boy determined which color lens worked best with his drawing, and then shared their decisions with each other.
The boys had a terrific time exploring some of the artwork they have been studying in the classroom. Many thanks to St. B’s Kindergarten teachers, our parent chaperones, and MoMA’s educational staff for making this trip a success!