Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Art is about understanding, not just looking." with NYHS

“The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move... Nobody’d be different.  The only thing that would be different would be you.” – Holden Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye)
With all history museums, you can always learn something new every time you visit them.  MTS was lucky enough to have our very own Hammie Park take us on an engaging and enlightening tour of the New York Historical Society on the Upper West  Side.  She immersed us into the pure essence of New York City history by bringing us to many inspiring exhibitions including Stories in Sterling, Making American Taste, and the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture.  We saw everything from the Civil War to even Hitler's utensils!

MTS looking presidential
MTS then met up with New York Historical Society’s teens.  Their task for the summer was to find a piece of art that inspired them in the museum, to historically interpret this piece of art by writing a paper, and to work in small groups to present their projects to an audience.  The goal of this project is to engage the public with their piece and tell the history of New York City in 30 objects.  MTS was thoroughly impressed by the ways the NYHS students were working on engaging museum visitors in NYC history:

·         Military expressed in a documentary
·         Business summarized in a witty catch phrase
·         Art and literature showcased in a video
·         Political figures displayed in political cards and poems
·        World War I and II presented in a matching game
·         Innovation cleverly shown in a pop-up book
·         Disaster represented in posters with subtopics
·         Gilded Age reveled in a crossword
·         And political corruption coming to life through a life size monopoly game

After Billy sparked up some questions for the NYHS students, MTS learned that they loved the history of a work of art the most and that the purpose of art is to connect with people.  Art is about understanding, not just looking.  It helps to view a piece of artwork without the facts first and interpret it yourself, and then it’s time to learn the history and discover what the piece is really about!
And MTS is busier than ever with our research projects and launching our website very soon.
Also, don’t forget about the teen nights coming up: The Museum of Arts and Design (September 21st) and the Frick (September 27th)

-Nicole Marino