World Art Students Immerse in D.C. Culture

By Jenna Kauffman

On Sunday, Oct. 23, Professor Bob Dickson’s World Art class took a trip to Washington, D.C. to see the art they studied for the course. The in-person experience allowed students to get a feel for the art up close, but also to put the art in perspective in comparison to pictures in a textbook.

The crew, consisting of 11 students, visited three museums: The Sackler Museum (which had a focus on Asian art), the National Museum of African Art, and the National Museum of the American Indian. Students walked around, writing down notes for a scavenger hunt, which was an assignment that focused on five different pieces. Another assignment the students had to keep in mind was the final paper that they would write pertaining to their favorite art piece.

Each piece of art in museums were themed depending on its respective culture. Many of the pieces in The Sackler Museum were religion-based and referenced specific gods. In the National Museum of African Art, there were also religion-based pieces, but in comparison to Sackler, the museum hosted many more figures focusing on the female form. In the National Museum of the American Indian, the art used rawer materials, while also showing some religious influence. Pieces ranged in age from 50 years to several centuries years old.

For lunch, many of the students had a meal in the National Museum of the American Indian’s cafeteria, which offered unique foods, such as buffalo burgers and different burritos with a Native American influence. So students were able to immerse in the culture even more than they would have just looking at the art.

The day ended up being enriched with culture and it is something everyone should do to gain full insight into the lives of different people through art. The art in these museums influenced much of the art that continues today in various regions.

Slide show photos provided by Jenna Kauffman

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