We spent two days in New York City. (Get a rope.) Our time was limited, so we saw only two things. The most important things, in our minds:
- The Statue of Liberty (only from a distance)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Because the Met was so amazing, I am totally satisfied with our short time in NYC.
Taking a trip to an art museum — any art museum– is a wonderful experience just as is watching a Shakespearean play or listening to a live symphony. So if you have a chance to attend any type of fine arts experience, I recommend you take it whether you’ve studied the topic before or not.
However, after our trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, I am so thankful for our years of artist study. In a Charlotte Mason style, we study one artist per term, looking at one piece of art each day. We add on some simple biographical background and do at least one reproduction of the artist’s work. It doesn’t take a lot of time each day, but consistent exposure to art adds up over the years.
At the Met, both Sprite and I were able to appreciate the pieces on a much deeper level than simply thinking, “I like that one.”
For that matter, if we hadn’t done any artist studies, I doubt we would have been as interested in visiting The Met. Maybe we would’ve spent our few hours in NYC walking in Central Park or gazing in the expensive shops. That’s why I say that CM artist study “took us to The Met.”
We saw familiar pieces that we had studied before.
We guessed at painters and were thrilled to see that we were right.
We found favorites from our art calendar.
Of course, the objective of our daily artist studies is not to improve our experience at art museums. That is only a secondary benefit. Our trip to the Met verified that Charlotte Mason artist study is providing Sprite (and me) a solid overview of art — both understanding and appreciating it. To see her recognize the works of various artists and be excited to visit The Met proves the value of a CM education.
Don’t underestimate the value of small but consistent increments of time.
[If you understand the "get a rope" line at the beginning, be sure to let me know in a comment. I couldn't resist.]