Art students visit Metropolitan Museum of Art


“Bird’s Hell” by Max Beckham. ” I had so many interesting conversations with my friends about the pieces, in particular Birds Hell,” said Matt Lacognata (’17).

by Patricia Whyte, Staff Writer

“The best way to learn is to look at the past,”  art teacher Mr. Scott Kupka said.

Students from photo, drawing and painting, graphic design, and other art classes all took a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday, Dec. 6. The trip was led and organized by Graphic Design teacher Kupka.

“[The Met] has the most broad selection of things, you could touch upon everything there that a lot of other museums don’t offer,” Kupka said.

Currently, the Met is showcasing artists such as Valentin de Boulogne, Kerry James Marshall, and Max Beckmann. In addition to their permanent collection, the museum displays new works periodically, and one can only see the exhibitions currently on display for a limited time.

“I think they also have better special exhibitions than a lot of other places,” Kupka said.

Matt Lacognata (‘17), an Art Major student, had never heard of Max Beckmann before going on the trip. “After going to see his work, I am now definitely a fan. His artwork is very unique,” Lacognata said.

One piece that was on display, entitled Birds Hell by Max Beckmann, was particularly interesting for Lacognata.

“It was so haunting that we felt like we watching a horror movie in painting. We talked about it for hours,” Lacognata said. Classes also discussed how the art techniques that they use and learn in class were displayed in the artwork in the museum.

Jess Zakowski (‘17) also went on the field trip with the Art Major classes.

Seniors Shayna Beldner, Jess Zakowski, and Sarah Crawford admire artwork on display at the Met. “I think there should be more trips to the MET and other museums, I think there is a lot students can learn from visiting,” Zakowski said.

“My favorite part about the MET was seeing the costume design exhibit,” Zakowski said. “It’s a great part of the museum because it’s not your typical painting or sculpture, it’s a different form of art.” The exhibition showed fashion throughout different time periods and how it has progressed.

Zakowski plans to be a visual arts major at Montclair State University next year, and she believes that young artists can greatly benefit from visiting the Met and learning about art history.

“It’s important for art classes to take trips to the MET because it helps young artists learn about art history and it can help them develop their own style,” Zakowski said.

Although many students have been to the Met before, Kupka believes it’s important for art students to continually go back to the Met and other museums because students can learn from what others have done before them.

“Leonardo Da Vinci learned from someone, he wasn’t just a great artist. He had a master that taught him,” Kupka said.