Wednesday, December 3, 2008

National Portrait Gallery--Visit #2!

by Madison, Alexandria, and Mikayla

For the last three weeks the students involved in the History Club of Stuart-Hobson have been going to the National Portrait Gallery at 3:30 pm. We meet with Ms. Geri after a short ride on the subway. A self-selected number of students are involved in the History Club and from what we’ve seen, heard, and experienced, it’s obvious everyone involved enjoys it!

We normally enter the National Portrait Gallery around 4 pm. We stay at this amazing museum for an intense hour. When we walk in to the museum we first go to the Education Center where we discuss what we’ll be doing that day. Once we exit the room, our eyes light up as we see the beautiful portraits that line the halls. You could call this place an art museum but that would be degrading to it! This gallery tells the history of this amazing country.

One of the things we learned is that the Portrait Gallery used to have a “dead enough” rule. Portraits of a person couldn’t be displayed unless ten years had passed. But when they reopened the museum in 2006 that rule was changed. They display current art works also now but most of the portraits are historical in nature. That’s why this gallery is a great place to choose History Day topics!

During these visits we explore the many backgrounds these portraits have. We are currently working on monologues. We have chosen a person we would like to explore. We are learning about them and we have looked at their portraits! In our next sessions we will pose as they do, write about them, and then create a monologue as if we were them! Some of the people we are exploring are Angela Davis, Pocahontas, Christopher Reeves, Thomas Edison, and John Muir. Stay tuned to find out how our monologues turn out!

From Huey Newton to Shirley Temple this museum has it all!

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