Museum, Cathedral Visits Supplement Art History


Joelle Nelson

Art history students take a break from St. Peter’s church in San Francisco.

Joelle Nelson, Co-Editor in Chief

The Asian Art Museum and 2 famous cathedrals welcomed AP Art History students to their halls on November 13-15. Art History teacher Molly Kerr chose these locations for a field trip because they corresponded with her classroom instruction on Asian art and Gothic architecture.

Their first stop was Grace’s Cathedral, built in the center of San Francisco in the Neo-gothic style similar to the classic Gothic architecture students learned in class. For the art history assignment, students identified similarities in structure and form with the cathedral and others they studied in their unit.

The next church was chosen for its location and as a time filler before lunch and the Asian Art Museum admittance time. St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church has history going back to the time of the gold rush, according to historian Judy Richter. Kerr appreciated the statues of various religious figures within the church and based her assignment on them.

Due to the block schedule, Kerr wasn’t able to take all of her classes on the trip at the same time. Although Kerr has been doing field trips since the class began 5 years ago, the block schedule has made it even more difficult to plan. She now has to create a supplementary lesson plan for one class while she attends the trip with the other.

“That’s whats been a little bit tricky this year,” said Kerr. “I don’t know how I’m going to handle the next class because it’s unfair to say to one class, ‘you get instruction,’ and the other, ‘well, you just missed it.'”

Organizing 3-4 field trips a year is difficult, according to Kerr.  She said she does it anyway “because the students think that its the highlight of the class.”

The logistics of this particular trip also left students with more free time than previous years. Students were surprised to find they had nearly 2 hours free for lunch in San Francisco.  Many went to the West field mall food court and then spent some time shopping while the rest of Campolindo was in 5th period.

Junior Xiangruo Li said, “I liked [the long lunch] because we got to sit down and relax and have time before we went to the next stop, the museum.”

The free time was due to the admission time for the last stop, the Asian Art Museum. Kerr found a later time slot than usual for this field trip, although they vary from year to year.

At the Asian Art Museum students viewed Buddhist works that they were currently studying in class. Senior Jules Lewin’s  favorite part of the museum was comparing the many different Buddha statues to one another across different regions and time periods.”It was cool to see the things we learned in class in person,” she said.