Legion of Honor Museum provides learning expierence
On April 24 the Advanced Placement (AP) European history class journeyed to the San Francisco Bay Area to study the art found in the Legion of Honor Museum. The class was accompanied by their teacher Kori Friesen and her sister Kimberly Bell. While there, students were given the opportunity to become acquainted with European art while experiencing the city?s tourist attractions and displays.
This year is the first time AP European history has been offered on campus. The idea for the class sprung from the interest of previous history teacher Jordana Kaiser. After Kaiser departed from FC in the beginning of the 2013-’14 school year the class was taken over by Friesen.
As a former graduate of FC, Friesen posses a masters degree in education and a vast knowledge of both world and US history. It is no surprise that she quickly adapted to her new position.
In the upcoming AP test students will be expected to recall not only historical knowledge but eras of art and artist associated with the time periods. Friesen believes that taking her students to the Legion of Honor museum allowed them to gain first hand learning experiences that may help them succeed in the art section of the AP test.
“The reason why we took the field trip is to learn more about art,” Friesen said. “We need to for the test, to identify the key artist during the different eras. We need to understand the different art styles and tell them apart, and then try to analyze the art and understand what the artist was trying to say through his art.”
A party bus was generously provided by the Roggenstein family to transport the class to their destination. After an approximately three hour bus ride in which the class both relaxed and discussed European history they arrived at the Legion of Honor Museum.
In the museum the class viewed the era of art termed Impressionism. Impressionism is defined as an art style that depicts everyday life in a realistic manure and often uses light to convey a focus or purpose. It was practiced in varying degrees throughout the 19th century.
“I loved everything about the trip,” Fries said. “I thought it was a great way to study the art we’ve been reading about all year. My absolute favorite was the Monet section, he’s really inspiring. I hope that the trip helps on the exam; it definitely makes me feel more confident.”
After impressionism the class joined a guided tour that explored art styles throughout the various European eras. Friesen challenged her students to find the deeper more intricate meanings within the art and to consider the artists influences.
AP student Rees Roggenstein, ’16, admits that finding the deeper meaning to some of the art pieces was difficult for him. Roggenstein, however, was proud of and intrigued by the facts that he eventually drew from the pieces.
“We actually had to interpret some art pieces and find the deeper meaning in the art for Mrs. Friesen to let us continue on our tour of the museum,” Roggenstein said, “It was difficult to understand what the artist was trying to say, sometimes I had to stare at the piece for more than 10 minutes trying to come up with something. But I enjoyed myself when I finally came up with an interpretation.”
The class spent a total of three hours at the museum. They then took some group pictures and went in search of a late lunch. They decided to eat at Bubba Gumps, a restaurant created as tribute to the movie Forest Gump, located at Pier 39. Before the meal, students had the opportunity to explore the area and check out some shops.
Friesen said that for her the museum was especially exciting because she got to see paintings she had heard of but only seen in books. She was also impressed with the museum?s overall beauty and prestige.
“The architecture itself was surprisingly beautiful,” Friesen said. “I was most impressed with the amount of art they had on display. My favorite part of the museum was the nostalgia. It was fun walking through the museum and seeing art pieces I had seen before in my childhood in books and catalogs.”
After sharing a meal together the group had dessert at the Ghirardelli chocolate shop. Here students not only enjoyed lavish chocolate and ice-cream treats but explored the company’s history and the chocolate making process. At about 6 p.m. the class made their way back to the party bus and toward Fresno.
On the way back students discussed what they had learned and had much time to bond. AP European student Emily Ladd, ’16, says that the day was extremely fun for her and that she considers her fellow AP Europeans students and teacher to be like a big family.
“I was excited because I enjoy museums and love being at the coast,” Ladd said. “I did try to find the story behind the paintings and tried reading into them, especially the paintings that were really stunning. I loved hanging out with the group and exploring the museum and pier together. Having such a small class and spending so much time with them makes them feel like family.”
For more features, read the April 25 article, Laser pointers pose dangers, lead to felonies.