Ninth grade students capped off their final Cultural History unit of the academic year, The Rise of Colonial America, with a trip to New York City, where they visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and toured historical sites in Lower Manhattan.In preparation for the Six Paintings research project, in which students explore enduring understandings about Cultural History through examining six paintings, the museum visit focused on European artworks from the 15th through 17th centuries, especially those addressing four themes studied throughout the year: individualism, secularism, classicism, and movement. The students gravitated to the work of artists like Johannes Vermeer, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, and Raphael Sanzio.
In the afternoon, the class met with attorney and educator Rick Landman, who led them on a walking tour of Lower Manhattan, providing insight into the history of New Amsterdam, the Dutch colony founded on Manhattan Island. The tour included stops on Wall Street and other landmarks that date back to American colonial times. Rick shared with the students information about New Amsterdam’s influence on the city’s and America’s sense of cultural diversity and religious freedom.