A Focus on Student Art Tours of New York City and Washington D.C.

By Howard Clemens

Artists have been challenging us to see our world in new ways for centuries. Art teachers may want to consider bringing classes on tour of museums in New York City and Washington DC that house the most comprehensive collections of art in the United States. When organizing student tours of these cities it is important to consider these museums. It is no exaggeration to say that lives can be changed for the better by visiting such collections of art. For many students, this may be their only visit to a museum in a large U.S. city. Other students may decide to live in a large city and experience the cultural life firsthand.

The Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art are the three highlighted museums for New York City. The Phillips Collection, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden are recommended stops on the itinerary for Washington DC.

On Fifth Avenue in New York City the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is one of the most recognizable and iconic buildings. The Guggenheim Museum was designed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. When planning your class trip to New York City, please look at the museum’s online events calendar. Not only are there daily tours of “Art in the Round” but also there are films, and often in-depth discussions on pieces in the collection and even on the building itself. While the Guggenheim houses the private collections of art there are always new acquisitions on view. Check the timing of a student trip and coordinate attendance of special shows at the Guggenheim with a student travel company representative.

Not far from the Guggenheim is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, boasting one of the largest, most eclectic collections of art in the world. This world-class structure houses paintings, arms and armor, furnishings, sculpture and design from every imaginable worldwide location. This is an enormous museum, so please be sure to see their website to plan your visit with specific concentrations on the permanent collection as well as to view current and upcoming traveling exhibitions.

The Museum of Modern Art, known the world over as MoMA, has the most important collection of some of the most astonishing talent the world has ever seen. The permanent collection contains some of the most sought after art by Matisse, Van Gogh, Balla, Rothko, Warhol and others. One of the most popular exhibitions which is on view until January, 2016 is called, “This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good.” The future of design and the technology that is creating the road to that future are highlighted in this strange and beautiful exhibition.

In the heart of Washington D.C., student travel groups may visit the National Gallery of Art and the famous Phillips Collection, as well as the National Portrait Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

The National Gallery of Art features painting, sculptures, prints, drawings and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the present day. The Photographic collection dates from 1839. On a pleasant day, student tour groups can wander through the Sculpture Garden. Here students can see art from around the world and the work of artists who either studied or taught at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and went on to distinguish themselves. A Media Arts section is also part of the museum, representing contemporary artists that work in digital media.

Art lovers from around the world travel to the Phillips Collection each year to see the Mark Rothko Room, and other famous paintings like Renoir’s classic “Boating Party.” Georgia O’Keefe, Man Ray and other artists are part of the permanent collection. Paul Klee fans know about the large number of his paintings at the Phillips, and visit often. The museum’s website has comprehensive educational resources for much of the catalog. For instance Jacob Lawrence’s “The Migration Series” is featured on the website. This series of sixty paintings depicts the migration of African Americans from the South to the North in the early twentieth century.

The National Portrait Gallery houses a complete collection of original portraits of the presidents of the United States. Besides presidents, the gallery holds paintings of other great American leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Pop culture Hollywood icons Marilyn Monroe and Woody Allen share space with musical giants like George and Ira Gershwin. A visit to the National Portrait Gallery is as much about art as it is history. There are special exhibits detailing trends in America as well as struggles. See portraits of activists for labor rights, civil rights, and Native American activist Leonard Crow Dog, among many other famous Americans.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has a staff dedicated to a deep understanding of art and artist. The museum mission includes the statement, “Good art should elicit a response of ‘Huh? Wow!’ as opposed to ‘Wow! Huh?’” Paintings by Francis Bacon and Joan Mitchell are part of this historic collection. The Sculpture Garden houses some of the most innovative and famous sculptors from around the world, including Brancusi, Rodin, Miro and others. Student tour groups are encouraged to visit the Hirshhorn and learn more with ARTLAB+ and special comprehensive class tours of the collections.

These museums house some of the great treasures of the United States, and visiting them with art classes is part of seeing art as a unique educational tool and framework for not only historical record, but also as a means to forge a better future for humanity and the planet. Artists are the best collaborators a teacher can have. Consider art the classroom itself. Take student groups on tour of these museums to expand their knowledge of art throughout the ages.

For more information about student art tours of New York City, Washington D.C. and other U.S. destinations, visit http://www.educatioanltravelconsultants.com.

Senior class trip ideas for NYC, Washington D.C. and Orlando

by Howard Clemens

Senior year in high school can be life changing in so many ways. Marking the border between adolescence and adulthood, school and college (or employment), senior high school students are looking forward to a world of new opportunities but also saying some poignant goodbyes. After all, the friends that have been so important to them over the last few years will also be going their own way. That is why the end of senior year is an important milestone – important enough to mark with lasting memories.

For many, a senior class trip is the perfect way to make this time extra special. Whether it is a day trip, a few days, a week or more, this is one vacation that must be carefully planned and thoughtfully constructed.

Among the most popular senior trip destinations are New York City, Washington DC and Orlando in Florida. These vibrant, exciting places make it almost impossible for high school seniors to be bored. Read on to learn more about some great senior class trip ideas for those destinations.

High School Seniors on their Final Trip Together: New York City

NYC is a legendary student trip destination, simply because there is an almost endless list of things to see and do there. If traveling to NYC is likely to leave classmates a little tired, why not spend the first evening relaxing at one of Broadway’s legendary musicals? Wicked, Les Miserables, Cabaret and Mamma Mia are just a few of the choices available right now.

If time allows, New York City’s Chinatown district is a must-visit, and the ideal place for that after-show meal. NYC has one of the biggest Chinese communities outside Asia, and there are a huge number of authentic Chinese and other Asian restaurants and shops. Mott Street and Grand Street, in particular, are lined with Chinese restaurants, while Canal Street is a great place to go for gifts and jewelry. Also located there is The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) offering fascinating insights into the vibrant culture and history of the community.

Of course, high school seniors are music and fashion-conscious, and one of the best hangouts for the young and fashionable in NYC has to be the world famous Hard Rock Cafe. Located in the heart of NYC, it is full of authentic rock memorabilia and is a great place for a relaxed, all-American dining experience. Priority seating can be booked in advance by an educational travel company, making the lines a non-issue.

Finally, no student trip to NYC is complete without a boat tour of the harbor. High school seniors can see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. A student trip to New York City rounds off high school in truly memorable style.

Senior Class Trips to Washington DC

Although it has politics at its heart, DC is far from being a dry, administrative center – there is plenty here for high school seniors to see and do. Within eyesight of Washington D.C., on the shores of the Potomac River in Maryland, the National Harbor (NH) has a bustling waterfront that can compete with any international city. NH has more than 150 diverse shops and boutiques, over 30 eating places to choose from, a range of enticing hotels and lots of special events. Many visitors find this area hard to leave! The National Harbor is also home to the National Wheel, a gigantic Ferris wheel with enclosed gondolas that give a superb – and unforgettable – panoramic view of DC.

For culture lovers, DC has a range of theaters; so taking in a play is a popular option. For those whose preference is for adrenaline, there is the opportunity to try whitewater rafting on the Shenandoah or Potomac rivers in nearby West Virginia. More laid-back water lovers might prefer a boat tour of calmer sections of the Rappahannock River.

Orlando, Florida has Much to Offer Student Traveler

Surely no high school career is complete without at least one trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. Disney World offers a range of special offers designed especially for senior class trips, including interactive rides and programs, themed dance parties and buffet breakfasts. With a setting like that, how could anybody forget their high school senior year?

A great alternative – or addition – to a trip to Disney World trip is Universal’s Islands of Adventure, which offers rides, characters, special events and shows for every age and taste. Senior students will love Universal CityWalk, a 30-acre entertainment complex with nightclubs, restaurants, shopping and movies.

Planning a senior class trip can be challenging; with so many different tastes, interests and personalities along, it is important to offer a good mix of activities and entertainment. However, the high school senior year trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all. So it is important to get it right. Hopefully these ideas have provided some inspiration.

For more information on putting together a senior class trip itinerary for New York City, Washington D.C. or any other destination, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com