Field Trip Friday — Clark Museum in Williamstown, Mass.

It’s been a while since I posted a Field Trip Friday post! I had lots more to tell about the Kentucky trip, but the summer got away from me. Most of you know I started a new blog, Daffodils at Home. I’ve been working very hard on making that blog a part time job and it’s left little time for other blogging. I will still be popping in from time to time here, though. My ultimate goal is to have Daffodils at Home as my home/decor blog, Daffodil Days as a personal blog to talk about the goings on in the family (funny stories, kid birthdays, etc.), and a separate blog (can you guess the name?) to cover all things homeschool. I know. It sounds like a lot! But I’ll only be blogging here and at the homeschool blog once or twice a week.

With all that said, I will backtrack and post pictures of the Kentucky trip and the recent kid birthdays over the next few weeks. For today, I want to talk about an absolutely AMAZING museum we found quite by chance in Williamstown, Massachusetts. I saw an article in the Sunday newspaper about three weeks ago telling about an exhibit by Winslow Homer that was soon to close. I had never heard of Winslow Homer but was working hard on the new school schedule at the time and was in the middle of scheduling artists for the year. (We study one artist in depth each term of the school year.) I saw the words “Famous American Artist”, “from Boston”, and “ending soon” and was hooked. We had to go! I looked it up on Google maps and found out it was only 49 miles away.

I quickly fell in love with Winslow Homer. Born in Boston in the late 1800s, he is most well known for his marine paintings. My favorite so far is called Boys in a Pasture. I now have a framed print of it on the wall of our school room:

dining room homer print

We drove about an hour and a half to get to the museum so the first thing we did was have a picnic lunch. I’m glad we grabbed some food before we left home because we seemed to be out in the boonies with an expensive museum lunch as the only alternative. It was a beautiful day for a picnic!

Clark picnic

Clark picnic John

After the picnic, all the kids wanted to see the “brain” on the side of the tree. I’m guessing it’s some kind of protection because a limb was removed?

Clark brain on the tree

When we got into the museum, they told us the Homer exhibit was upstairs and part of their permanent collection was downstairs. I thought it would be a good idea to glance at the permanent collection first because we would be tired and want to go home after seeing all of the Homer stuff. The first room we walked into was full of paintings by John Singer Sargent such as this one titled Mademoiselle Jourdain:

Clark Sargent 2

The next room had a Paul Gauguin (!) called Young Christian Girl:

Clark Gaugain 2

There was also a Renior in this room called Bather Arranging Her Hair. I won’t post the picture as the bather is nude. You can look it up if you’re interested. Abe didn’t want to go into this room at all because of it, but I dragged him in (letting him turn his head away from the Renoir to make him feel better) because, people, THERE WAS A MONET IN THIS ROOM!!!!

Rouen Cathedral: The Facade in Sunlight
Monet Rouen Cathedral

I nearly cried. Monet is my favorite. 🙂 I wish you could see it in real life. I wish I could go back and stare at it longer!! There was so much more. We saw several more by Renoir, Manet, Louis-David, Fragonard, Corot, Rousseau, Toulouse-Lautrec, Millet, Delacroix, Turner. I’m sure there were others equally famous. Those were just a few that the children and I have studied over the years.

There was a statue called Little Dancer Aged Fourteen by Edgar Degas:

degas little dancer

It was stunning. I had completely forgotten that Degas also did sculptures. The one that had me nearly in tears, though, was this one:

Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist by Sandro Botticelli

I’m so glad they allowed photography. (with no flash, of course) I’m nearly in tears all over again looking through all the photos. I made all the kids stand and drink in that Botticelli as long as was decent.

Needless to say, we didn’t get a huge amount of time on the Homer exhibit. By the time we got to it, the littles had nearly had it. (Some of the bigs were getting a little museum weary, too.) Here are a couple that I particularly liked:

Homer summer squall
Summer Squall

Homer shepherdess of houghton farm
Shepherdess of Houghton Farm

Homer the eagle's nest
The Eagle’s Nest

I had to stop a guard on the way out and tell her how moved I was by the museum’s exhibits. She told me to plan to come back next year because half the museum was closed for renovations. You better believe that trip is on my to do list for 2014! Really, I’d make the trip again just for the Monet and the Botticelli.

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