By Darlene Fung (V)

On September 6, rather than visiting the Eastern State Penitentiary as juniors have done in past years, the Class of 2019 explored the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of the American Revolution.

Students spent the two-hour bus ride catching up with peers after summer vacation, and they were ready to explore the Philadelphia Museum of Art when they arrived. Once they were given their tickets, the students were free to roam the museum, exploring rooms that contained a diverse array of art installations. One favorite display was called “Arms and Armor,” a collection of full body armor, swords, and even armor for horses. Advisor and English teacher Mr. Thomas Keating said, “The museum had such a fantastic collection. I saw my favorite artists and got to enjoy time with my students.”

After spending a few hours in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the students enjoyed lunch at the Reading Terminal Market, choosing from a variety of food options in the bustling market, including burgers, Chinese food, Italian food, fresh deli sandwiches, several dessert options, and of course, Philly Cheesesteaks.

After lunch, the students went to the Museum of the American Revolution, which recently opened on April 19 of this year. Groups of around fifteen students were assigned a tour guide and given an interactive worksheet to fill out during the tour. Students were also given the background information of a prominent figure during the American Revolution. As they experienced the tour, students were encouraged to imagine what the revolution would have been like for their specific character.

As students walked through the museum, they watched educational videos, touched various displays, and even smelled a piece of rope that would have been used on a ship bringing goods to the New World. One interesting artifact included a punch bowl from an old tavern, which was excavated at the very site of the museum. With its pieces glued back together, one could see a picture of the Tryphena, an English brigantine ship, painted on it.  

Interacting with signs that said “Please touch” and “Please smell” throughout the museum was a unique and engaging experience compared to the “Please do not touch” signs that are in most other museums. Commenting on her experience at the Museum of the American Revolution, Veronica Williams (V) said, “I really liked the interactive Revolutionary War museum. All of the videos made it very entertaining. In general, I thought the trip was a lot of fun and a great way to start the school year.”