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Art Beyond Sight - Laboratory for Learning

A Morning at the Museum … NYISE Goes to the Met

About 20 students from the New York Institute for Special Education (NYISE), their teachers and Art Beyond Sight staff visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Tuesday, December 20, where we explored a variety of cultures and time periods through the fashions worn. Met educators inquired about the students’ fashion choices, asking: why do you wear what you do? What’s your personal style? When do you dress up – and what does “dressing up” mean to you? Tiascheen explained that he dresses up for dates and that his outfit will vary depending on where he is going. For example, if he were going out to a restaurant, he would wear a dress shirt, but if he were going to a movie he would probably just wear a t-shirt and jeans.

On our special tour, the Met educators first introduced a costume from Africa that was made of raffia. Students explored the different ways raffia was prepared and used in clothing; they discussed the events to which the costume would have been worn and they created patterns with pieces of raffia woven on paper. Next, students went to the Egyptian gallery where they explored Sekhmet’s outfit and accessories and discussed their meaning. They then looked at a painting depicting royal life in France during the 18th century. They examined the costumes and talked about how they differed from today’s fashion. They learned that women were forbidden to wear pants for a very long time. Students went on to sketch their own outfit.

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