Museum Studies

Celebrate Arts! Upper School Musical: "The Prom" debuts Friday, March 8, 2024

Poly has forged two exciting partnerships with the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Both institutions anchor our curricular programming in which students:

  • explore current exhibitions
  • meet with curators
  • learn about visual storytelling
  • create their own narratives through research, art-making, and exhibition conceptualization

Museum Studies give students insight and context into contemporary culture and global histories, as well as the chance to imagine their future academic studies or career paths. 

Museum Studies
Museum Studies
Museum Studies
Museum Studies
Museum Studies with the Brooklyn Museum

Middle School students in Grade 8 encounter and analyze a range of contemporary and historical work from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection, including artwork by artists of color, women and LGBTQIA artists. Students consider how curatorial choices at the Brooklyn Museum are designed to critique institutional and social inequities by way of specific and paired artworks. Through artmaking, discussion, research, and writing, students explore how the artworks they choose to put into dialogue complicate an institutional, social, or systemic issue. With this foundational basis, students use these tools to fuel their thinking around social issues that are important to them and consider how previous studies of art and history may have left out narratives about historically marginalized communities and why it’s important to acknowledge these gaps in our collective understanding. 

During 2023-24, students explore the permanent collection as well as special exhibitions, Brooklyn Abstraction: Four Walls, Four Artists;In the Now: Gender and Nation in Europe, Selections from the Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl Photography Collection; and Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys and consider how they look to the past in order to make critical commentary on contemporary culture and identity.

Advanced Museum Studies with the Metropolitan Museum

This course, in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, offers Upper School students in Grades 11 and 12 who are interested in the public display of history and art, storytelling, and exhibition design to do a deep dive into one of the most renowned art institutions in the world. Using the museum as a secondary classroom, students explore its collections and special exhibitions and converse with its curators. They then use their new insights and learning to write critical texts, create museum tours, and build their own models of visionary gallery spaces.

During 2023-24, a transhistorical exhibition jointly organized by Dr. Andrea Achi, Assistant Curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, and Akili Tommasino ’05, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Met, will be our focus of study.  

(Find more information about our Arts Partnerships.)