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French Club visits NC Museum of Art

Tuesday, Nov. 12, French Club visited the North Carolina Museum of Art and observed various paintings and sculptures created by classic French artists.

Chaperoned by French Club’s advisor, Madame West, and Paul Dinkenor, an A.P. European History teacher, the trip took place after school.  By 2:30 p.m., seventeen students were boarded and eager to escape the windy cold. On a narrated tour of the West Building, the club divided into two small groups and viewed the museum’s permanent collection — including thirty Auguste Rodin sculptures, an artist featured on the French Club’s tour.

The museum’s permanent collection is inside a single-story structure, surrounded by sculpture gardens and pools, created to feature the collection as well as more than one-hundred new works of art acquired for the expansion.

The tour lasted an hour and a half and provided detailed information for each piece of art shown. Highlights of the tour included two pieces by Monet, a beautiful impressionist painting by Edgar Degas entitled Dancer with Bouquets, ca. 1895-1900. Another impressionist painter presented was Mary Cassatt, an American artist who lived much of her adult life in France.

According to the museum’s website, the European collection is the crown jewel of the Museum, as was intended from the founding of the institution. This was proven true with breathtaking marble sculptures and elaborate paintings of European monarchy.

Some of the best pieces, and probably the most enjoyable part of the trip (at least for those who had never visited the museum before), was seeing paintings and sculptures on loan from the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia. The pieces are being held in Raleigh while Chrysler renovates.

It was a peaceful yet exciting field trip for the members of French Club, and the advantage of going on a weekday afternoon allowed the club to observe without distraction.

French Club normally meets on Tuesdays in room 209 and is always incorporating fun activities with French culture. Their next trip: To see Les Miserables performed at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in February. Until then, they will continue to stay active in the Leesville Community.

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