On Dec. 12, a group of 45 students and faculty will take a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
The MET was founded in 1870 and according to metmuseum.org, the museum houses over 5,000 years of art within its walls. On this trip, students will be touring and experiencing the latest exhibition titled “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsmen and Designer.”
The free trip is sponsored by the Alberto Italian Studies Institute and is made possible through the donations of Frank Cannata (‘55) and his wife, Carol Cannata. Attendees will experience a guided tour of the Renaissance Wing along with the new exhibit.
Seton Hall’s Dr. Gabriella Romani, professor of Italian, is director of the Alberto Institute, which was established in 2003. The Institute’s mission is to “promote Italian and Italian-American cultural activities on and off campus. One of the things that we do, that we’ve done in the past, is we try to organize trips when there is some special exhibit in New York.”
Romani added that Michelangelo is well known for the Sistine Chapel and his sculptures, but not as well known for his drawings.
This is an unusual trip, something new and special for students to see. These pieces of art have been donated from countries all over the world and have been borrowed from over 50 public and private collections.
Students from all departments will attend the trip and Dr. Charlotte Nichols, associate professor of Art History, will prepare a hand out to help students better understand the pieces of art that they will be viewing. Nichols looks forward to seeing the student’s responses from the exhibit.
“Drawings have an extraordinary immediacy to them, which is very compelling,” she said. “To see so many drawings by Michelangelo in one place is amazing.”
The trip coincides with Nichols’ course this semester, titled, “The Art of Saint Peter’s.” The course discusses Michelangelo’s work as the head architect of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
Jessica Ferrara, a senior biology major, has signed up for the trip to the MET, a place that she has never been before. Ferrara does not find herself at museums too often because of her work-intensive course of study, but when she does attend a museum she said she really enjoys it.
“I think just being a well-rounded person includes an exposure to the arts,” she said. She feels trips like these give students an experience they normally wouldn’t be able to have and “a chance to get off campus and experience something that’s bigger than themselves.”
Romani said that sometimes students and faculty are so engrossed in their own activities and studies that incredible opportunities can be right around the corner, and we can miss them.
She said she hopes students come to understand, “[that] the world is larger than their reality and that it’s infinite,” she said. “It’s out there in many different facets, interests, and they all represent a little corner of life and reality.
And you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy it.” She feels visiting this exhibit is a unique opportunity for students to grow not only as people and as students, but intellectually as well.
Erika Szumel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.