Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Lauren Frost ’16

Oak Park, Illinois • Art History View Profile

Put Your Monet Where Your Mouth Is

Two art history students put their knowledge to the test at the Met

This semester, my friend Anna and I took ART 212: Neoclassicism through Impressionism with Professor Bridget Alsdorf. It was a great class; we learned about paintings full of prostitutes and ragamuffins and women with the longest backs in the world.

La Grande Odalisque by Ingres
Ingres's La Grande Odalisque (aka the human noodle). (Photo: Artstor.org)

But little did we know that we would soon be tested on what we had learned. Every intersession, my improv group Quipfire! goes on tour to a different big improv city (you can read more about that here). This year we went to NYC! And one day, after a quick trip to Serendipity for frozen hot chocolates...

Lauren and a Frozen Hot Chocolate
Take me back.

... Quipfire! ended up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met has a huge collection of 19th century art, and suddenly the rest of Quipfire! wanted us to interpret it for them. Anna and I decided to embrace our inner docent and give everyone a little tour.

We were able to find quite a few paintings that we discussed in ART 212. We told Quipfire! about everything from Cezanne's modernist legacy to Degas's alleged feminism.

Lauren, Anna, and a Cezanne painting
The most excited we've ever been about a few trees.

Lauren, Anna, and a Degas sculpture
Which one is the sculpture???

It was incredible seeing pieces from our ART 212 lectures up close and in person. Anna and I would literally run across the galleries to paintings we recognized. It was a great reminder that the lessons we learn on campus aren't confined to the lecture hall; they apply to real people, objects, and events that we will encounter for the rest of our lives. Plus, this Met visit was a great chance for us to share our knowledge with our friends. They were extremely invested and attentive.

Jake and a Greek statue.
Meanwhile, in the ancient Greek wing.

Well, most of the time.