American Studies students visit Amon Carter Museum to expand their knowledge

Steven Watson


Akshitha Venkataraman, Assistant editor in chief

American Studies (AMSTUD) is a class that combines the knowledge of the English language with the historical context of important American events. The course serves as a comprehensive humanities class that allows students to analyze and think critically about visual art, literature, and history as an intertwined aspect of our current government and social atmosphere. On April 1, the AMSTUD class had the opportunity to visit the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

Throughout their time at the museum, the students were able to view different pieces of art and were guided by a tour guide through each different room.

“I got to see a lot of amazing artwork from various time periods in American history, and had an amazing tour guide who explained the historical significance behind some of the most important pieces in the museum,” junior Mansi Madhani said. 

The art often references periods of American history and connects to the AMSTUD lessons from various units.

“The most interesting part of the museum was when we saw a sculpture of a slave made out of black material the slave was depicted with broken shackles, and he was sculpted in a position that looked like he was about to get up,” junior Soumya Ajjampudi said. “The sculpture was called The Freedman and it was made by John Quincy Adams Ward. This was the most interesting part mainly because slavery is such a fundamental part of American History.”

The class environment also played a role in the trip, since students were grouped into sections and shared perspectives during their visit. 

“Being in a group allowed me to see a lot of different pieces of artwork through perspectives that I would not have even thought of before. Many pieces that we saw involved peers in our group pointing out elements of the piece that the rest of us did not notice or did not realize what it symbolized.” Ajjampudi said. “This helped me gain a deeper analysis of each piece, and as a result, I was able to enjoy the visit and appreciate the artwork much more.”

Ultimately, the trip allowed AMSTUD students to gain experience in connecting art to their lessons in history and providing an experience for contextualizing the arts through the lens of the humanities and how they can relate back to current events. 

“I think that I was able to learn how art can show our history through different perspectives based on the artists’ backgrounds,” junior Aishani Arunganesh said, “and how art can be used to express the conflicts and feelings of a certain time period.”