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Tales of New York

15 March 2019

We have been running this tour for a number of years now. It is a biennial art tour and judging by the enthusiasm from our recent New Yorkers’ we now begin to plan the tour for 2021 – Yes, it always seems a long way away but, the natural rhythm of an Academic Year and Academic life more generally means that, believe it or not, the next tour will soon be upon us. So current Year 10 and Year 11 students, this Art Tour will be your opportunity too!

So after much planning and growing levels of excitement we departed Bath at 03.50. It was no surprise that everybody was ready for departure and the coach was abuzz with enthusiasm for all that might be experienced in New York. After check in, a flight and many films we arrived at JFK. It took us a little while to get through immigration, but once we had, we opened the doors to be greeted by our NYC Tour guide with “Professor Preedy”, perhaps he knew something I didn’t but it was good to see him and the girls’ immediately warmed to his sense of fun, his enthusiasm for New York and his rather, at times, eccentric delivery – I’m thinking of his high kicking routine with Molly and Phoebe in Central Park!

This tour has been honed and tweaked over the years and I feel, personally, that this has to be one of the best school Art Tours to New York, where we balance some sightseeing with a full programme of gallery visits. Although having said that, we are going to squeeze another museum in to the programme in order to make it even more comprehensive.

New York gets under your skin in a good way. So much of it is so familiar through film and popular culture, so when one arrives you can just begin your adventure. Staying just off Madison Square, by the Flatiron Building is the perfect setting to begin each day. Walking the streets and avenues, boarding boats and riding the subway are all perfect ways in which to discover this fabulous city and this is what we did, ably supported by Jared our NYC Tour Guide.

There are always highlights on a tour like this and of course there are many for each of us – Watching the bright afternoon sun reflected on the Hudson as I waited outside the Whitney after seeing the Warhol Exhibition and before walking the Highline seemed to encapsulate all that New York offers.

I’ll leave Olivia, one of our IB1 students and an Art Scholar to tell her ‘Tales of New York’.

We’ll be back!

Mr Preedy

During half term, nineteen sixth formers, Mr Preedy, Mrs Joy and Mrs Wilson spent five incredible days in New York on an art trip. The 4 am departure to Heathrow was the start of an unforgettable visit, jam-packed with exploring the city, witnessing world-renowned artwork and living the real American experience.

Over the trip, we visited many incredible exhibitions and museums spanning through all genres of art. We marvelled at the architecture of the iconic Guggenheim Museum and the almost disorientating effect of the curved walls. Modern art was also displayed at the MoMA including Monet’s expansive Water Lily works and Van Gogh’s infamous Starry Night painting. The Whitney Museum was a highlight, with its popular Andy Warhol exhibition and rooftop views. In contrast to this, we visited a number of classical art museums, including a renovated mansion housing the Frick Collection where we admired the astonishingly skilful works of Vermeer, Rembrandt and Turner as well as the Neue Gallery where we saw Gustav Klimt’s ‘gold style’ portraits. A highlight for all of us was our visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we were stunned by the scale of not just the physical space inside but also the number of works exhibited there. Every corner we turned, there was another incredible piece of art, including the work of Degas, Matisse, Picasso, Kahlo, O’Keefe and Pollock!

As well as seeing this art work - which alone was an extraordinary experience- we also spent time exploring the city. After arriving, we headed straight to the top of the Empire State Building witnessing the skyline lit up at night as well as climbing Top of the Rock on our last day to see the city from another angle. None of us expected how breath taking these views would be, as we were struck by the height and overwhelming scale of Manhattan. We were also shown the city on foot by our tour guide Jared as we navigated the subway and we visited monuments such as the Flat Iron Building (a three-minute walk from our hotel), Wall Street and poignantly, Ground Zero. In the evenings, we ate in the most iconic New York restaurants possible- Bubba Gump, the Hard Rock Café and finally, Ellen’s Stardust Diner. Situated in the middle of Times Square, we entered the vibrant, showbiz style restaurant where the waiters sing and dance on the tables- Phoebe even got a turn on the mic! It was a fantastic and memorable way to end our trip.

New York was without a doubt one of the best trips we have ever experienced and have taken so much away from it. Thank you so much to the teachers for making it such an incredible visit and we all hope to return one day.

Olivia

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