On November 5, 2014, the Advanced and AP Studio Art students made the short trip to the National Gallery of Art in our nation’s capital to view one of the world’s most famous dancers. Little Dancer- Aged Fourteen is the only sculpture Edgar Degas ever showed publicly, which caused quite a stir at the 1881 impressionist exhibition.
Today, the sculpture is part of an exhibition presented in conjunction with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ world-premiere musical, Little Dancer, which runs from October 25 through November 30, 2014. Madeira girls learned that the model for this sculpture was a fourteen-year-old girl named, Marie Genevieve van Goethem, aka, “petit rat de l’opera” or opera rat, the nickname given to Paris Opera students. They also discovered that the wax and clay sculpture is the only one made by the artist’s hand. The other bronze sculptures (two in total) were produced after his death in 1907.
The art students also viewed the El Greco Collection, which showcased 11 of his most haunting religious paintings, such as Saint Martin and the Beggar.
To conclude this gallery visit, the girls viewed the Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In exhibit. The collection showcases Wyeth’s fascination with windows and transparency. The AP students were able to appreciate what a full body of work really looks like, and gain understanding for the work that lies ahead of them as they complete the requirements for their course.Arts Academics