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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

We Are What We Eat!

This field trip is designed for fifty third grade students from the J.F.Kennedy School in Somerville, MA who will be visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Students will be participating in an art unit that explores the role of food in our lives and how food has been celebrated in the arts. Food is integral to our everyday lives and to our daily survival, how people obtain the food they cook and eat, varies significantly among different individuals, families, communities and cultures around the world. Many people in the world grow their own food in their backyard garden or on a family farm, others venture to a market where they purchase food from individual vendors, some people simply travel to the grocery store down the street. In the "We Are What We Eat" unit, leading up to our visit to the MFA, we will discuss how the food we eat can be a lens into our unique ethnic backgrounds, our family histories and our individual identities. Food is a wonderful way to initiate sharing and connecting over the many different and unique backgrounds of our students and school community.

The visit to the MFA Boston will help students further their examination food, markets and dining as it is represented in the arts. The selection of images that students will view are from a variety of different time periods and world regions. We will examine how specific pieces of art could possibly reveal what kinds of food people were eating in a particular part of the world or how food was prepared and valued in a certain society. In addition to the selection of works from the Museum's permanent collection students will have the wonderful opportunity to visit the Luis Melendez exhibition. Melendez undertook an amazing challenge of painting, "every species of food produced by the Spanish climate."

This field trip will reveal to students the importance of depicting food in the arts and the celebration of distinct food from each culture. Students will be asked to look carefully at paintings to determine what the artist may be telling us about the food eaten or prepared when the artist painted this.