May 2, 2019
By Stephanie Oliveira
Intricate European architecture, enticing works of art, extravagant and calming gardens. Students from the Italian Club and Multi-Culture Club experienced all of this on their field trip to the MET Cloisters in Manhattan on April 12.
Students had the freedom to explore the museum—which specializes in European medieval architecture, sculpture and decorative arts—on their own at their own pace with a designated time and place to meet at the end of the visit.
Italian Club advisor Mr. Raguseo said he had been to the MET Cloisters once prior to this trip.
“I was a freshman in high school. Having gone to Italy before and other parts of the world, I was always astonished [by] the architecture and buildings and other treasures that you find in older countries,” Raguseo said. “I always wanted to go back… and I [wanted] to expose my students to that European feel without going across the Atlantic.”
Raguseo said he did not remember much of the artwork and details from his previous trip but enjoyed being able to experience it again as an adult. He said he would love to go on the trip again with a different group of students and would also like to check out other sights in the area, which include the shrine of Mother Cabrini.
“She is an Italian-born, American Saint,” Raguseo said. “When she died here in New York, the nuns belonging to her order kept her body intombed… and that was something that I wish we had time for.”
Multi-Culture Club advisor Señora Veiga said the trip was a great way to follow up on last year’s field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.
It was Veiga’s first time visiting the MET Cloisters, and she said it lived up to her expectations because of the artwork and European influence.
“I think that [the students] didn’t expect to see something like that in that setting—the architecture and the peacefulness of the gardens,” Veiga said. “When you’re there, you don’t feel like you’re in Manhattan.”
Veiga said she would highly recommend visiting the MET Cloisters, even though the downsides are the commute into Manhattan and the lack of affordable dining options within the museum.
“It was a nice added feature that they gave us the free tickets… for kids that are interested in going back with their families,” Veiga said.
Italian Club vice president senior Katelyn Peterson said she had never been to or heard about the MET Cloisters but was surprised by what the museum had to offer.
“My favorite part about the trip was walking into the one garden and smelling the strong fragrance of all the flowers,” Peterson said. “It was nice to see not just artwork but also to see nature.”
Peterson said her favorite aspects of the museum were the architectural pieces that were once parts of other buildings.
“There were actual doorways that had been taken from other places,” Peterson said.
She said she would have preferred if the trip included a guided tour but said it still fulfilled her expectations.
“I really enjoyed it, and I did learn a lot about the art in the museum,” Peterson said.
Junior Fernando Esteves, who is a member of the Multi-Culture Club, said he wanted to go on this field trip because he attended last year’s trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and said he found the MET Cloisters to be just as fascinating.
“My favorite part of the trip was walking around the museum with friends looking at things we’ve never seen before and having a good time,” Esteves said. “The weather was great, the architecture and decorative art was also fascinating…. I saw a lot of cool sculpture and statues.”
Senior Elena Vilanova, co-president of the Multi-Culture Club, said she loves historical venues and artifacts, and she especially liked the gardens and views of the museum.
“I had never been before, and I wanted to go because I have been to something very similar in Spain, and I wanted to experience that again,” Vilanova said.
She said she would not have changed any aspect of the trip because it was a perfect reminder of her Spanish roots.
“It made me realize how beautiful the simple things in life are, even though some things were not so simple,” said Vilanova.
Photos by Joana Kapaj and Stephanie Oliveira