Four Years of Collaboration

This morning, the Rubin embarked on its fourth year of collaboration with Hannah Senesh Community Day School in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Part of our Himalayan Art Encounters program for schools, this partnership grew out of the authentic integration of the museum’s collection into the school’s fifth grade social studies curriculum, which focuses on India during one semester and China during the other. Each year, we’ve worked closely with Debra Kaufman, the school’s fifth grade teacher, to devise an in-depth collaborative model for a 90-minute pre-visit lesson, extended museum tour, and double-period post-visit art-making experience.

This year’s guiding question for the class is ‘What can geography teach us about other cultures?’ After discussing the geography of the Himalayas, Debra’s students dove head-first into an object exploration activity which involved sketching, detailing, and comparing four different sculptures of the Hindu deity, Ganesha. This activity was the result of several planning and evaluation meetings that we’ve had over the years, and will continue when the students visit the Rubin in the next few weeks.

The result of this activity, from a student’s perspective? “Awesome obstacle-removal.”

The result of all these efforts, from Debra’s perspective? Check out her contribution to the Rubin’s “One Word” initiative at 1:25 of this video:

Here’s to a new year of collaboration!

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