Almost a year after creating Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night out of cake and ten months after turning graham crackers into Mark Rothko paintings, I was ready for another edible art history challenge. This time, I decided to make Edvard Munch’s expressionist masterpiece The Scream out of cake.
My cake took twelve hours, three tubs of icing, and oodles of love. I took the finished product all the way from my home in Pennsylvania to New York City, where I shared my digestible artwork with my fellow members of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Teen Advisory Group at our final meeting of the year.
Check out pictures of my screamin’ cake below! And to see other times I’ve had fun with The Scream, see the balloon re-creation of the painting that my siblings and I undertook, my Halloween costume, and my trip to Grounds for Sculpture.
Every month, I have the phenomenal opportunity to venture to New York City to serve on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Teen Advisory Group. After the January meeting, I stopped at another famous museum in New York City, the Frick Collection.
I planned my visit to the Frick Collection to coincide with “Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis,” a traveling exhibit whose centerpiece was Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. Standing face to face with one of art history’s most famous ladies — and the protagonist of one of my favorite books, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier — was an unforgettable treat. I also enjoyed exploring the Frick’s permanent collection, which included the breathtaking Boucher Room and the whimsical Progress of Love panels by Jean-Honoré Fragonard.
Though no photography was permitted in the Frick Collection, I was sure to snap some pictures outside of the mansion in which the artwork resides. That afternoon, I had my own Progress of Love as I fell in love with the Frick Collection!
My older sister Julie and my older brother Ben gave me an incredible, one-of-a-kind gift for my seventeenth birthday: Julie, a professional balloon artist, offered to build Edvard Munch’s The Scream out of balloons, and Ben, a talented photographer, offered to take pictures of me posing as the screamer in front of the balloon creation.
Needless to say, I screamed with delight!
Julie’s unbelievable work is nothing short of a masterpiece in and of itself. I cannot thank Julie and Ben enough for this treat! Check out the inflatable results by clicking on the circles below.
For more screamin’ fun, look at my cake rendition of the painting, my Halloween costume, and my trip to Grounds for Sculpture!
November was a magical month full of saving the arts and loving the arts.
To keep art history alive in this era of budget cuts, I wrote a children’s art history book entitled Once Upon a Masterpiece: An Art History Adventure in 2011. With a $1,000 grant, I have donated copies of Once Upon a Masterpiece to the School District of Philadelphia, which is suffering from severe cutbacks, and the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), which may be forced to sell off artwork in the midst of Detroit’s battle with bankruptcy.
On November 12, 2013, I was honored that my efforts were the subject of a column in The Detroit News. But the excitement did not stop there – when a DIA board member read the column, he invited me to visit the DIA and paid for my airfare! On November 21, 2013, my trip to Detroit was a once-in-a-lifetime experience: I received a personal tour of the DIA’s gorgeous collection, I met with museum officials, and I was even driven around town in a limo. The DIA invited the press when I came to visit, and I had a blast getting to talk about my project. Check out the television segment that aired on Detroit NBC’s news and an article from The Macomb Daily!
The trip was nothing short of a whirlwind, as I woke up in Philadelphia at dawn and returned to Philadelphia at dusk. Going to the DIA was truly one of the highlights of my life, as my alarm from that morning may suggest!
Boo! For a holiday that is all about terror, what painting is more appropriate than Edvard Munch’s The Scream? This Halloween, I dressed up as the legendary work of art – not as the ghoulish figure in the painting but as the painting itself!
With my new The Scream shirt on my body, a howl on my face, and a frame around my neck, I know that my art history costume did the trick (and the treat) on October 31. If you want to see more art history Halloween costumes, check out these incredible Buzzfeed photos!
This summer, I had the unique opportunity to shadow the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s college internship program for one day. (Keep your eyes open for an upcoming post about that amazing experience!) At the end of the work day, the interns and I headed to the Phillips Collection, another gem of a museum in Washington, D.C.
After touring an interesting exhibit of the work of Georges Braque, we were free to explore the museum ourselves. I was particularly excited to see Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s breathtaking Luncheon of the Boating Party. Breathtaking is no hyperbole here – I audibly gasped when I laid eyes on the masterpiece! I also enjoyed the Rothko Room, a spectacular space in which the viewer is surrounded by wall-sized Mark Rothko originals.
As I perused the gallery’s incredible variety of stunning and notable works, the Phillips became one of my favorite museums. Check out the slideshow below for pictures of my wonderful visit (and please excuse my love of art history selfies)!
As the summer winds to a close, I am fondly looking back on the break. Starting Heartwork absolutely stands out as one of the best parts of my summer! Another highlight was volunteering at the camp of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
With exquisite artifacts from diverse cultures, the Penn Museum is an amazing institution, and it was a thrill to volunteer at such an esteemed museum. As a volunteer, I had the pleasure of helping campers explore ancient Greece – one of my favorite eras in art history – and writing for the camp’s blog. Click on the following links to check out the blog posts that I wrote: link 1, link 2, link 3, and link 4.
From blog posts to museum trips and more, a summer spent with art history is a summer well spent!
I was so excited to be interviewed by www.museumist.com! Museumist – “a forum for debate, discussion, and the display of all things museum-related” – asked me about the blog, my plans for the future, art history book recommendations, and more.
Check out the fun interview titled “All It Takes Is a Little Heartwork” by clicking on this link!
On a rainy day in July, I had the wonderful opportunity to explore a Philadelphia treasure: the Barnes Foundation. With a prodigious number of works by incredible painters – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse are particularly well-represented – the Barnes Foundation offers a variety of truly breathtaking artwork.
The Barnes Foundation provides a unique viewing experience, as the dazzling works of art are arranged closely and thematically. On the one hand, this system encourages viewers to think about the connections between the paintings. On the other hand, I found that the lack of space between the works detracted from the focus on the individual paintings. I would love to hear your thoughts on the Barnes Foundation’s inventive arrangements in the comments below!
While visitors may not snap photos with the actual paintings, I was sure to preserve my enjoyable visit by taking a picture in the lobby: