This spring break, Helicon traveled to Washington D.C! Two professors, Howard Lay and Rebecca Zurier accompanied six students on the week-long trip. The group visited many museums including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Museum of the American Indian, the National Gallery of Art, the Hirschhorn, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Philip’s Collection. The students strolled through the National Botanical Gardens and the National Mall, stopping at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and to admire the view of the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. They also had the opportunity to see the National Symphony Orchestra perform a Mahler symphony.  

Helicon enjoyed several personalized tours thanks to connections from U of M’s History of Art Department. Professor Zurier, an expert on American Art, accompanied students through many exhibitions, including a special show at the National Gallery called “Outliers and American Vanguard Art”. Professor Lay shared his enthusiasm for Cezanne and extensive knowledge of French painting in the National Gallery. In addition to the knowledge shared by Professors Lay and Zurier throughout the week, the group met with Chief Curator Brandon Brame Fortune at the National Portrait Gallery and Professor Megan Holmes the Italian Renaissance section of the National Gallery of Art.


A key to the photos:

  1. Helicon and Professor Zurier outside of the National Gallery.
  2. Professor Zurier discusses a Charles Buchfield Painting at the Phillips Collection with Helicon members Kris and Daria.
  3. Professor Lay and the group, enjoying Cezanne.
  4. Professor Lay, the group, and a Degas painting
  5. Professor Lay and the group discuss David's portrait of Napoleon 
  6. Under Professor Holmes direction, the group looks at a painting in "raking light"
  7. Helicon listens intently during Professor Holmes's tour
  8. Group shot of Helicon (from left: Olivia Kinker, Kris Cho, Daria Stelmak, Liam Dougherty, Alison Campbell, Augie Lessins) and Howard Lay, outside of the Hirschhorn.