Trinity Views 2013 and
“Spring on the Missouri," by Thomas Hart Benton
We are inviting all current and incoming Trinity families to participate in a summer educational program called Trinity Views. Sometime over the course of the summer of 2013, we want every Trinity family to visit the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh and to view a particular painting: Thomas Hart Benton’s “Spring on the Missouri.” We wanted to select an original work of art from the permanent collection of our state museum, one that was worthy of our attention and study, which also had appeal to a broad range (TK–grade 12) of students and adults. We think that Benton’s painting is a fine choice.
One of the goals we have for this project is to give the Trinity Community a common learning experience around which we can build community and develop a shared understanding of ourselves and the education we are offering our children. We hope that every Trinity family will participate. When we return to school in August, our teachers will be using this painting and the students’ engagement with it to extend their education. There are excellent resources for this on the Museum of Art’s artnc website. This learning experience really is one of the most accessible summer programs we have offered: a painting can be meaningfully viewed by our youngest students and our most mature, by those who can read and those who are still mastering literacy, even especially by those with learning differences
At Trinity School we believe that the arts have the power to shape and transform our imaginations. From our youngest grades, we work hard to instill the habits of attentiveness and respect in the viewing of the works of masters across the centuries. Students in our youngest grades participate in picture studies, by which they take in the many details of a painting and make it their own, so to speak. In this way, they form a relationship with the painting, one that lasts a lifetime; and they also gain a sense, over the course of a year, of the essential style of a great artist. Such knowledge is invaluable and transformative. Older students return to these same works of art when they are ready to understand and interpret them in more subtle and sophisticated ways, and art objects become an essential part of our humanities program in the Upper School. Benton’s painting will give our entire community an entrée into one particular artist’s world, and students will have the privilege of seeing the original work up close.
We are also excited to get students and their families into the NC Museum of Art (whose permanent collections are free to the public). On your way to find Benton’s painting, we hope you will stumble across a number of artistic diversions. The team that selected this particular painting had a really hard time choosing just one painting. It’s hard to miss the stunning Monet even at a distance, and you might stop to admire Bierstadt’s depiction of the falls at Yosemite or to study the intricate details of Jan Brueghel’s harbor scene with St. Paul at Caesarea.
The education we offer our students at Trinity will not be able to rise far above the ethos and habits of mind and heart that we are instilling at home. A family that visits the art museum together and takes time to talk about what they see will be sending powerful messages to its children about what is important. Parents who are lifelong learners will pass that capacity and passion on to their children.
This program is the latest version of something we have done before. For many years now, we have promoted a school-wide summer reading program called Trinity Reads. If you were around last summer, we hope you joined in our communal reading of Tolstoy’s Two Old Men. A few summers ago, we rang a change on this project with a Trinity Listens program, where we urged the entire school to listen to Handel’s Messiah over the summer. Those experiences led to some really interesting and engaging conversations, and we hope that this summer’s investment in Trinity Views will do the same.
Summer Reading Lists
Lower School Summer Reading
LS Suggested Summer Reading List (includes a Suggested Reading List for Parents)
Middle School Summer Reading
In addition to participating in Trinity Views, Middle School students should read one of the following books as assigned:
- Grade 7: The Light in the Forest, by Conrad Richter
- Grade 8: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
We do not ask students to write anything about these books over the summer, but students should come to school ready to discuss and write about these books onthe first day of school.
We also encourage Middle School students to read a variety of books that may include some books from Trinity’s MS Suggested Summer Reading List. This is for sheer enjoyment and the pleasure of reading.
MS Suggested Summer Reading List
Upper School Summer Reading
Upper School students should read one of the following books as assigned. (if an ISBN is specified, the teacher has requested that students read that edition):
- Grade 9 Humanities: Watership Down, by Richard Adams (ISBN: 9780743277709)
- Grade 10 Humanities: Quo Vadis, by Henryk Sienkiewicz, translated by W. S. Kuniczak (ISBN: 0781805503)
- Grade 11 Humanities: My Name Is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok (ISBN: 9781400031047)
- Grade 12 English: Note that students should delay reading this book until they receive their schedules in early August and know which fall semester English class they will be in.
**The Literature of C.S. Lewis: The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis (ISBN: 9780060652937)
**Shakespeare's Tragedies: Shakespeare (The Illustrated and Updated Edition) by Bill Bryson (ISBN-10: 0061965324; ISBN-13: 9780061965326). Note that this was originally published as Shakespeare: The World As Stage (ISBN-10: 0060740221); students may purchase either edition.
We do not ask students to write anything about these books over the summer, but students should come prepared to discuss and write about these books on the first day of regular classes. These books are readily available at book stores.
In addition to this, Upper School students are encouraged to read a variety of books that may include some books from Trinity’s US Suggested Summer Reading List. This is for sheer enjoyment and the pleasure of reading.
US Suggested Summer Reading List