Modernist Class feels inspired during museum trip to Houston

Students at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) have the chance to take specialized courses in topics that traditional schools do not offer. One example, the Modernism class, taught by Associate Lecturer of English Dr. Pamela Francis, recently traveled to Houston to explore some of the museums and historical artifacts housed in the area.

“Modernism was a literary and artistic movement in the U.S. and Europe that began around the 1890s and ended before the start of the Second World War,” stated Francis. “This period of time encompassed a significant shift in ideas of art and literature, and had a lasting effect on visual and print culture.”

Modernism strived to break social conventions, with much of it being heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche and the social disillusionment of World War I. This period recognized the rise of iconic visual art movements such as Cubism, Expressionism, Abstraction and Surrealism.

During the trip, students observed Surrealist art at the Menil Collection. Afterward, they visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (MFAH) to observe the gallery’s collection of Van Gogh and German Expressionist works. Among other exhibits, the group also had the chance to explore ancient Roman, Egyptian, Aboriginal and African art and artifacts. The day concluded with a visit to Rice University’s Berlin Wall Memorial which was installed at the college in 2000.

“I feel like it was one of the best trips I’ve had at this school,” said Nyihaji Woods (’20), who has aspirations to major in both art and biology in college. “My favorite part was probably exploring the African exhibit. I also enjoyed seeing Van Gogh’s drawings in real life, because it demonstrated how he has evolved as an artist. Seeing works by him that aren’t well-known and seeing him struggle—how he messed up things but then later improved—showed his resilience and dedication to his art.”

Other students who attended the trip were Alby Algawi (’20), Luke Boston (’19), Kay Creel (’20), Ian Crochet (’19), Elyse Duplantier (’19), Abigail Fischer (’19), Reeci Foy (’19), Hadley Hines (’19), Chance Lester (’19), Andrew Luse (’20), Lily Orgeron (’19), Garrett Pattison (’19), Jessie Rabalais (’19), Sydney Schroedter (’19) and Halie Thielepape (’19). LSMSA Lecturer of History Dr. Kelly Lankford co-chaperoned the trip alongside Francis.

LSMSA offers a diverse selection of Humanities courses. Students have the chance to engage in specialized, exploratory courses in history and literature. Students with a heavy interest in humanities can register for the 2019-2020 school year now at