Latin Club to visit the Nelson Atkins Museum

Latin Club to visit the Nelson Atkins Museum

Harris Jones, Staff Writer

In early 2023, Blue Valley’s Latin Club members plan to go to the “Between Myth and Reality” traveling exhibit at the Nelson Atkins museum, an exhibit featuring nearly 40 vases from ancient Greece. 

When picking the exhibit for his students, Latin teacher Jordan Dillon spoke of how often these vases were made more for use than beauty. This sometimes makes the artwork difficult to connect the subjects being taught in the class. 

“The problem with vases, a lot of the time, is some of them are sort of bland, and it’s just more, ‘Hey, look at this vase we stored olive oil in,’” he said. “But this exhibit is really cool because almost every piece has a story on it or has motifs or myths.”

This aspect of the exhibit pairs very well with what some Latin students have been studying this year. 

“My Latin 1s have been studying the battle between Hercules and the Amazonian,” Dillon said. “These things that have just been stories actually appear on these vases.”

Despite the main focus of this field trip being the traveling exhibit, that is not all that the Latin Club members are planning to view. 

“While I was there scoping it out, there are permanent exhibits including ones with Roman and Greek time periods,” Dillon said. “I envisioned that while our main focus will be this exhibit, we would also circuit the museum and check out those as well.”

Some of the artwork in the permanent exhibit featuring ancient Greek and Roman artwork include the statues Funerary Portrait of a Woman from 120-130 C.E., Portrait of a Roman Youth from the mid-second century C.E., and Lion from 325 B.C.E.

Dillon has one goal for the exhibit experience.

“I want my students to make the learning that we do in the classroom feel more tangible — with a subject so far removed like Latin, it’s easy to think of it purely in the academic sense,” he said. “It’s just language, worksheets and problems, but we can see the sort of stuff we’re learning about in real form — a vase right in front of you that the people who we’re talking about actually made 2,000 years ago makes it come alive.”