Professor Suzanne Flynn recently brought the twelve students in her Victorian Aesthetics class on a four-day trip to London to study the art and culture of Britain’s Victorian age. The trip, made possible through funding from the Cynthia and David Salisbury Interdisciplinary Research Fund and the Provost, allowed students to bring to life what they spent the semester learning.
Before leaving for the trip the class studied the influence Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had on the era, primarily in the arts. On their first day in London students were able to take a private tour of the Victoria and Albert museum, visited “Albertopolis” and went to the Albert Memorial to see the impact of the monarchs for themselves.
Later on the trip the class toured Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster, where students were able to compare the Gothic style with the Victorian Gothic revival style they learned about in class. Leaving the heart of London, the class then toured Hampstead where poets and artists such as John Keats and John Constable once resided.
On the third day the class changed focus and spent the day exploring the visual arts. They visited the National Gallery, and were able to see the works of the English Pre-Raphaelite painters they learned about in class, such as Van Eyck. They continued with the visual arts theme with a production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe Theatre. They spent the rest of the trip exploring other areas of London, such as the neighborhood of William Morris, and a free morning where students were able to explore what interested them most.
After the trip students were able to bring what they saw and learned back to the classroom, where they were able to make new connections and insights after seeing the Victorian era brought to life in London.