Horses, Lobsters, and Whales, Oh My!

Centerville Elementary School and Beverly Middle Schoolers went on an animal safari at the Peabody Essex Museum this past week. Museum guides challenged youth to reflect on how animals have inspired artists for hundreds of years, and how they can be seen as natural works of art as is.  

Students explored the exhibit “Japanomania, Japanese Art Goes Global,”  locating a variety of animals featured in the artwork. Youth were intrigued by the range of art pieces, from historic furniture pieces embellished with copper and pearl to a Hello Kitty rotary dial phone. Art can be found all around us.  

Youth were particularly blown away by a hanging skeleton with a long tail in the “Salem Stories” exhibit. Many guesses were made as to what this could possibly be. A sea dragon? A shark? An ancient ocean-dwelling dinosaur? It turns out that it is the remains of a long-finned pilot whale. Students had fun imagining what could have roamed the ocean right in their backyard.