Platteville High School music theory students recently had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the Romantic Time Period in history through guest lecture visits by art teacher Thomas Swailes and retired teacher Rosemary Anderson.
The Romantic Period was a time of expressing emotion, imagination and individualism. Music teacher Nancy Fairchild wanted to expose the students to the stories told through art and literature before diving into the musical time period.
“When I first approached both teachers about the possibility, each was extremely delighted to share their passion about art history, the great paintings, the political climate of the day, and the literature that set the stage for the time period,” she said.
Both guest speakers captivated the students with their attention to detail and passion for teaching. Swailes taught the concept of nature and movement in nature through paintings of John Constable, Eugene Delacroix, and Caspar David Friedrich. By his pointing out specific details in the paintings, the students also gained a better appreciation for the visual arts.
Holding both history and English degrees, Anderson shared topics of Nationalism, romanticism, fantasy, tales of horror and the supernatural. With a bit of role-playing, the students were able to grasp the aura of the 1800s. Poets and authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, Victor Hugo, and William Wordsworth reminded the students of their studies in literature classes.
“You could see the light bulb turning on in the students’ minds as the invited guests shared stories and historic moments relative to this time in not only American history, but all over Europe,” said Fairchild.