Traveling the Silk Road at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Grades 2, 3, and 4 had a wonderful day at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, journeying along the Silk Road from China to Rome in the Year One. Louisa, our tour guide, told us wonderful stories that made the artworks come to life. We began in the Chinese galleries and then had lunch to prepare ourselves for the journey across the desert (suggested by the Chinese sculpture gallery with its sand dune-like walls).  We then arrived at the rotunda which recalls the Roman Pantheon. We had reached Rome safely!

In Rome, we encountered this huge statue of Juno, the wife of Jupiter (called Hera and Zeus in Greece) and marveled at her size. The students guessed correctly that she had been lowered into the galleries through the skylight above because she was too big to fit in any other way. We talked about many features of the Chinese and Roman empires in the Year One, emphasizing two major goods that traveled the Silk Road 2000 years ago. Silk traveled west from China to Rome and glass traveled east from Rome to China. Romans had no idea how to make silk and the Chinese could not make the gem-like, translucent glass that came from Rome.