Special Course Descriptions

ART 394 90 SpTp: Museum Studies

This class will survey the history and function of art museums; consider the operations and ethics of modern-day art museums; and help to prepare for the opening of the Kohl Art Gallery on campus, which will have as its first exhibition a show of 19th-century American and European landscape painting, to which students may wish to contribute.

ART 394-10/AMS 394-10 American Pictures
Adam Goodheart and Donald McColl, instructors

This special-topics seminar will explore American history and culture by closely examining a series of images from American art and visual culture, spanning more than 300 years. Together, we will look at how portraits and landscapes, photographs and prints, history paintings and national monuments, can serve to illuminate questions of politics, racial identity, human interaction with nature, and the artist's role in society, to name a few examples. Students will be encouraged to develop their own ideas about the images on view, informed by readings from relevant literary and art-historical texts, short sound recordings and film clips. The idea for this course is inspired by the American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series, sponsored by Washington College in partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. The American Pictures series pairs great works of art with leading figures of contemporary American culture. Each lecture features an eminent writer, critic, historian or artist who unravels the meaning behind a single, powerful image - revealing, in the process, how artworks inspire creative minds in many different fields. As part of the class, students will travel together to Washington, D.C. to attend this year's three "American Pictures" lectures, and to meet with curators and directors of the two Smithsonian museums.

ART 394 15 SpTp: Pictures and Words, T, 7-930pm, Lit. House (limit is 8)

Words can be used to tell a story one way; images possess a different type of narrative potential. Together, they present a broader range of possibilities than either one alone. The combination of word and image is often associated with children's books, comics, and graphic novels'contexts in which words and pictures work in tandem to tell a single story, the images often subordinate to the written narrative. This course will push that dynamic, exploring the possibilities of merging words and pictures in a literary context by giving equal weight to both-or by seeing what happens when the authority of words is subverted by image. Creative work will be conducted with an emphasis on collaboration. The space between two minds and two aesthetics yields a tension that can contribute to the humor, depth, and resonance of a work. The class of eight will be broken into four writer/visual artist pairings; over the course of the semester, each pair will complete (and physically produce) an illustrated book. The course will culminate in a group reading/presentation of finished works open to the Chestertown community. Following a few weeks of introductory readings, exercises, and discussions, the course will be workshop-based, with time devoted to pair and group interaction. The class will also focus on the technical details of bookmaking: planning, pacing, layout, and production. Familiarity with the Adobe Creative Suite will be helpful but not required. Enrollment limited to 8 (four writers and four visual artists). NOTE: Those admitted to the course will be required to complete a creative exercise over winter break, to be turned in the first day of class.

PREQUISITES: ART 251 (for artists) and (ENG 103) for writers.