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
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.
Adam Goodheart and Donald McColl, instructors
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.
MATTHEW SWANSON and ROBBI BEHR
PREQUISITES: ART 251 (for artists) and (ENG 103) for writers.