Chair, Liberal Arts
PhD, University of Minnesota
MA, University of New Orleans
BA, MA, PhD Louisiana State University
Renaissance through Modern Art History, Art in Paris, Art Since 1945, and Minnesota Art and Culture
What do you love about the discipline that you teach?
Art history is a window onto other times and places. History is so much more compelling – particularly for students of art and design – when approached through the visual arts!
How would you describe your discipline to an
It’s about the way art has developed through the ages, but it’s not mere memorization of names and dates. You’ll learn about artists’ lives and the mediums in which they worked. You’ll learn about the times they lived in and how culture and current events shaped their works.
What do you hope to teach a CVA student?
The basics of art history, of course, but also how to develop fluency in visual concepts and the vocabulary of art, improve skills in critical thinking, and become a better speaker and writer.
How do you prepare your students for their
Students acquire the knowledge base in art history that is essential for every artist and designer. They also develop research skills that are the basis for lifelong learning. Students receive very particular guidance in professional writing and speaking skills in a junior-level course, Introduction to Professional Practice, which prepares them for an internship in their chosen field.
In addition to teaching you're also a practicing art historian. Tell us about that.
I’ve always been engaged in research and writing, not least because it enriches teaching. I’ve written three books on art history, the first on the Pre-Raphaelite art critic William Michael Rossetti, the second on Wanda Gag and her family of artists. My new book, Pioneer Modernists: Minnesota’s First Generation of Women Artists, published by Afton Press in 2011, is about eight early Minnesota women artists.
What does CVA do better than other art and design schools?
Our curriculum is carefully integrated so that liberal arts classes support studio classes, and vice versa. And our small size allows us to give each student a lot of individual attention. Students have a special opportunity to learn, grow, and create in the CVA community.