A Sample Art History Museum Class by Patricia Haberstroh
Because I teach Art History, my classes are frequently in the museum, but the most challenging class is often Art 150, a core course in Patterns. One goal for this course is to overcome prejudices about different kinds of art, and Albert Gleize's 1920 Cubist oil painting, The Man in the City, in the Modern and Contemporary Room, is a good place to start. Because this is not a representational painting, I ask the students if they see a man or a city.
Most identify some buildings but cannot find the man. I ask them to look more carefully and they then begin to pick out arms legs, and eyes, scattered throughout the painting. Interest develops as the class tends to see the painting as a puzzle to be solved. I then ask them to consider the lines and colors in the painting and they soon identify the geometric forms (triangles, rectangles, etc.) which are the hallmark of Cubism, forms created with bright colors.
Previous Art Museum Presentations for Art History Classes
Curator presented Japanese prints from the collection for Pat Haberstroh’s class on “Art and Literature.” (The novel the students were reading referred to Japanese prints).
Curator presented Indian miniatures for class on Asian Art.
Professors frequently self-tour the collection, which lends itself to instruction in the history of Western art from the Renaissance to the present.
Curators regularly take out a selection of drawings from the Museum’s storage to discuss techniques and media of drawing.
David McShane frequently self-tours the collection with his classes.
Curator talked to class about the representation of the human body in art using artworks from the collection.
Recent exhibition (Dec. 2009-Feb. 2010) focused on work by contemporary digital artist.