"1968 and its Legacy" Dr. Ila Sheren
In March of 2015, the seminar class "1968 and its Legacy" traveled to New York City for two days to view the MoMA PS1 exhibition Zero Tolerance and the New Museum Triennial Surround Audience. The course covered the activist art movements of the late 1960s in the United States, Western and Eastern Europe, and Mexico, and traced this political approach on through more recent examples of protest art. Zero Tolerance, as per the exhibition's description, "brings together works by artists from across the globe that address tensions between freedom and control. Many of the works combine elements of political demonstration and celebratory parades to create art of a charged and ambivalent nature, responding to concerns specific in place and time." The class then visited the New Museum Triennial, which explored the social ramifications of contemporary technology, particularly the "effects of an increasingly connected world both on our sense of self and identity as well as on art’s form and larger social role." These two approaches to art and society - the explicitly political and the overtly technological - helped to shape the discussions throughout the semester.
"TransAmerica: The US and Mexico between the Wars" Dr. Angela Miller
From Dr. Miller—
Our time in Mexico City seemed to expand to take up a much larger space than our five crowded days there, reaching from the vast ritual spaces of Téotihuacan an hour by bus from the Distrito Federal, to the halls of the Syndicate of Electricians, site of one of the most cinematically impressive murals of the post-revolutionary decades in Mexico by David Alfaro Siqueiros. It was a social journey as well, into a world where most people make due with very little w hile thriving on a communal street culture unmatched by any city north of the border. It was, as one student wrote, "a most enriching week—aethetically, intellectually, gustatorially, sonically, and socially!" From conversations with union activists to witnessing a rainstorm from the balconies above the Zócalo—the central public space of Mexico City—to studying onsite some of the most massive and ambitious public murals in the world—the "Sistine chapels' of the Mexican Revolution—we entered a history and culture different in fundamental ways from where we had come . . . Mexican culture—as we have explored in our seminar "TransAmerica: The US and Mexico between the Wars"—has long exploited and mocked these stereotypes, its own sense of own snse of nationhood in many ways a post-colonial reaction to the economic dominance of the US and Europe from the 19th century forward.
2012-2013 Academic Year
Professor Marisa Bass took students enrolled in her travel seminar "Cross-Cultural Exchange in Renaissance Europe" to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.. They visited the main collection of the Walters Art Museum as well as the current exhibition "Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Art." They also looked at sculptures, paintings, prints, and drawings in the permanent collection of the National Gallery. Students in the course undertook a final project based on an object they identified during their field trip. The overall aim of the course was to pursue an understanding of identity formation at the intersection of competing aesthetic, political, and religious ideals in the encounters between Renaissance Europe, the Americans, Africa, and the Muslim world at large. To view photos of the field trip, click here.
Graduate student mentor to Art History majors and minors Sarah McGavran and Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Art History Adrian Ossi took students on a Saturday afternoon outing to The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park (also known as the Kraus House) in Kirkwood, MO. A docent-led tour of the home and its space saving furnishings--all designed by Frank Lloyd Wright himself--helped students appreciate the architect's extremely efficient planning and gave them new ideas for organizing their dorm rooms!
2011-2012 Academic Year
More than 20 students and faculty traveled to Seattle for the Department's spring field trip. While in Seattle, they visited the Seattle Art Museum, including a tour of Gauguin and Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise and a tour of the Modern and Contemporary galleries with Dr. Catharina Manchanda, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington; and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
24 students and faculty traveled to Milwaukee Wisconsin and Chicago Illinois over Labor Day Weekend. In Milwaukee, we attended the exhibition "The Emperor's Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City," and other shows in the "China" celebration at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Faculty member Kristina Kleutghen and Saint Louis Art Museum curator Philip Hu guided our group through the shows. We then took a bus directly to downtown Chicago, and reassembled the next morning at the Art Institute of Chicago, where students gathered with faculty to tour the collections in Asian, Renaissance, and Modern Art, with Professors Kleutghen, Wallace, Childs and Klein.
2010 - 2011 Academic Year:
The Department spring field trip took 20 students and faculty to the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois (http://cahokiamounds.org/) and the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (http://www.slu.edu/mocra.xml) at Saint Louis University.
The day began with a donuts and coffee tailgate party in the Kemper parking lot. We then drove to Cahokia where we enjoyed a two-hour tour by William Iseminger, Assistant Site Manager and Staff Archaeologist, who has spent his career studying Cahokia and shared an insider’s view of the museum and grounds (we were also able to have him sign a copy of his new book: Cahokia Mounds: America's First City) (http://www.amazon.com/Cahokia-Mounds-Americas-First-Landmarks/dp/1596297344). The group hiked Monk’s Mound and enjoyed spectacular views of the surrounding archaeological site and downtown Saint Louis in the distance. Undergrads, graduates students, faculty, and staff then enjoyed a leisurely lunch and lively conversation at the Schlafly Tap Room (http://www.schlafly.com/breweries/taproom/), an important monument in the Downtown Saint Louis redevelopment plan. Our final stop was the Museum of Contemporary Art at Saint Louis University, where we had a dynamic conversation with David Brinker, Assistant Director of MOCRA, who introduced us to the collection, the Museum’s unique mission, and several of their thought provoking works of art.
The trip was organized by Alicia Walker, Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Nancy Rubin, Department Administrator, and was generously subsidized by the Department of Art History and Archaeology. To view photos of the event, click here.
During September 23-25 approximately 20 faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students along with curators from Washington University's Kemper Art Museum took a trip to Detroit Michigan, where they visited local museums and cultural institutions and toured important architectural monuments. The first day was spent at the Detroit Institute of Art, where the field trip participants met with curators and staff in the galleries and conservation labs. In addition, Professors Qing Chang, John Klein, and Alicia Walker and curator Kate Butler led informal discussions of collection highlights. Professor Eric Mumford led a tour of modern architecture in the downtown area, and curator Meredith Malone led a discussion of current exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The second day took the group to the suburbs of Detroit for a tour of the grounds of the Cranbrook Academy and a visit to the important modernist monument, Saarinen House. They then headed to the University of Michigan Museum or Art and the University of Michigan Kelsey Museum, where faculty and curators led discussions of objects from the permanent collections. The trip was organized by Professor Alicia Walker.
2009 - 2010 Academic Year:
The Department took a trip to Houston, Texas before Thanksgiving break with faculty and graduate students. The group visited The Menil Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Rothko Chapel, among other sites. Professor Angela Miller organized the excursion.
2008 - 2009 Academic Year:
The Art History faculty and graduate students traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to view the "Cezanne and Beyond" exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The group visited many institutions over the weekend including, but not limted to, the Barnes Foundation, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
The department's faculty and students, both graduate and undergraduate, traveled to Chicago, Illinois for a whirlwind tour of the best art and architecture that the city has to offer. The group was joined by Eric Mumford, an associate professor of architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. He and Professor John Klein took the group on a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House and of major downtown Chicago landmarks, such as the Sear's Tower and the Marshall Fields building. The group also visited the Oriental Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, where Professors Elizabeth Childs, John Klein, and Angela Miller shared their expertise with the students. To see photos from the trip taken by Professor Symeonoglou, please click here.
2007 - 2008 Academic Year:
Art history faculty and students went to Washington D.C. in late February. Although there were no major exhibitions, the students and faculty visited the National Gallery of Art, the Hirschhorn, the Freer Museum of Asian Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and others. The group also met wth Eric Denker of the National Gallery of Art for a reception at his home, as well as having lunch with alumnus Faye Gleisser, who was interning at the National Gallery.
Students and faculty traveled to Kansas City to see the new wing of the Nelson Atkins museum, as well as special collections of Asian, American, Modern, and Contemporary art. Click here to see photos from the trip.
2006 - 2007 Academic Year:
Students traveled to Chicago, Illinois in conjunction with Professor Alicia Walker’s seminar, "Kings, Caliphs, and Emperors: Images of Authority in the Era of the Crusades." The class visited the exhibition "Cosmophilia: Islamic Art from the David Collection, Copenhagen" at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art. Students took advantage of the opportunity to visit the the Art Institute of Chicago, and two graduate students attended the “Pre-Modern Race and Sexuality Symposium” at the Newberry Library on March 30th.
Professor John Klein of the Department of Art History and Archaeology and Professor Eric Mumford of the School of Architecture spent a long spring weekend exploring cutting edge museum architecture with the students in their course “The Art Museum: History, Theory and Design.” Their road trip through the Midwest included a stop in Des Moines, IA, where they saw the work of architects Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier at the Des Moines Art Center. In Iowa City they went to the University of Iowa Museum of Art, designed by Harrison and Abramowitz and to the new School of Art and Art History, designed by Steven Holl. They saw the work of David Chipperfield at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport. On the way back to Saint Louis they swung by the John Deere Co. International Headquarters, a corporate campus designed by Eero Saarinen.
Students and faculty traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota. This whirlwind trip included visits to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which featured the exhibition “A Passion for Paintings,” and included works by Caravaggio, Tiepolo, Goya, Gentileschi, Rosa, and Zurbarán. They also stopped by the University of Minnesota’s Weismann Art Museum, designed by Frank Ghery. The Walker Art Center and the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden were highlights for modern and contemporary art lovers.
2005 - 2006 Academic Year:
Students and faculty traveled to Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The trip began with a tour of the Homewood House at Johns Hopkins University. At the Baltimore Museum of Art they had the opportunity to view paintings by Henri Matisse in the museum’s Cone Collection of modern art with Professor John Klein, who has published widely on the modern French painter. Other highlights of the trip included visiting the exhibit “Cézanne in Provence” at the National Gallery of Art with Professor Elizabeth Childs. Professor Paul Crenshaw led a tour of the National Gallery’s collection of Dutch Baroque painting, shedding new light on works by Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer. Several students fit in a visit to the National Mall and Memorial Parks with Professor Angela Miller. Others used their free time to check out the Museum of the American Indian and the works of Henri de-Toulouse Lautrec, James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Walter Sickert at the Phillips Collection.
Faculty and graduate students made a day trip to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to meet with colleagues and see the neighboring facility. The day began with a visit to the university’s Krannert Art Museum and viewing of the special exhibition of Mexican Day of the Dead altars, “Altars for the Dead, Vows for the Living.” Topics for a stimulating group discussion amongst participants at both institutions included teaching as part of graduate student training and the relationship of an art history program to a university museum. The group from Washington University ended the day with a tour of the research library and rare book room.