Category: Education

A Mid-West Triangle 3: Designed but not Intelligent

Posted October 22nd, 2014
A Mid-West Triangle 3: Designed but not Intelligent

I was shocked when we pulled up to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The place was mobbed. We had to search for a parking place. Somewhere I had read that they had upped the entertainment value by installing a zipline; apparently attendance was not reaching goals. This didn’t look like an organization with attendance…

Down to New England 6: A Darning Surprise

Posted July 29th, 2014
Down to New England 6: A Darning Surprise

I just wasn’t expecting it. We were on the lower level of the Yale University Art Gallery, down among the American decorative arts, just poking about, trying to see a few more things on our way out of the building and out of New Haven. As we veered from a period room into a rather…

Down to New England 1: Of Art, College Museums and Labels

Posted June 23rd, 2014
Down to New England 1: Of Art, College Museums and Labels

Art lives in that kind of white, crystalline light. It doesn’t just come alive; it takes on a whole new existence. Those top galleries in the “new” Yale University Art Gallery? They were a mystical symphony hall and the art a choir of angels. The new structure unites three important buildings: the collegiate Gothic Street…

Matthew Adelberg: Lineage

Posted January 29th, 2014
Matthew Adelberg: Lineage

Matthew Adelberg turned twenty-one a few days past; when I look at the artist who once was a student in my art history classroom, I see something closer to the boy at his bar mitzvah. This exhibition at the Dadian Gallery at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC is Adelberg’s first solo gallery exhibition, and…

The Middle 4: Walmart and the Business of Art

Posted October 23rd, 2013
The Middle 4: Walmart and the Business of Art

I want to be snarky. I want to be elitist and scorn cultural credibility bought by Walmart money. I am not altogether succeeding. Fact is, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is pretty damned amazing. It has the best collection of American moderns that I have seen anywhere other than the Boston Museum of…

What I Don’t Realize That My Students Don’t Know

Posted May 28th, 2013
What I Don’t Realize That My Students Don’t Know

Since the class of 2002, Beloit College has published an annual “Mindset List,” a statement of cultural milestones and realities that current college freshman may or may not know or share. Needless to say, it is a list that makes my Baby-Boomer’s heart clank like a junkyard jalopy. Here are a few items that caught…

Wrought with Steadfast Will

Posted April 18th, 2013
Wrought with Steadfast Will

I read the new history of my school, Emma Willard School in Troy, New York and paid particular attention to the summary of my own era within those “grey walls protecting.” I am struck by the paradox of the book’s enveloping familiarity and its utter strangeness. Was this the place I spent four crucial years…

The Painter and Modern Art

Posted March 12th, 2013
The Painter and Modern Art

I think the studio teacher said something like “What is that supposed to be?” during a painting critique. The comment is a variation on an old, old theme in since “Modernism” earned its capital M: “whatever you are doing, it clearly doesn’t meet the standards of ‘good art’.” The Impressionists earned their name from hostile…

Lietuva 10: Random Thoughts

Posted May 28th, 2012
Lietuva 10: Random Thoughts

The fragrance of Lithuania in May is lilac with a hint of lily-of-the-valley. It is best not to start a two-week vacation with a fall and a sprained ankle. It is worse to start a two-week vacation with a fall and a broken ankle, so count your blessings. Wherever you are, locate the nearest Maxima…

Making a Green Velvet Carpet of Moss

Posted April 3rd, 2012
Making a Green Velvet Carpet of Moss

When we signed on the dotted line and acquired the key to our new home in 2005—a new house in a new development—the rock-studded clay and steep slopes of our lot offered a tabula rasa. The woods beyond, a non-tidal wetland protected by the state Department of Natural Resources, would ring with birdsong as soon…