May 27, 2015
Candace Weddle, faculty member in the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in a special week-long seminar on Teaching European Art in Context. The seminar on “The Art of Storytelling in French Painting and Sculpture 1600–1850” will be hosted by the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon, July 20–24, 2015. The seminar is designed for full-time faculty members who regularly teach art history at smaller colleges and universities and aims to strengthen the teaching of art history to undergraduates at these institutions.
CIC selected 23 faculty members to participate in the seminar, which is supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Two eminent scholars will lead the program: Dawson Carr, Janet and Richard Geary Curator of European Art at the Portland Art Museum, and Mary Tavener Holmes, an independent scholar specializing in French art of the 17th and 18th centuries.
“Strengthening the teaching of art history at colleges and universities—many of which have limited faculty resources in art history—is critical,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “The seminar will have significant value for the faculty members who participate, the colleagues with whom they will share their new knowledge, and the students who enroll in their courses.”
Utilizing the strong collection of French painting and sculpture in Portland, the seminar will examine not only the more obvious manifestations of French storytelling in historical and religious imagery, but also the more nuanced introduction of message and story into portraiture and the so-called “lesser” genres. The seminar also will explore objects included in the special exhibition, Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. This show features works ranging from antiquities and Old Master prints to major paintings, sculptures, and drawings by the greatest artists of France, including Nicholas Poussin, Charles Le Brun, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Jean-Antoine Houdon, Jacques-Louis David, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Throughout the seminar, participating faculty members will have the opportunity to hone and share educational strategies for visual analysis, conversation, slow looking and digital interpretation.