ARTH 249 - Special Topics: Modern Art/Seminar
Introduces specific topics in the study of modern art. Research and writing intensive. Qualified students from other disciplines are welcome.
Fall 2015: The Cyanotype: Photography’s Blue Period
This research seminar will be devoted to the research and planning of an exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum, titled “The Cyanotype: Photography’s Blue Period” (opening January 2016, co-curated by WAM curator Nancy Burns and Prof. Kristina Wilson). Students in this seminar will learn about cyanotype photography, one of the earliest photographic processes. The cyanotype process does not require a photographic dark room, and allows the photographer to print an image using sunlight exposure and water. Cyanotypes are characterized by their distinctive Persian blue pigment, and reached the height of their popularity in the years between 1875 and 1925. They have recently reemerged in the contemporary art world, where a wide range of artists explore the poetic and expressive effects of this unusual photographic medium. The WAM exhibition will explore the rise, fall, and resurgence of cyanotypes over the past 150 years.
Students will be expected to research selected works of art from the exhibition checklist, and to write an object-based essay that will be published in the exhibition catalogue. Students will also be involved in exhibition design and gallery labeling; for those students who will be on campus in Spring 2016, the WAM may ask you to give public tours of the exhibit. Students who take this course must be prepared to make a major commitment to the project; they must be prepared to be creative and intrepid researchers, and be committed to editing and refining their written products into a publishable text. The class will meet on site at the WAM several times during the semester.
Anticipated Terms Offered: Periodically