Art History and Visual Culture

Welcome to the Department of Art History and Visual Culture.

The art history and visual culture major endeavors to provide a fundamental understanding of the visual world from a variety of viewpoints. Courses investigate the production of art, architecture, and film through the technical, social, economic, cultural, psychological, and epistemological forces at work when they were produced and viewed. The major places a particular emphasis on how images form beliefs and values, taking into account issues of ethnicity, gender, and class. Addressing questions of chronology, theory, and methodology, the curriculum proceeds from a disciplinary to an interdisciplinary approach, guiding students in the development of analytical and synthetic thinking about visual culture. Students are encouraged to take classes in Communication and Media Studies and Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies and to apply the methods from these disciplines to the study of art history and visual culture.

Students who have completed the major will be prepared to enter graduate and specialized studies in art history and visual culture. They may also choose a career in a gallery, museum, auction house, in the art-publishing sector, and some specialized corporate environments. 

Faculty

  • P. Gregory Warden

  • Hrisanta Trebici Marin

  • Gabriel Gee

  • Clarice Zdanski

View All Art History and Visual Culture Faculty

Research and Initiatives

Professors Gabriel Gee and Alison Vogelaar Publish New Book

Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Communication, Gabriel Gee, and Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Alison Vogelaar, have co-edited a new publication entitled “Changing representations of nature and city: the 1960s – 1970s and their legacies”, in Routledge Advanced Series in Art History, 2018.

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Publication Highlights

Gee G.N & Vogelaar A. eds, Changing representations of nature and the city: the 1960s -1970s and their legacies, London, New York: Routledge, 2018.

Gee G.N, “Painting within itself: the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition”, Journal of contemporary painting, Issue 2, Vol.4, October 2018, pp.345-61.

Gee, G.N, ed., “From loss to survivals: on the transmission and reconstruction of artistic gestures”, Intervalla, Vol. 5, 2017

Gee, G.N. Art in the North of England. 1979-2008, London, New York, Routledge: an Ashgate book, 2017.

Fassl, J. & Wiedmer C., eds, “Trauma, abstraction and creativity”, Intervalla, Vol.2, 2015

Zdanski, C. "Finding the Place of Art in Society: The Value of On-site, Hands-on Experience in Art Education in the Digital Age," The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 9 (June 2015) http://ijaar.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.288/prod.19

Gee, G.N. “From stone to flesh: the deconstruction and reconstruction of the British monument” in Monument et modernité dans l’art et la littérature britanniques et américains, Marc Porée & Christine Savinel, eds, Paris, Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2015.

Fassl, J.Sacred Eloquence: Giambattista Tiepolo and the Rhetoric of the Altarpiece. Boston University Series of "Studies in Early Modern European Culture." New York and Bern, 2010

Majors and Minors

Art History and Visual Culture

Addressing questions of chronology, theory, and methodology, the curriculum proceeds from a disciplinary to an interdisciplinary approach, guiding students in the development of analytical and synthetic thinking about visual culture. Students are encouraged to take classes in Communication and Media Studies and Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies and to apply the methods from these disciplines to the study of art history and visual culture.

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Visual Communication Arts

In the Visual Communication majors, students engage in the evolving field of fashion studies, exploring fashion as practice, theory, object, image, and text. It focuses on studying fashion within the liberal arts curriculum, in terms of its histories, identities, and cultures in the contemporary world. The program prepares students for entry-level positions in careers of fashion research, including archives, museums, galleries, media, consulting, and the publishing sector; or retailing, distribution, and design.

Visual Communication Arts emphases are available in Fashion Studies and Studio Art.

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Minors

Projects and Activities

Clarice Zdanski to show with MEADOWS Artists in Personal Structures: In a Mosaic, the Essence of the World at the SNBA at the Louvre Carrousel in Paris, December 2018.

This initiative of Meadows International Fine Artists, in collaboration of the GAA Foundation of Venice, was undertaken to promote intercultural dialogue and environmental protection through visual arts. The works of 44 different artists from 32 different nations are carefully assembled together as if in a mosaic, and through their diversity, convey the essence of the world. This collective work was originally exhibited at the Palazzo Mora in Venice, during the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, as part of the event "Personal  Structures – Open Borders" with the support of the European Cultural Center.

The message of peace represented in Venice and later in other venues in Italy (Villa Giulia, Verbania; Casa Bossi, Novara) inspired the curators to look for other locations, and so from December 13-16, 2018, it will be exhibited among the works show at the Salon des Beaux Arts at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris.

Curators: Lena Kelekian (President, MEADOWS International), Francesca Maurizi (Head of the European MEADOWS section) and Vittorio Tonon (artist).

For more information on the event: Salon des beaux arts


Maritime poetics workshop

From Friday to Sunday, May 25-27, 2018, the workshop “Maritime poetics: from coast to hinterland” brought together some twenty speakers, artists, curators and art historians at the art space Corner College in Zurich. The workshop, organized by Gabriel Gee with the support of the Swiss Research Foundation and Franklin University Switzerland, took place in parallel to the exhibition Hinterland: the eyes of the lighthouse, blood as a rover, co-curated by Gabriel Gee & Anne-Laure Franchette. Details of the program can be found on the TETI group website.


Artist talk : Cora Piantoni

On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, the art history department welcomed the artist, photographer and filmmaker Cora Piantoni (Munich/Zurich), who presented extracts from her recent films as well as her recently published book Buon lavoro: four films on worker’s communities (Berlin: Archive books, 2018). Piantoni is interested in political situations and their effect on people’s everyday life, on survival strategies and resistance movements. Recent bodies of work have explored collective cooperative working in Gdansk, a pirate radio in Genova of the 1970s, and the colonial past of Portugal. Her talk was generously made possible by Franklin University Switzerland Alumni Council.

 

Students and Alumni

Daniela Baiardi“The highlight of classes I have taken so far in art history have been ‘Anthropologies of Art’, ‘Contemporary Art’ and ‘Artists Biopics’. Anthropologies of Art is a great class that gives excellent foundations in art historical studies; the course on Contemporary Arts completely changed my point of view on post-modernism, while opening my eyes to my fundamental interest into feminist art theory. Artists Biopics enabled me to further explore the male gaze and the representation of women on screen. This Fall 2018, I am the Academic Mentor for Professor Fassl's first year seminar on Renaissance Venice at the crossroads of East and North. This experience has given me the opportunity to act as the link between first year students and Professor Fassl. I have taken classes taught by Professor Fassl ever since my first semester at Franklin, and I am honored to assist in the first year seminar this semester.”

Daniela Baiardi, Class of 2020
Double major in Art History and Visual Culture, and Visual Communications (Studio Art)
Minor in Media Production and Publishing