Art Appreciation ~ Thoughts and Resources

•August 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

This summer (2017), I had the pleasure of teaching art appreciation at the college level for the first time. This fall, I will continue to explore this multifaceted subject with college freshmen and others in Northeast Ohio. In the classroom, we explore the elements and principles of art; engage art media and processes (through videos and hands-on activities); look at images of art from around the world, and discuss form, function, and meaning of art across the world and through time. Written assignments include introspective journal activities and a museum paper. I find the observation, analysis, and insight that my students bring to their writing to be a constant source of delight and inspiration.

While developing this course, I have come across a number of exciting resources, which are listed below. Over the next semester (and  beyond), I will add more links as I find them. Please leave a comment if you have a question, a recommendation, or if you notice a broken or incorrect link.

All the best,
Jeanne Grossetti

Web Links: Videos

Looking at Art

Richard Sera Answers: Why Make Art?:
An artist’s point of view on the creative process. 2:32.

Visual Literacy (Toledo Museum of Art):
The director of the Toledo Museum of Art explains the why and how of developing visual literacy, with an experiential activity. 15:29.

The Way of Tea (Khan Academy):
An exploration of the intricate relationship between art and life in a traditional Japanese context. 4:56.

Van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait (SmartHistory):
A guided examination of a Northern Renaissance painting. 7:11.

Building the Moroccan Court (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
An in-depth look at North African Islamic aesthetics, artisan processes, and cultural context in the building of a court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 17:43.

Elements and Principles of Art

What is Atmospheric Perspective? (Khan Academy)
Short but excellent explanation of atmospheric perspective in two-dimensional art. (Atmospheric perspective.) 1:22.

Carravagio: Is this Ireland’s Favorite Painting?
Exploring what a work of art can mean to a person, to a people. (Contrast and value.) 7:41.

Our Spectral Vision, Liz West’s art installation for Colour and Vision | Natural History Museum (UK)
A contemporary artist works with color, light, and space. 2:51.

Works of Calder, 1950 by Herbert Matter
A vintage film on the mobiles of Alexander Calder. (Motion.) 19:43.

Medicine Buddha Sand-Mandala in Hattingen, Germany
Tibetan monks create a traditional mandala. (Balance – radial balance.) 26:00.

Principles of Design: Emphasis
An illustrator uses animation to explain the principles of emphasis and focal point. 4:10.

John Buck: Free for All
An artist discusses his kinetic sculpture, which embodies the principle of motion in art. 4:26.

Types of Analysis

Lost Kingdoms of Africa (Season 1, episode 4) West Africa
An art historian travels through West Africa seeking answers to questions about ancient royal art, offering a glimpse into the process of doing art history in the field. 48:33.

Theotokos mosaic, apse, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Khan Academy)
Art historians look at Eastern Christian iconography in context. 5:00.

Fly Whisk (Tahiri), Austral Islands (Khan Academy)
Art historians analyze the form and function of an object of power from Oceania. 5:19.

Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life in Art
A biographical analysis of the art and life of painter Georgia O’Keeffe, including influences. 14:50.

Media and Processes of Art


Washi, craftsmanship of traditional Japanese hand-made paper (UNESCO)
A short documentary on the processes and social context of a traditional Japanese art, papermaking. 9:40.

Drawing and Painting

Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700 – 1900: How a Silk Painting was Made (Victoria and Albert Museum)
A silk painter recreates a gongbi-style figure from a Chinese painting. “Gongbi paintings are characterised by meticulous brushwork and highly coloured palettes.” 6:11.

The Case For Mark Rothko | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios
A fast-paced look at the art of Modernist painter Mark Rothko, with special attention to the meaning of the paintings. 4:19.


Dürer’s woodcuts and engravings (Khan Academy)
A look at media, process, and style in the work of the versatile German Renaissance artist. 4:53.

Sun Xun: Special Printmaking Demonstration in the Astor Court (The Met)
In this intimate view, a master of the traditional woodblock carving demonstrates the techniques of his craft. 5:09.

Printmaking Processes: Intaglio (Minneapolis Institute of Art)
The various types of intaglio printmaking are demonstrated and explained. 8:13.

Printmaker Sarah Ross-Thompson demonstrating collograph printmaking (Fotheringham Gallery)
Artist demonstrates and discusses her art of collograph printmaking. 5:40.

Printmaking at Middlesex: Lithography (Middlesex University)
Print technician demonstrates and explains lithography – printmaking using a stone. 4:53.

Printmaking at Middlesex: Screenprinting (Middlesex University)
Instructor explains and demonstrates screenprinting. 4:53.

Monotype Printing with Akua Inks
Artist demonstrates monotype printmaking. 10:03.

Seven Printmakers Respond to Space
Through interviews and glimpses into printmakers’ processes, this short video explores art and meaning. 10:39.


Before Photography – Photographic Processes Series – Chapter 1 of 12 (Eastman  House)
The first in an excellent and crucial series of 12 short videos on the history of photographic processes, which explore the science and art of photography. The first video will play, followed by the rest of the series, in succession.

Photographic Processes Series (Eastman House)
A list of the 12 episodes in the Eastman House photography series.

Ansel Adams on His Working Methods (Getty Museum)
Historic footage of the iconic photographer discussing his approach to photography. 3:05.

Short clip showing important work of Brazilian artist Angelica Dass – Humanae Project. A link to the artist’s Ted Talk is included below, in the “Themes” section of this list. 0:44.

Film and Video Art

Pixar’s Zoetrope
Short video showing how a Zeotrope works in both 2D (original toy) and 3D. Shows how animation works. 2:00.

Muybridge’s Zoopraxiscope
A short video exploring Muybridge’s process of using a series of still frames and innovative device to show motion. Important step from still photography to moving pictures. 4:04.

Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (The Lumière Brothers, 1895)
Perhaps the first film that still exists (with added music). 0:49.

Citizen Kane (opening Scene) (Orson Welles, 1941)
This clip of the opening scene of a classic American film provides the opportunity to analyze formal elements. 3:11.

Hugo – Trailer on IMDB (Martin Scorsese, 2011)
Trailer for a brilliantly crafted film with a compelling story. 1:58.

Spirited Away – Official Trailer (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
Trailer for the important animation film. 2:26.

Amélie (2001) Official Trailer 1 (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
Trailer for inventive film from France. 1:02.

Creating Gollum
A short video which shows the process through which the character Gollum was brought to life. 5:38.

Genres of Film (with exampes)
A short and to-the-point video about some of the major genres of film, using clips and only a few words on screen. 5:32.

The Process of Filmmaking
Short student video on the stages and tasks of filmmaking. 3:28.

Bill Viola, The Raft, maggio 2004
A short film showing one important by video artist Bill Viola. 5:38.
Many of Viola’s works can be found on YouTube, such as the classic “Reflecting Pool.”

Loving Vincent – Trailer 2016 (web)
Trailer for first animated film created entirely with hand-painted cells. The subject of the film is the painter Vincent van Gogh. 1:00.

A look at the world’s first fully painted film honoring Vincent Van Gogh (CBS This Morning)
News story on the innovative film, Loving Vincent. 3:54.


Studio Tour With Betye Saar (Los Angeles Times)
A visit with African-American artist who explores themes of culture and ancestry in her assemblage sculpture. 1:52.

Introduction to James Turrell (National Gallery of Australia)
A look at a recent exhibition of the work of artist who creates with light. Includes background information and footage. 2:33.

Alebrijes of Oaxaca | A Short Documentary
Interviews and footage of artists at work give a glimpse into a wood carving tradition in Oaxaca, Mexico. 9:04.

Ife Uncovered (The British Museum)
A short video exploring important cast metal artifacts discovered in West Africa, and showing the processes of traditional West African metal casting. 5:10.

How Joseph Cornell became an artist (Royal Academy of Arts)
A short biographic film about an artist renowned for his “boxes” of assembled objects. 3:59.

The Bergman Collection of Joseph Cornell (Christies)
An exploration of an important collection of the assemblages and other aftifacts created by Joseph Cornell. 6:12.


Crafts: Ceramics

Jugtown & Mark Hewitt Pottery (Craft in America)
Documentary about the potters and place of Jugtown Pottery in Seagrove, NC. The film explores historical origins of the pottery, influence by Japanese traditions, and significance of family tradition in craft. 15:22.

Crafts in America on YouTube
Link to other YouTube videos on Craft in America channel.

Crafts: Glass

Glassmaking Technique: Core-Formed Glass (Getty Museum)
A short video exploring one of the earliest glassmaking techniques. 2:06.

Crafts: Metal

Artists in Haiti Turn Scrap Metal into Fascinating Artwork (Smithsonian Channel)
Short documentary showing how artists in Haiti reclaim and rework steel barrels to create scenes of beauty and religioius significance. 4:07.

Crafts: Fiber

The magic art of Inca Weaving
Short documenary showing the various processes that go into wove work of women in the association Inkakunaq Ruwayni in Peru. 5:47.

The Art of Making a Tapestry (Getty Museum)
Documentary showing the traditional practice of European tapestry weaving. 9:04.


The classical orders (Smarthistory)
The anatomy and vocabulary of Classical Greek buildings. 11:07.

Building the Great Cathedrals – Cathedrals in Color (Nova)
A look at the impact that dazzling stained glass and brightly painted statuary would have had on the faithful during medieval times. The video also shows the process of cleaning, conserving, and reconstructing an original stained glass window. 4:48.

LaunchPad: Ancient and Byzantine Mosaic Materials (The Art Institute of Chicago)
A look at the materials and processes used to create intricate mosaics found in Roman and Byzantine architecture. 2:37.

The House of Sugimoto in Kyoto (Architectural Records)
This in-depth documentary explores and explains the aesthetics, construction, and function of a compound of traditional wooden buildings that served as residence, storefront, and storage for a family in the kimono trade. 25:46.

Viking Oceans: Antoni Gaudí – Barcelona’s Master Of Sacred Architecture
A short look at the unconventional architecture of Barcelona’s Antoni Gaudi. 3:53.

Alternative Media and Processes

Habeas Corpus: Thou Shalt Have the Body (Anna Sculeit Haber, 2002)
A tough and meaningful documentary film of the sound installation by Schuleit Haber at the abandoned Northampton State Hospital (Mass.), as well as a forum for former patients and staff. 10:03.

Schuleit Haber also created an installation (of flowers) at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston, which was closing. A video about the installation, Bloom, can be seen here:


Art in Community

Simple ideas to innovative buildings: Alok Shetty at TEDxMuscat 2013
In this TED talk, an architect working in India shares his experiences as an innovator of designs developed with community needs in mind. 18:28.

Art and Science

The Creation Story of the Maya (Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian)
An introduction to the classic Maya story, the Popol Vuh, using images from classic Maya art and engaging narration. 2:55.

The Sun Stone (The Calendar Stone) (Khan Academy)
Art historians explore and analyze a quintessential art object from the ancient Aztec people of Mexico.

Deborah Aschheim (On Memory) (John Michael Kohler Arts Center)
Artists Deborah Aschheim and Lisa Mezzacappa discuss their collborative work, which uses video and sound installation to engage with ideas of memory and presence. 3:38.

How will museums of the future look? | Sarah Kenderdine | TEDxGateway 2013
TED talk by scholar who creates cutting-edge interactive experiences for museums and other public places in areas of Asia and the South Pacific. 13:44.

Art and Nature/Art and Place

At a Zen garden, from The Art of Japanese Life (BBC Four)
An art historian guides viewers through an experience at a Japanese Zen garden. 2:27.

The Art of Japanese Life (BBC Four) – Clips from the series
At a Zen Garden and nine additional clips from the series.

Gender, Race, and Identity

Dürer, Self-portrait (1500) (Smarthistory)
Art historians explore a ground-breaking self-portrait by a Northern Renaissance artist and discuss a key moment when the concept of an artist as an individual genius was emerging. 5:43.

Vigée Le Brun, Self-Portrait with her Daughter, Julie (1789) (Smarthistory)
Art historians discuss the form and multiple meanings of a tender self-portrait of a prominent 18th century female painter as mother. 4:02.

Installation Artist – Johnny Coleman (Cleveland Arts Prize)
Artist and Oberlin professor discusses his creative process, inspirations, and motivations. 3:31.

Angélica Dass – TED Talk: The beauty of human skin in every color
A Brazilian photographer discusses her global project to challenge the concept of race by showing the wide and nuanced range of human skin colors. 11:27.



Web Links: Museum Web Sites

Cleveland Museum of Art Collection Online
Portals into the museum’s collections, including many objects not on view. Many object pages include detailed descriptions and suggestions for further study. The museum allows site visitors to download images for personal non-commercial use.

Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Scholarly essays, images of artworks, and chronologies make up this in-depth resource on the world’s art traditions.

Metropolitan Museum of Art – 82nd & Fifth
100 curators talk about works of art that “changed the way they see the world.” Each segment is 2:00.

MetMedia (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
More than a thousand videos, including lectures, time-lapse video of exhibition installations, and more. Sortable by channel.

More Museum Links to come…
Recommended reading for Art Appreciation to come…


An encounter across the distances: a virtual journey to engage Marie Watt’s Blanket Stories

•September 1, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes, an exhibition has the power to open minds and hearts, even through the virtual connection of the Internet. Today, I encountered one such exhibition, Blanket Stories: Transportation Object, Generous Ones, Trek, a sculptural installation by Marie Watt for the Haub Family Galleries at the Tacoma Art Museum. I encourage you to follow the link and engage one or more of these glimpses into the lives of those who participated in the project, and into the artist’s vision.

Jeanne Figueira Grossetti


Power and Presence

•April 9, 2011 • 2 Comments

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend an evening with an enthusiastic group of docents at the Cleveland Museum of Art as we explored together works in the sub-Saharan Africa Gallery. For the docents, and for other visitors to this blog, I offer this small collection of resources from my presentation on the topic (plus a wonderful resource I encountered today).

Please check back from time to time, as the list will continue to grow. And thank you for your visit!

All the best,

“Let me explain to him the whispers of the teachings.”
–Lega saying (Source: University of Michigan Museum of Art)


Resources from the Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online: Department of African Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Thumbnails lead to larger images and information about objects in the sub-Saharan African collection. By adding a search filter, the results can be narrowed by ethnic group, type of work, etc.

Masks and Masquerade (Film on YouTube)
The Cleveland Museum of Art, from original footage by Amanda Carlson
This short film, also on the Cleveland Museum of Art web site (Online Tour section), shows a masquerade performance by women of the Ejagham people of Nigeria, one of whom is wearing a headdress very similar to the skin-covered headdress in the CMA collection.

South of the Sahara: Selected Works of African Art
Constantine Petridis (author)
Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art (2003)
Illuminating catalog of select works that are on display in the sub-Saharan gallery. This book includes introduction to geographic areas and concepts; large color images and discussion of selected works, and many field photographs to provide cultural context.

~Note: A helpful review of South of the Sahara can be found online in African Studies Review 48.1 (2005) 202-204

A World of Great Art: African Art
Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art (2002)
This short book is a very useful introduction to African Art for educators.

Other Resources on African Art and Culture

African Mosaic
National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution
A resource encountered since my April 6 presentation, this exciting web site includes images and discussion of both historic and contemporary African art, with additional resources.

Art and Oracle: African Art and Rituals of Divination
Metropolitan Museum of Art
A vast web site that augments the exhibition Art and Oracle (2000), this is a comprehensive and excellent resource for images and information about divination in Sub-Saharan Africa. Among the resources are 50 images with explanatory text; a map, glossary, and bibliography; and several dynamic essays.

Benin: Royal Art of Africa from the Museum Fur Volkerkunde, Vienna (African art)
Armand Duchateau (Author)
Houston: Museum of Fine Arts; Munich: Prestel, 1994
Informative and beautiful catalog of an exhibition of royal art from Benin that came to The Cleveland Museum of Art in the 1990s; includes information about the technology of lost-wax brasscasting as practiced by Benin artists.

“Divination in Sub-Saharan Africa” (Art and Oracle)
John Pemberton III (author)
This essay, which begins on page 10 of Art and Oracle (, illuminates divination practices of several sub-Saharan African peoples. Of special note, the complex system of Ifa divination, practiced by the Yoruba, is explained well.

“Power Figure (Nkisi) [Kongo peoples Democratic Republic of Congo] (1979.206.127).”
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Image and discussion of an nkisi power figure in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with interesting discussion of the form and function of these figures in their cultural context.

Iyare: Splendor and Tension in Benin’s Palace Theatre
Kathy Curnow (Curator)
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
This online exhibition catalog contains dozens of object images and field photographs, as well as in-depth discussion of ancient and contemporary Benin art and culture; includes resources for educators.

“Likeness and Nearness: The Intentionality of the Head in Baule Art”
Philip Ravenhill (author)
African Arts Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer, 2000), pp. 60-71+92
JSTOR location:
A fascinating and compelling argument that both concept and perception are involved in the exaggerated proportions of the head relative to the rest of the body in Baule art, and possibly in much other African figurative art as well.

“Prince Twins Seven Seven”
Porter Faculty Gallery, Porter College, University of California at Santa Cruz
This online exhibition announcement includes concise information about the contemporary Nigerian artist Twins Seven Seven, along with two images of his work.

“Senufo Arts and Poro Initiation in Northern Cote d’Ivoire”
Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Concise, illuminating discussion of Senufo arts and Poro associations of Northern Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Fasso, with images and links to related resources.

Sub-Saharan Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art
Ken Kelsey and Gail Davitt (Preparers)
Dallas Museum of Art, 2000
This educator’s resource from the Dallas Museum’s Education staff includes a table of contents, numerous resources for teachers and tour leaders, and docent check lists. Several works of art are featured on single-page activity sheets with a sketch of the object, basic information, and questions for discussion.

Yoruba Art and Culture
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology
An educator’s resource from the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, this pdf file includes a table of contents and numerous resources on Yoruba art and culture.

Yoruba : Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought
Henry John Drewal and John Pemberton, 3rd with Rowland Abiodun (authors); Allen Wardwell (editor)
New York: Center for African Art in Association with H.N. Abrams, 1989
This book, which accompanied a major exhibition of the art of the Yoruba people, provides important insight into the art and culture of a large ethnic group in Africa and a tradition that spread broadly in the Americas. The book is out of print, but available through booksellers and libraries.


“African Art in the Collection of Jacques Lipchitz”
African Arts, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Summer 1970), pp. 48-51
Available through JSTOR
This brief article discusses the relationship between the works of African art in Lipchitz’ personal collection and his own creative work. Includes illustrations from the collection, and relevant quotes from Lipchitz.

“African Influences in Modern Art”
Denice Murrell (Author)
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Helibrunn Timeline of Art History
This article explores the emergence of African art as a powerful influence on European avant-garde artists in the development of modern art.

Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums
Carol Duncan (Author)
London and New York: Routledge, 1995
An examination of the museum space; chapter 1: “The Art Museum of Ritual” is particularly relevant to a discussion of the art museum as a ritual context for works of art, including the ritual art of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Each in Their Own Voice: African-American Artists in Cleveland 1970-2005
Cleveland: Cleveland State University Art Gallery, 2009
D. Anthony Mahone’s photograph Possession, which was included in the 2009 exhibition, is reprinted in this catalog, along with information about the artist. [A small version of the image, along with an audio interview with the artist, is available through Cleveland Memory at]

Ingenuity Fest (Cleveland)
Web site for Cleveland’s annual community festival of art and technology, which encourges exploration and participation – performance – by artists and audience.

Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space
Brian O’Doherty (Author), Thomas McEvilley (Introduction)
Berkeley: University of California, 1999
A fascinating examination of the gallery space as “a unique chamber of aesthetics,” and of the processes that take place in that chamber.

“Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)”
The Museum of Modern Art: The Collection
This online collection entry provides information about the 1907 painting by Picasso, including publication excerpts that discuss the African imagery in the painting and Picasso’s influences.

Robin Latkovich: Experimental Aesthetician
Web site for Cleveland installation artist discussed during April 6 presentation, whose work engages with concepts including: the ephemeral nature of art, human presence in place, and the sublime – concepts which we may also encounter in the art of Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Topsy Turvy Sculpture by Alison Saar”
Arizona State University Art Museum/ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Information about the artist and a 2002 exhibition of her work at the ASU Art Museum

War Against the Idols: The Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin
Carlos M.N. Eire (Author)
Cambridge, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne, Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1986
The author argues that 16th century reformers, particularly Calvin, saw traditional Christian practices in Europe as a form of idolatry. He suggests that by stressing scripture-based theology and a metaphysics that drew firm boundaries between spirit and matter, the Calvinist reformers began to emphasize an uncompromisingly spiritual form of worship (and a transcendent deity), and that this laid the foundations for social unrest.


“What is Puja?”
Puja: Expressions of Hindu Devotion
Smithsonian Museum, 1997
Part of a larger web resource for educators, this explanation of the Hindu practice of puja as “the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals” allows for cross-cultural comparison and contrast with ritual practices of Sub-Saharan Africa.


The Ritual Process
Victor Turner (Author)
New York: Aldine, 1969
One of the primary writers on the subject of ritual, Victor Turner, observed that liminality – a threshold state of experience that punctuates each human life and every culture – is one of the primary conditions “in which are frequently generated myths, symbols, rituals… and works of art.” This classic work explores ritual in communities around the world, including Africa and America.

“Field School” ~ Summer 2009

•August 12, 2009 • 2 Comments

For three weeks this summer, I had the pleasure of working with a dedicated group of student artist-archaeologists (ages 9 to 12) enrolled in my “Dig This!” summer camp at the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, Ohio. These seven young people invented civilizations, mapped them, and designed writing systems for them…  excavated and analyzed artifacts… and created art in a variety of media.

Working individually and in small groups, these four girls and three boys brought an abundance of imagination, creativity, and dedication to their work. As I shared what I understand about art and archaeology with them, they revealed to me their unique talents as artists and investigators.  I am very grateful to them, and to Nisha Ramnath, who joined the team as a volunteer assistant and quickly became a valued co-teacher.

Students enrolled in "Dig This!" summer camp carefully remove soil layer-by-layer to expose buried clues. In archaeology, context is everything. The relationships among artifacts, ecofacts, features and structures tells the story of people's lives.

Students enrolled in "Dig This!" summer camp carefully remove soil one layer at a time, to expose buried clues.

In archaeology, context is everything. The relationship among clues – artifacts, ecofacts and features – tells the stories of people’s lives. In this “field school,” students learned to carefully follow procedures and take detailed notes, because once a site has been excavated, the original context is lost forever.

Teaching about the human experience through the discipline of archaeology can be a powerful method for engaging students with our shared past, while deepening their experience of the present and strengthening their vision for the future.

There are excellent resources for teachers who want to introduce the practices and insights of archaeology to their students. Several of these can be found under “Links: Online Culture Resources,” to the right. I wholeheartedly recommend these, particularly Archaeology for Educators, an excellent primer from the Society for American Archaeology, and Time Team America (from PBS), which is relevant, well-produced and full of cutting-edge science.

More to come…

Jeanne Figueira Grossetti

First reflections

•July 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

One of the first “aha” moments in my educational life came during the second or third grade, at the Pacific Grove (California) Museum, when I looked into a display case at a basket made by a Native American artisan. I remember wondering who had created it, how it could have been woven so tightly, how it had been used, and how it came to the museum. These questions, and my initial excitement in articulating them, continue to inspire me as a teacher, researcher and curator of works of art and craft. I delight in sharing this enthusiasm with others – students, colleagues, and visitors to art spaces.

To this end, I have developed courses which blend presentation (of images, objects, and ideas), discussion, and hands-on activities (writing, creating art,  excavating artifacts, and preparing exhibitions), to actively engage students with the arts and cultures of our world. Several of these courses have included field trips to the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. During a visit to the art museum, one of my students (who was age 12 at the time) told me that “the best way to understand a culture is through its art.”

Read more…

Jeanne Figueira Grossetti