This seminar, taught directly from original drawings in the collections of the Harvard Art Museums, explores a broad range of topics associated with the materials, functions, preservation, collecting, exhibiting, and cataloguing of European and American drawings from the fifteenth century through the nineteenth century. Emphasis will be placed on close, in-person examination of the drawings, supplemented by pertinent reading assignments. Discussions will encompass a number of subjects associated with the study and understanding of drawings as creative tools, cultural and social records, means of personal expression, and finished art objects. Assignments involve reading, writing, and working directly with the drawings. Both oral and written work will center on the creation of a virtual exhibition of drawings from the Harvard collections, with each student responsible for selecting, researching, and writing catalog entries and exhibition labels for three drawings.
No knowledge of the history of art is required; of greater importance are enthusiasm, curiosity, and commitment, coupled with a strong desire to engage closely with fascinating works of art by a wide range of artists, both famous and less well known.