SVC Professor Winterhalter Participates in Special Seminar on Teachng European Art

June 27, 2013

Southern Vermont College in Bennington is pleased to announce that Associate Professor Greg Winterhalter of The Hunter Division of Humanities was 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 was held in conjunction with an exhibition of rare traveling masterpieces of Dutch art featuring works by Vermeer, Hals, and Rembrandt. The exhibition, “Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis,” will be on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, beginning in June 2013.

CIC selected 21 faculty members to participate in the seminar, “Dutch Art, Patrons, and Markets,” which took place at the High Museum during the last week in June. The seminar aimed to strengthen the teaching of art history to undergraduates at smaller colleges and universities. Catherine Scallen, Chair of the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where she has taught since 1995, led the program.

Dutch art of the 17th century has long been popular for the visual pleasures of its naturalistic scenes, but it also represents a landmark in the development of the modern art world. During the 17th century, the practices of making and buying art boomed as never before. With the creation of the first large-scale open art market, prosperous Dutch merchants, artisans, and civil servants bought paintings and prints in unprecedented numbers. Foreign visitors were astonished that even modest members of Dutch society, such as farmers and bakers, owned multiple works of art. Dutch 17th-century art saw the rise of new subjects as well, where landscapes, still lifes, and scenes of daily life replaced formerly dominant religious images and scenes from classical mythology. Portraiture, too, flourished in this prosperous atmosphere.

“The seminar was especially valuable for faculty members at institutions without large campus museums or proximity to major art museums. Art historians in all fields and studio artists, as well as faculty members who specialize in history, European studies, and related fields found this seminar of interest,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “We believe that Professor Winterhalter played a strong role in the seminar.”

“Professor Winterhalter teaches courses at the College that address the concepts the seminar will likely consider,” according to SVC’s Provost Al DeCiccio. “As a result, he will be able to offer new readings, provocative images, and interesting materials that may be shared with SVC students.”  Provost DeCiccio also said that “it is also of critical importance to his growth as a professor that Professor Winterhalter participated in a seminar of this sort.”

For more information, visit the CIC Web site at www.cic.edu/ArtHistory.

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The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 645 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and more than 90 higher education organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars, and other programs that help institutions to improve the quality of education, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility. CIC also provides support to state fundraising associations that organize programs and generate contributions for private colleges and universities. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

The High Museum of Art was founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association and today is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States, with a membership base of over 50,000 that ranks it among the top ten art museums in the nation. Located in Atlanta’s midtown arts and business district, the High has more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, with holdings and curatorial positions in the following art disciplines: American, European, decorative arts and design, folk, modern and contemporary, and African. The European collection includes the Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts.