Study Abroad

Studio Art and Art History faculty urge students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities available through Washington and Lee University and the hundreds of institutions offering quality programs around the world. Studying a digitized image of a Mayan temple, a Buddhist shrine, or a French Gothic Cathedral provides only one kind of educational experience: seeing these monuments with your own eyes offers a very different, and much more valuable one.

Popular destinations for recent students have included Rome, Florence, Paris, London, Oxford, Beijing, and Tokyo. While abroad, students interested in the study of art history often take a course in intensive language instruction, at least one course in art history, and at least one course in that country’s history, literature, religious traditions, or philosophy.

The department currently offers one study abroad opportunity in alternate years – Art 223 (“Drawing Italy”), a studio course that emphasizes plein aire drawing and water color painting in Rome, Tuscany, and the Veneto during Washington and Lee’s six-week spring term. 

Art and art history students may also participate in a special study abroad program directed by Professor Erich Uffelman of the Chemistry Department, which focuses on conservation techniques and the restoration of Dutch Master paintings in European and American collections. After studying basic principles of chemistry at W&L, students embark on a short tour of museums in the Netherlands, where they meet, speak with, and learn from expert art restorers of international renown.

The Center for International Education (CIE) at Washington and Lee serves as the university’s information hub for all students interested in study abroad. Various programs have been vetted and approved to ensure quality and to confirm that curricula meet Washington and Lee’s standards. Students should begin their inquiries there, but should also speak with Art and Art History faculty for advice and guidance.

Spring Term 2018 in Paris:

ARTS 223 -Paris: History, Image, Myth: Students may not take this course and HIST 210. Participants in this course spend four weeks in Paris asking the following questions: how can photography capture Parisian life and Parisian spaces to document a sense of place? How can we use photography to observe the city's changing landscape as well as understand its rich past? Indeed, how has photography--the development of which is closely tied to Paris's history--altered the fabric of the city? Topics include the social and political transformations of the 19th century, the shifting geography of artistic Paris, and contemporary trends such as immigration and gentrification. Numerous museum and gallery visits will also play an important role in our time in Paris. This course is taught in close collaboration with HIST 210, creating an interdisciplinary context for students to explore the relationship of photography to the modern history and contemporary issues of Paris. by Professor Bowden.

Spring Term 2019 in Italy:

ARTS 223 - Drawing Italy Living and drawing on stie in Corciano, Florence, Venice, Naples, and Rome, with day trips to Assisi, Perugia, Siena, Pompeii, and other important art sites in Italy. Students explore Italy's vast artistic heritage within its cultural context, then apply this experience to their own art while working in the distinctive Mediterranean light. Media include pen and ink, pastel, and acrylic.