Art Studio 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 2010 in Paris:
ARTS 223 - Photography and the City: Several major cities, including Paris and New York, play an important role in the medium of photography. Students are introduced to the historical context of photography and photographers of a particular city, as well as contemporary artists and exhibitions. Field trips to museums, galleries, and relevant sites play an integral role in the course. The geometry of the city provides a sharp visual contrast to the bucolic landscape of rural Virginia. Each student undertakes a substantial photographic project based upon a particular visual element or conceptual idea of the city, shooting for their project every day of the first three weeks while in the one of these cities, with regular group critiques. The last week of the course is spent printing the project and curating an exhibition of the work. Taught by Professor Bowden.