Portrait of the Artist
- Gwendolyn Shaw
- College of Arts & Sciences, History of Art Department
First-Year Seminar Grant
Beginning with the ancient Greeks, people have created specific biographical structures as a way to understand and explain the artistic process. Artists have often been labeled as natural prodigies possessing creative powers on par with the divine. This seminar will examine the role that biography plays in the assessment of visual art and the creative process over time and across European and American culture. During the semester we will read germinal texts and discuss recent biographically focused art history, as well as the historical and critical theory that has helped to shape the current cultural construction of the artist. Throughout the seminar we will discuss the underlying debates around these various approaches to biography.