Tapping the Treasure of a Museum Next Door

Right next door to the New College campus is one of Florida’s greatest treasures: the renowned John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, with its paintings and sculptures by Bernini, Rubens, van Dyck, Velázquez, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, El Greco, Gainsborough and a host of others. The museum is a special treasure for New College students. In addition to internships, our students have conducted physics research using advanced diagnostic equipment to identify pigments in paintings and ceramics. Students also have access to the Ringling Museum's Art Library.

One of the most exciting collaborations is Sharing the Scholarship, an annual student art lecture series between New College of Florida and the Ringling Museum Library. Student papers are selected from courses taught by New College Professor of Art History Cris Hassold, who says the series “gives the students the opportunity to be heard and to reach a wider audience.” The lectures give students the chance to explore their own ideas about works of art and share these ideas with the wider community.

The lectures, which take place in the Ringling Museum’s Johnson-Blalock Education Center, are free and open to the public during March and April of each year and cover a range of artists and time periods. Past topics have included:

• Revolutionary Women: Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Margaret Cameron, Margaret and Frances MacDonald
• Finding My Way: Louise Nevelson, Frida Kahlo, Remedios Vara
• New Visions of Women: Audrey Flack, Kiki Smith
• Idiosyncratic Visions: Charles Burchfield, Philip Guston
• Articulating Light: Edward Hopper, James Turrell

Rachel Weisman, who wrote her paper on the work of photographer Imogen Cunningham, said that presenting her research outside of the classroom was a fresh change of pace. “We’re used to knowing all of our peers and doing lectures in front of them, so it’s nice to talk to people in the community,” adding, “It’s also great practice for grad school.”

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