Viewing original works of art from the Marshall Brooks Library’s Special Collections, while making strong connections from text and class discussion, was the focus recently in a philosophy class taught by Christa Kreutz.
In Kreutz’s morning Philosophy of Aesthetics course, students were face-to-face with Frank Stella’s 1960s lithographs during a segment of the course focusing on Minimalism as a response to Abstract Expressionism. As Kreutz explains, “Viewing the Stella pieces at such close range is a remarkable opportunity for students to interact with the art while reading from philosophers who were face-to-face with the same artworks that were cuttingedge at the time and necessarily changed the way philosophers thought about the nature of art.”
Students agreed about the value of this close encounter. “Seeing the Frank Stella pieces rather than just viewing them on a screen or reproduced in a textbook made a huge difference for me,” said student Vanessa Waller. “I enjoyed seeing the way the light brought out the bright colors as well as the subtle neutral colors of the prints.”