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Yale's Art Department Commits Suicide

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Posted By: Zarin, 2/18/2020 9:01:33 AM

Changes to an academic curriculum normally do not arouse public controversy, but we do not live in normal times. Yale University’s decision to abolish its venerable “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present” has drawn considerable publicity and outrage, surely to the surprise of its instructors. For Tim Barringer, chairman of the art-history department, it was a straightforward act of modernizing. “No one survey course taught in the space of a semester could ever be comprehensive,” he told the Yale Daily News, nor could any single course “be taken as the definitive survey of our discipline.” Instead of that course’s heroic journey from Michelangelo to Jackson Pollock ...

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Fascinating read on Yale's history as a pillar of teaching art as an aesthetic science in the US. It notes the tragedy of universities abandoning Western culture. The survey course will be replaced by 4 soporific semesters on decoration.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Melanie 2/18/2020 9:56:33 AM (No. 322145)
Art History was one of my favorite courses in college (Duke 1967-71) I still remember so much of what I was introduced to...in fact, not so much other classes. And I have used the knowledge gained in that class quite a bit for the last 50 years. It seems a shame to eliminate this type of course. It may be the only one a student takes during their time at college, and it lasts a lifetime.
15 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: marbles 2/18/2020 10:11:55 AM (No. 322163)
Seems teaching ( and enlightening ) people about centuries dead white artists is not P.C.
13 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: SkyTexas 2/18/2020 10:21:06 AM (No. 322177)
Is anybody really surprised? If all cultures are equal then so is all art. This approach has already been adopted by numerous English Departments with the removal of any requirement to read Shakespeare. I'm sure every other academic 'discipline' will follow suit if they haven't already. So Yale joins that ever growing list of Institutions who are in reality granting attendance certificates instead of actual degrees. And some snowflake gets stuck with a $180,000 student loan at the end of the process.
11 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: jar 2/18/2020 10:31:16 AM (No. 322187)
It's one thing to sabotage art history at university level, but what are they going to do about all the world's great museums, whose contents reflect what is/was taught as art history? Get rid of the paintings and sculptures because they are the works of dead white men (white men bad)? History of Art was one of the stalwarts of my Vassar College education. We're all hoping the Yale disease doesn't get caught by any additional institutions of higher learning.
10 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: bigfatslob 2/18/2020 11:14:02 AM (No. 322252)
To be fair 'white people's' art is the confederate flag of history. Replace it with African art and studies something someone can use once they enter the work force. Participation trophies for the heavily in debt snowflakes when they become dishwashers shoulder to shoulder with other in debt snowflakes. Great move Yale's Art Department.
4 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Jesuslover54 2/18/2020 11:15:02 AM (No. 322253)
So after you tell them you went to Yale, what do you tell them you actually learned? The student's one great opportunity to immerse herself in the river of shared culture and she doesn't want to get her UGGs wet.
4 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: George R. 2/18/2020 11:15:08 AM (No. 322254)
Who the EF cares?
0 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: Lawsy0 2/18/2020 11:15:54 AM (No. 322255)
It wasn't supposed to be a comprehensive, all encompassing class, you egg headed twits. Reminds me of the ninnies at my college (1960+): if you were going to major in music and music education, you were not allowed to take Music Appreciation. Stupid 60 years ago and stupid now. Maybe the real reason is that there were not enough butts and front parts to suit the depravity they otherwise indoctrinate. While you're at it, why not drop all the American History components as well?
3 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: gymnast 2/18/2020 11:18:31 AM (No. 322260)
There was a time when Universities were considered to be "The Cathedrals of The Culture". With a few exceptions they are rapidly becoming the "pushcart bazaars of the useless fad of the day".
10 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: DVC 2/18/2020 11:50:30 AM (No. 322304)
Truthful history is absolutely NOT permitted.
5 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: USAdroit Editor 2/18/2020 12:38:45 PM (No. 322355)
We Normals are making too much of this. Goodness knows, the survival of Western Civilization doesn’t depend on the favors of Yale’s provost. And, besides, even before Western Civ was downgraded by that ivory tower, who among us would hired a Yalie for any job more prudentially challenging than making double skim lattés?
1 person likes this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: Zarin 2/19/2020 3:35:59 AM (No. 323063)
This was so interesting - the famous one-eyed American Painter, John Trumbull provided the base for Yale's art department in 1831 by selling his paintings to the college. And he designed the museum where they were to be housed. The art school did not start until 1869 - but it was unique in that the students had ready access to fine art in the Trumbull museum. In the 1930's Yale brought over 2 French art lecturers who taught in French! They laid the basis for teaching art & art history as an aesthetic pursuit. This was in contrast to the German based instruction at NYU where art was taught as an intellectual 'science' - from a anthropological viewpoint.
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Changes to an academic curriculum normally do not arouse public controversy, but we do not live in normal times. Yale University’s decision to abolish its venerable “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present” has drawn considerable publicity and outrage, surely to the surprise of its instructors. For Tim Barringer, chairman of the art-history department, it was a straightforward act of modernizing. “No one survey course taught in the space of a semester could ever be comprehensive,” he told the Yale Daily News, nor could any single course “be taken as the definitive survey of our discipline.” Instead of that course’s heroic journey from Michelangelo to Jackson Pollock ...
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