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Appreciating Art: Learning to Look (New Session Dec. 7)

NEW SEMINAR DATE to accommodate more students: Thursday, Dec 7, 12:30 - 2 pm


The English artist William Hogarth once described painting as a “wanton kind of chase,” a puzzle to be solved. But how does one do that? Many of us feel that we don’t have the language or the training to describe what we see and feel when we look at a painting on a museum or gallery visit. By returning to the artist’s studio and exploring the decisions that he or she made regarding composition, space, form, tone and color we can begin to understand why a painting has the effect on us that it does. We will learn the questions that lead to an even deeper engagement with a work of art: For whom was it painted?  When and where?  The afternoon will provide a series of suggestions to help the student learn to think about and discuss art with confidence.


This seminar is aimed as an introduction to those students who are new to art. This object-based class will focus solely on West European paintings produced between the 16th and 20th centuries and some American paintings from the early 20th century.

Instructor Biography

Maria Mack D’Amario is an art historian specializing in European decorative arts and the American Gilded Age. A graduate of Denison University, Maria holds a post-graduate diploma in the history of art from the University of Oxford. She also holds an M.A. in the Venetian Renaissance from the University of Warwick in Coventry, United Kingdom. Maria has worked with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Royal Collection Trust, and Lots Road Galleries. She has served as trustee and steering committee member of the U.K. Friends of the National Museum of Women in The Arts in Washington, D.C.  Currently, Maria works for the Preservation Society of Newport County.

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