Seminar on the Literature of Art: Looking at Art through the Words of Great Writers

Ephraim Rubenstein

Ephraim Rubenstein

Workshop Description

10 Thursdays, 4:45–6:30pm
September 14, 28; October 12, 26; November 9, 16, 30; December 14, 21; January 4
Fee: $320
Limited to 25 students
Please request reading list upon registration

Is there such a thing as an artistic personality? To what extent and in what ways can art be taught? Is there a relationship between art-making and mental illness? And why do so many artists allude to suffering? In his “Literature of Art” seminar, League instructor Ephraim Rubenstein addresses these and other questions by guiding students through prominent writings about the visual arts. Rubenstein is both a stunning realist painter and a provocative, award-winning teacher.

The seminar, which meets on twelve Thursdays in the late afternoon, brings together students and artists from different disciplines, approaches, and walks of life to read and talk about essential questions in the visual arts. The class will examine selected landmarks of theory, criticism, connoisseurship and the writings of artists themselves. Wherever possible, it is important to read the recommended edition. Selections change from edition to edition, as do translations, and having a consistent pagination makes discussions much easier. Students should read the Course Pack prior to the first meeting on September 14th.

Class Schedule and Book List

Sept. 14: Course Pack
Sept. 28:
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to A Young Poet, M.D. Herter, Norton, translation, W W Norton, ISBN 0-393-00158
Oct. 12: Vincent Van Gogh, Letters, Mark Roskill, Editor, Athenaeum, ISBN 0-689-70167-5
Oct. 26: C.R. Leslie, Memoirs of the Life of John Constable, Phaidon
Nov. 9: E. H. Gombrich, Art and Illusion I, Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, 1956, Bollingen Series, Princeton
Nov. 16: E. H. Gombrich, Art and Illusion II, Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, 1956, Bollingen Series, Princeton
Nov. 30: Robert Henri, The Art Spirit, Icon Editions or J B Lippincott Co. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 39-4273
Dec. 14: Peter Cary, Theft, Knopf, 2006, ISBN 0-307-26371-1
Dec. 21: Student Presentations
Jan. 4: Student Presentations

About the Instructor

EPHRAIM RUBENSTEIN, B.A., M.F.A., Columbia University, was Assoc. Professor of Art at the University of Richmond. He has taught at RISD, MICA and Columbia University, and is currently on the faculty of the Arts Students League. Mr. Rubenstein has had eleven one-person exhibitions in New York. His work is represented in numerous collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Exxon Corp. and Deloitte & Touche.

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