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Portrait of Jennifer Awes Freeman

Teaching Medieval Art

“When you're teaching the Middle Ages you have to account for religion in order to understand what’s happening; the majority of the artwork that's produced in the Middle Ages is religious in nature.” Jennifer Awes-Freeman, visiting assistant professor of medieval studies, shares about her approach to teaching and experience at the U.
Portrait of Emily Rohan

1000 Years in 1000 Miles

Alumna Emily Rohan began her year-long advanced-level internship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum this past September. She reflects on her undergraduate experience at the University and her internship at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which set her on the path to becoming a museum curator.
Art History photograph with Marilyn Chiat and Mary Lodu seated on couch

On Purpose: Portrait of Art History

Contemporary artist Xavier Tavera practices what French philosopher Roland Barthes called “the impossible science of the unique being.” He invites his subjects to stand or sit, talks to them, is curious about who they are and what they do. He coaxes a glance, elicits a gesture, waits for them to settle into position. Describing the strange and estranging experience of being photographed, Barthes writes, “I decide to ‘let drift’ over my lips and in my eyes a faint smile which I mean to be ‘indefinable,’ in which I might suggest, along with the qualities of my nature, my amused consciousness of the whole photographic ritual.” Tavera works with, rather than against, his sitters’ self-awareness and invites their decisions, all the better to stage their own invention of themselves before the camera.