In Italian culture, life and art are inseparable. Countless examples illustrate this: the still-life quality of window displays in Florence, the artisanal care taken by a Sienese stoneworker replacing part of a medieval byway, the sculpted harmony of the Tuscan countryside. We cannot experience these essential qualities of Italian life in a classroom. Only with time and careful observation can we begin to absorb the richness and rhythm of life and art in Italy.
This summer program focuses on the art and architecture of Tuscany and central Italy. Students live and work in the beautiful Tuscan town of Siena, one of Europe’s most important cities in the middle ages and Renaissance. Contemporary Siena is home to a major university and is rich in cultural traditions, including Siena’s famous Palio horserace. From Siena, students can travel by train or bus to Florence, Rome, and other scenic sites in Tuscany.
Students enroll in an art history course and a studio art course taught by faculty from the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin. These courses focus on art and experience. How do we as contemporary viewers experience art of the past? How can daily observations, whether through drawing, print, painting, photography or sculpture, help inform and enrich this experience? Group discussions and visits to other cities, such as Florence and Rome, serve to frame student experiences within a broader view of Italy. The integrated approach of the program balances carefully designed trips with individual and small-group projects in order to explore the forces that shaped Italian cities and landscapes.
Students explore myriad ways of seeing the significance of Tuscany through careful collaborations by two University of Texas at Austin faculty members who focus on the art and art history of the region of Tuscany.
Dr. Ann Johns
Distinguished Senior Lecturer in Art History
Assistant Professor of Practice in Studio Art
Art and Experience in Central Italy
ARH 331J (fulfills VAPA requirement)
Dr. Ann Johns
Studio Practice in Central Italy
ART 319T / 352J / 379T