Douglas Fordham

In the fall of 2018 I’ll be teaching a 60 student course on the Art of Revolutionary Europe (ARTH 2352), which examines how European artists responded to the French Revolution and its aftermath.  The timeframe for the course is 1776 to 1830, and the art of the Napoleonic period is central to our narrative, determining how Napoleon both extended and brought to a close key components of the French Revolution.

This summer the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is hosting a visiting exhibition, “Napoleon: Power and Splendor” from June 9 to September 3, 2018. The timing of the exhibition is challenging, given that it closes one week after the start of classes. But this also presents an opportunity to launch the first week of class with a field trip to the VMFA where we can get to know one another and see high-quality works from the period that we will be studying for the rest of the semester. With Mead Endowment funds I propose to hire a 30-person bus to take students on an optional field trip to the exhibition on the Friday of the first week of class. Based on prior experience, 30 students seems like a safe estimate of the number of students who would join us, given a course enrollment of 60. We will spend our time discussing works in the exhibition, and a few works in the permanent collection, and then share lunch together at the museum café (which is excellent, with plenty of space both inside and out to eat together).

I am excited about the possibility of launching the course in this manner, and I believe it will provide a memorable activity that will enhance the lectures, discussion, and reading that we’ll be doing for the rest of the term.

Budget for 30 students:

UTS charter for 30 students, Aug. 31, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.                    $1,150

Student tickets for exhibition ($10/student)                                     $300

Lunch at the VMFA café ($15/student)                                              $450

Total cost                                                                                            $1,900