Study abroad often serves as a time of inspiration and reflection for those experiencing a culture apart from their own, and many Goucher students have returned from a winter, summer or semester abroad with fresh ideas in their head, ready to share their energy and ideas with their peers. This year has been no different, and it was such inspiration that planted the initial seed for the birth and development of an exciting new addition to our campus—the Art History Club.
As Allison Ransom ’14, Art History major and president of this brand-new Goucher group, explains, “When I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy, I realized the importance of going to actually see the works we study in art history classes in their contexts, rather than just studying them from a book. With this, I decided to start the club, not only for art history majors, but for anyone interested in art and museums. Seeing art in museums is important for understanding it.”
Upon her return to the States and with this new concept in mind, Ransom contacted her friend and fellow art history major Sara Torgerson ’14, who expressed her agreement with and enthusiasm at the idea of creating a Goucher-based club whose purpose, according to Ransom, would be “to expose ourselves to as much art as possible.”
In the nurturing hands of these two co-founders and its staff advisor April Oettinger of the Art History and Book Studies departments, the club has established itself as a cultural presence on campus, with over sixty people receiving information and updates on its bimonthly meetings. Once a month, the group ventures off campus to a museum or gallery in the area, where they are able to view and discuss works of local, national and international artists in their intended contexts. Both Ransom and Torgerson consider these visits to be especially important and exciting for members interested in “expanding outside of the classroom and into the resources that the Baltimore area has to offer.”
Two weeks ago, the club visited the Baltimore Museum of Art on the weekend to see the exhibition on the late Baltimore painter Morris Louis. Before that, they had planned and received funding for a trip to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., but were unfortunately unable to go due to the federal government shutdown.
Unlike the first, the second meeting of the month takes place on campus, and is generally dedicated to the discussion of artistically-significant topics that interest or appeal to the group rather than the viewing of art. However, the on-campus meetings are very much determined by the members and may include further discussion of works viewed at the museum, the screening of art-related films, and more. The creation of this artistic and analytical space on our campus represents the introduction of a new cultural force whose influence has unified students across all different academic interests and pursuits. Ransom stresses that the club “welcomes anyone who isn’t an art or art history major,” and encourages all those interested in the subject to join. For more information on the Art History Club, contact the president, Allison Ransom, at firstname.lastname@example.org.