Photograph Marjorie Och

Welcome to Venice 3, an online exhibit developed by students in my ARTH 470Z:  Venice, a seminar offered during the fall semester of 2011 at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

This site offers visitors the opportunity to see our undergraduates’ research on this remarkable city.  An actual exhibit on the city of Venice is clearly impossible — one could never transport the Grand Canal or Palazzo Ducale into a museum space.  But technology allows us to bring together different aspects of the city, both its visual culture and history, in a format where we can discuss the magnificent façade of San Marco as well as the cutting edge contemporary art of the Venice Biennale.

Throughout the course of this semester we examined Venetian art and culture from the foundation of the city in the 5th and 6th centuries through today.  The city, itself, held our attention for the first several meetings as we explored the geography and environment, politics, business, and urban issues that are particular to Venice and the Lagoon.  We then turned to the artists whose works define the city for art historians, including  the Bellini family, Giorgione, Titian, and Veronese.  We also considered twentieth-century and contemporary artists, both Italian and non-Italian, who were so influenced by this city, including J.M.W. Turner, J. A. McN. Whistler, J. S. Sargent, F. L. Wright, Carlo Scarpa, and artists exhibiting in this year’s Biennale.

This is the third exhibit on Venice, hence “Venice 3.”  Our student curators and their exhibits this year are:

Stephanie Wunce, St. Mark and the Basilica: A Look at the Myth of Venice through the Medium of Mosaic at San Marco

Lauren Kyser, The Riches of the East: Political and Economic Factors Affecting the Exterior Ornamental Architecture of San Marco

Carolyn Higgins, The Power of Color: Titian and Colorito

Luisa Dispenzirie, Titian’s Portrayals of Women: Portrait Genre, Gender Roles, and Ideal Beauty

Elizabeth Paredes, Veronica Franco: The Life of a Courtesan in Renaissance Venice and Her Influence on the Analysis of Female Portraiture

Anne Grasselli, Canaletto’s Perspectives of Venice

Adriana Christesen, Carlo Scarpa in Glass

Melanie Johnson, A Study of the Venice Film Festival as a Product of Mussolini’s Italy

Melinda Allen, The 54th Venice Biennale: Art as a Constructor of Cultural Identity

We hope you enjoy the exhibit.  Should you wish to visit “Venice 2,” it can be found at this site.

The seminar is indebted to Tim Owens and Jim Groom of the Department of Instructional Technology at the University of Mary Washington not only for their instruction in technology, but for their generosity, enthusiasm, and commitment to our project.  We thank you.  And as always, I would like to thank the Department of Art and Art History and the University of Mary Washington for their support of faculty teaching initiatives.

Marjorie Och, Professor of Art History, UMW

Left to right:  Marjorie Och, Lauren Kyser, Stephanie Wunce, Carolyn Higgins, Elizabeth Parredes,Luisa Dispenzirie, Adriana Christesen, Anne Grasselli, Melanie Johnson, Melinda Allen.

Photograph Kelly Pickering


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