Despite its current popularity, Impressionism didn’t always have such wide appeal. Now-celebrated artists, such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas, were often criticized in the 1870s and 1880s for their blurry, abstract compositions. Through slide lectures, readings and discussions, this seminar will introduce the techniques and subjects of Impressionism and examine the myths and meanings of the art movement within the cultural and political context of late nineteenth-century Paris.
Elizabeth Carlson is associate professor of art history at Lawrence University and joined the faculty in 2006 after earning a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She teaches courses covering Modern, Contemporary and American art. Ms. Carlson’s scholarly publications look at the intersection between rising consumerism, exhibition spaces, and gender at the turn of the century. Her most recent publication, “The Girl Behind the Counter: Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones and the Modern Shop Girl,” examines how class difference is portrayed in Sparhawk-Jones’ paintings of shopgirls. She is currently working on an essay about the American sculptor, Ethel Myers. When not in the library, her office, or the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her nine-year-old daughter, Mae.