Faculty Members Study British Landscape Paintings and American Adaptations

Participants in CIC’s 2017 art history seminar spent a week at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, immersing themselves in the study of “Landscape and Identity in Britain and the United States (1770–1914).” The 25 faculty members who teach art history at CIC member institutions participated in the July 24–28 seminar, led by Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor of Art at Yale University and chair of the department (see participants list).

Following a reception and welcoming dinner, the seminar explored the rising prestige of landscape painting in British art over the period, as industrialization spread across the countryside and the colonial empire expanded, increasing the wealth of business-class art patrons. British artist Thomas Cole and his American student Frederic Edwin Church were two of the major figures of what later came to be known as the Hudson River School of landscape painting, which, building on English origins, represented the American landscape as it slowly transitioned from raw wilderness into a world shaped by encroaching development.

two photos of Tim Barringer guiding participants through the art collection
The “Landscape and Identity in Britain and the United States” seminar, led by Tim Barringer of Yale University, took place at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut.

Throughout the week, participants viewed major works of art, beginning with the unrivalled collections of British landscape paintings, drawings, and prints at the Yale Center for British Art, and continuing on to the collections of American landscape paintings in the Yale University Art Gallery. Participants also viewed the landscape itself—as one day was devoted to visiting the Catskill Mountain House Site, a hotel that opened in 1824 with famous panoramic views of the Hudson Valley; Frederic Church’s home and studio, known as the Olana State Historic House; and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, where Cole resided from 1833 until his death in 1848.

Seminar participant Heather Logsdon, assistant professor of art and design at Kentucky Wesleyan College, remarked, “This experience (for a small private college professor without easy access to large museums) is crucial to my pedagogy and teaching abilities. Partnering with museums to provide seminars like this to faculty members from smaller institutions will give the professors experiences, information, observations, and perspectives that they wouldn’t normally acquire. Ultimately, the students benefit the most because faculty participants walk away with better curricula from the seminar and more engaging ideas.”

The seminar was generously supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. View more information on the seminar series.


Alverno College (WI)
Jodi Eastberg
Associate Professor of History

Aurora University (IL)
Libby Escobedo
Associate Professor of Art History

Averett University (VA)
Marc Muneal
Associate Professor of English

Bridgewater College (VA)
Nan Covert
Associate Professor of Art

Bryn Athyn College (PA)
Martha Gyllenhaal
Associate Professor of Art and Art History

Drake University (IA)
Elisabeth West
Associate Professor of English

Earlham College (IN)
Scott Hess
Professor of English

Flagler College (FL)
Chris Balaschak
Associate Professor of Art

Hillsdale College (MI)
Barbara Bushey
Professor of Art

Houghton College (NY)
John Rhett
Professor of Art

Indiana Wesleyan University
Anne Greeley
Assistant Professor of Art History

Kansas City Art Institute (MO)
Sherman Anderson
Associate Professor of Liberal Arts

Kentucky Wesleyan College
Heather Logsdon
Assistant Professor of Art and Design
Luther College (IA)
David Faldet
Professor of English

Mars Hill University (NC)
Lucia Carter
Associate Professor of History

Marymount Manhattan College (NY)
Adrienne Baxter Bell
Professor of Art History

Randolph College (VA)
Lesley Shipley
Assistant Professor of Art History

Ripon College (WI)
Brian Bockelman
Associate Professor of History

St. Thomas University (FL)
Michael Mulvey
Assistant Professor of History

Sweet Briar College (VA)
Kimberly Jones
Associate Professor of Art History

The College of Idaho
Garth Claassen
Professor of Art

The College of Wooster (OH)
Christina Welsch
Assistant Professor of History

Thiel College (PA)
Sheila Nowinski
Assistant Professor of History

University of Evansville (IN)
Heidi Strobel
Associate Professor of Art History

Wesleyan College (GA)
Elizabeth Bailey
Professor of Art