Seminar Participants Explore Renaissance and Baroque Music and Painting

Gary Radke and seminar participants discuss Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna and Child
Gary Radke and seminar participants discuss Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna and Child (c. 1510), one of the paintings in the High Museum’s Kress Collection.

Participants in CIC’s 2016 Teaching Pre-Modern European Art in Context seminar explored how viewers and listeners experienced art and music in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, while considering the parallel stylistic developments in European painting and music and the roles they played in religious and secular life. Twenty-one faculty members who teach art history and music at CIC member institutions immersed themselves in the “Sight and Sound in Renaissance and Baroque Europe (c.1300-1700)” during the seminar that was held June 20–24 at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.
The seminar was led by Gary Radke, professor emeritus of art history at Syracuse University, and Amanda Eubanks Winkler, associate professor of music history and cultures at Syracuse University. Radke and Winkler explored specific pieces of art and music, the rivalry of the arts, and acoustics and performances in Venetian churches. Throughout the week participants developed learning activities and shared educational strategies for visual analysis, conversation, slow looking, and musical interpretation to implement in their courses.

Four musicians perform for seminar participants
Using period instruments, musicians from Atlanta’s Ritornello Baroque Ensemble perform for seminar participants in the High Museum’s Robinson Atrium.

In many ways, participants saw and heard art and music of the periods “firsthand.” During a dinner at Atlanta’s Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, participants enjoyed a performance of The Merchant of Venice. They also visited the nearby First Presbyterian Church, where director of worship, the arts, and organist Jens Korndörfer performed period pieces on a recreated Danish 17th century-style organ in the chapel as well as for contrast on the much larger organ in the church’s sanctuary. Seminar participants had private access to museum galleries and studied closely several Renaissance and Baroque paintings, including Il Baciccio’s Sacrifice of Isaac (c. 1700) from the museum’s Kress Collection. While in the galleries, the sounds of tuning instruments drifted up from below as the Ritornello Baroque Ensemble prepared for an hour-long concert for the participants. The concert of 16th and 17th century music was performed entirely on period instruments, including harpsichord, cornetto, recorders, crumhorns, and viola da gamba. In addition, seminar participants heard a chorus and members of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra perform Guillaume Dufay’s Nuper Rosarum Flores, a motet he composed for the 1426 consecration of the Florence cathedral. Excursions to the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Atlanta Conservation Center rounded out the week.
Seminar participant Xiaolong Wu, associate professor of art history at Hanover College (IN), remarked, “It was an intensely enjoyable, rigorous, and rewarding learning experience. One of the main strengths of the seminar was the eye-opening and inspiring guidance of the two experts—one musicologist and one art historian of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Along with the museum visits and various performances, I also enjoyed interacting with my seminar colleagues throughout the week…. My conversations with these brilliant scholars and teachers were scintillating, and the seminar provided a good opportunity for in-depth interactions between colleagues in related fields. We have started talking about organizing conference panels together, and I am sure that many of us will remain in touch to support each other.”
The seminar was generously supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. CIC will announce the 2017 Teaching Pre-Modern European Art in Context seminar this fall. For more information, visit

Group photo of seminar participants standing on steps
Seminar leaders Amanda Winkler and Gary Radke (front row left) gather with participants on the steps of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

2016 “Sight and Sound in Renaissance and Baroque Europe” Participants

Bethany College (WV)
Elizabeth Hull
Professor of Humanities

Briar Cliff University (IA)
Jeffrey Baldus
Associate Professor of Art

Caldwell University (NJ)
Jennifer Noonan
Associate Faculty of Art

College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (MN)
Carol Brash
Associate Professor of Art

Dominican College (NY)
Christopher Libertini
Assistant Professor of History

Emory & Henry College (VA)
Charles Goolsby
Professor of Art

Guilford College (NC)
Timothy Kircher
Professor of History

Hanover College (IN)
Xiaolong Wu
Associate Professor of Art History

Lewis & Clark College (OR)
Eleonora Beck
Professor of Music

Manhattanville College (NY)
Lisa Rafanelli
Professor of Art History

Maryville College (TN)
Carl Gombert
Professor of Art

Mount St. Mary’s University (MD)
Sean Lewis
Assistant Professor of English

Principia College (IL)
Margaret D’Evelyn
Professor of Art and Art History

Reinhardt University (GA)
Anne Good
Associate Professor of History

Ripon College (WI)
Sarah Kraaz
Professor of Music

St. Ambrose University (IA)
Terri Switzer
Professor of Art History

St. Edward’s University (TX)
Brian Sheerin
Assistant Professor of Literature, Writing, and Rhetoric

University of Dubuque (IA)
Sean Benson
Professor of Language and Literature

University of Northwestern-St. Paul (MN)
Rick Love
Associate Professor of Art and Design

University of Redlands (CA)
Katherine Baber
Assistant Professor of Music

Walsh University (OH)
Katey Brown
Associate Professor of Art History and Museum Studies