Coonin Leads Seminar on Connecting Renaissance Art to Diverse Audiences

image of Professor Coonin standing outside on the Rhodes College campus

Professor Victor Coonin, who specializes in the field of Renaissance art, is leading a seminar for the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) titled “Power and Absence: Connecting Renaissance Art to Diverse Audiences.”

The seminar (June 18-23) has been designed for CIC faculty members in art history, the arts, and other disciplines, such as history and English, who incorporate art history in their courses. Participants, selected by competitive nomination, investigate how to foster classroom and community dialogues that increase empathy and foster greater understanding of the historical power of art to affect different audiences in different ways.

The seminar also includes special access to collections of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, National Civil Rights Museum, and Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

In addition to teaching a variety of art history courses at Rhodes, Coonin teaches interdisciplinary courses including The Art and Science of Early Italian Painting, The Bible and Art, and Chemistry and Art. He is the author of two books, Donatello and the Dawn of Renaissance Art (2019) and From Marble to Flesh: The Biography of Michaelangelo’s David (2014). His articles cover a wide variety of subjects, including issues of gender and sexuality prompted by a drawing by Michelangelo; the important role of women in the iconography of the Portinari Altarpiece, one of the most important Northern Renaissance paintings; and focused research on various aspects of Michelangelo, Donatello, Desiderio da Settignano, Vittorio Ghiberti, and other Renaissance artists.

Founded in 1956, the Council of Independent Colleges is an association of nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils, and higher education affiliates that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. Rhodes is a member institution.

CIC’s seminars on Teaching European Art in Context are made possible with the generous support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.