Our Faculty Read What? series returns for December. This month we feature Ms. Anne Dugan, an art historian and adjunct instructor in our Art Department where she teaches modern art history. Ms. Dugan is a former director of the Duluth Art Institute, and the coordinator for the annual Free Range Film Festival near Wrenshall. (Yes, the one with screenings in the barn!)
Leap by Terry Tempest Williams
Williams goes on a 7-year spiritual spin out after seeing Hieronymus Bosch’s painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. She treats the painting as an unraveling tapestry – pulling on threads of science, psychology, and cosmic truth. My mother-in-law gave me this book when I got done with graduate school and it was so refreshing to read such a personal book that is still totally universal, on a single work of art.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
This one isn’t Art History related but the chapter on language can apply to most any area of study. Kimmerer asks really good questions and is a great example of how to be a person in an academic setting.
Writings by Agnes Martin
“My paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind.” How can you not love that?! Whenever I feel crazed or overwhelmed with art history I read a little bit of Martin’s writing and it’s like taking a deep breath.
Jimmy Corrigan by F. C. Ware
I love comic books. I love a lot of really low art comic books. But since this is a reading list for an academic library I’m including one of my favorite ‘graphic novels’. What Chris Ware does with mixing visual story telling with the written word is genius. The gut punch you feel when reading this work is totally worth it given Ware’s transcendent understanding of design.
The Accidental Masterpiece by Michael Kimmelman
As an art historian I believe that art is “good for us”. Kimmelman is the spoon full of sugar that can convince even the most curmudgeonly among us.
What are you reading now?
I’m in the middle of Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. My mom was a scientist and I remember playing in her lab on snow days or sick days. Jarhen’s descriptions of biological phenomena intermixed with her larger autobiography is really well done and I feel like a little girl again, fooling around with beakers and latex gloves…
Desert Island Pick - if you were marrooned on a desert isle and only had one book to read, what would it be? My New Yorker subscription – I’ll need some dark short fiction to feel better about my predicament…
Read more faculty reading lists.