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Maria Traub is One of 23 in the Country Selected for Seminar on Teaching European Art

Dr. Maria Traub
Dr. Maria Traub

Maria Traub, an associate professor of French and Italian, is one of 23 faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in a special week-long seminar on Teaching European Art in Context. The seminar on “The Art of Storytelling in French Painting and Sculpture 1600–1850” will be hosted by the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon, July 20–24, 2015. The seminar is designed for full-time faculty members who regularly teach art history at smaller colleges and universities and aims to strengthen the teaching of art history to undergraduates at these institutions.


“Strengthening the teaching of art history at colleges and universities—many of which have limited faculty resources in art history—is critical,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “The seminar will have significant value for the faculty members who participate, the colleagues with whom they will share their new knowledge, and the students who enroll in their courses.”


Using the strong collection of French painting and sculpture in Portland, the seminar will examine not only the more obvious manifestations of French storytelling in historical and religious imagery, but also the more nuanced introduction of message and story into portraiture and the so-called “lesser” genres.


The seminar also will explore objects included in the special exhibition, Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. This show features works ranging from antiquities and Old Master prints to major paintings, sculptures, and drawings by the greatest artists of France, including Nicholas Poussin, Charles Le Brun, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Jean-Antoine Houdon, Jacques-Louis David, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Throughout the seminar, participating faculty members will have the opportunity to hone and share educational strategies for visual analysis, conversation, slow looking, and digital interpretation.


"Dr. Traub's commitment to French and Francophone studies makes her an ideal participant," said Dr. Alfred Mueller, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Neumann. "I am confident that she will bring back with her insights into French storytelling that will invigorate student learning in our French and art history courses and will open new vistas in Dr. Traub's ongoing research."


The seminar is supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Two eminent scholars will lead the program: Dawson Carr, Janet and Richard Geary Curator of European Art at the Portland Art Museum, and Mary Tavener Holmes, an independent scholar specializing in French art of the 17th and 18th centuries.

For more information, visit the CIC website at


CIC Participants in 2015 Seminar on Teaching European Art in Context:


Sherman Reed Anderson, Kansas City Art Institute (MO)
Christiane Andersson, Bucknell University (PA)
Karen Bowdoin, George Fox University (OR)
Allison Connolly, Centre College (KY)
Matt Drissell, Dordt College (IA)
Kate Elliott, Luther College (IA)
Eduardo Febles, Simmons College (MA)
Preston Lawing, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Susan Lee, Concordia College (MN)
Michael Mackenzie, DePauw University (IN)
Rachel Merrill-Schwaller, Grand View University (IA)
Christina Penn-Goetsch, Cornell College (IA)
Mary Robinson, Lourdes University (OH)
Peter Schmunk, Wofford College (SC)
Stephen Shapiro, Bennington College (VT)
Tim Smith, Lindsey Wilson College (KY)
Laura Watts Sommer, Daemen College (NY)
Abigail Susik, Willamette University (OR)
Jessica Thurlow, Aurora University (IL)
Maria Traub, Neumann University (PA)
Kayla Walker Edin, Milligan College (TN)
Candace Weddle, Anderson University (SC)
Leanne Zalewski, Randolph College (VA) 


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