MSUM Professor Brings Art Course to General Public at Plains Art Museum

MSUM professor Anna Arnar was intrigued by the idea of teaching her 19th and 20th century Modern art course inside Plains Art Museum. For her students, this hybrid environment would embed their art class directly into the context of an art museum.

Beginning next Tuesday, Professor Arnar, in partnership with Plains Art Museum, is taking the idea a step further. She is offering an abridged version of her course, taught in seven sessions, to the general public. Squares, Nudes and Revolution: Narratives of Modern Art, Part 1 is described by Arnar as an appetizer to give people a taste of the course, and a greater understanding of modern art.

“If you can understand the roots of modern art you are equipped to have a better experience not only at Plains Art Museum, but other museums around the world,” says Plains Art Museum director Andy Maus.

Photo courtesy of MSUM Professor Anna Arnar.

The seminar uncovers narratives of modern art, explaining the ways people thought about art and used it to respond to the unique challenges of their time period. Students will read primary texts aloud including proclamations, manifestos, and newspaper clippings, then discuss and analyze each narrative.

For community members worried about the difficulty of undertaking a college-level modern art course, Arnar assures that “abstract art is difficult even for art students.” The discussion-based course allows participants to bring their own experiences and knowledge to the conversation.

Photo courtesy of MSUM Professor Anna Arnar.

Part One begins Tuesday, August 22 and continues August 31, September 5, 12, 21, 26 and 28. The cost is $72 for non-members and $60 for museum members. All sessions are from 3:30 to 5:10 p.m. at Plains Art Museum. For those interested in taking the class for credit with additional time and course work (undergraduate, graduate, or auditor level) contact Dr. Anna Arnar at arnar@mnstate.edu.

The second set of classes will take place October 5, 12, 24, 31, November 7 and 9. To reserve a place for Part Two, call Plains Art Museum at 701-551-6100.

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