Visual Encounters RISD Museum

Visual Encounters Through the RISD Museum

At RISD, the exploration of both studio arts and liberal arts makes for a powerful experience. This Theory + History of Art + Design course offers an original and innovative approach to the study of art history, and is entirely based on the rich resources of the RISD Museum collections. The overall theme of this course is discovery. Through a series of group and individual exercises we consider how, why and through which means (sensory, cognitive, emotional) we encounter, select, filter, engage with and understand works of art in a museum setting. We investigate global art and design, from the ancient world to present, through exploration of—and unique access to—featured and special collections. In the classroom and on site, we consider works in their original contexts while reflecting on their purposes and functions. We also discuss how the process of making affects meaning. Recurrent themes throughout the course include: the human figure, ritual and religion, architecture and space, ornament, design and material culture. Interactive lectures and group discussions, along with reading and written assignments, provide the opportunity to develop essential skills for visual and cultural analysis. For RISD degree students, satisfactory completion of this course with a ‘C’ or better can count as 3 transfer credits toward the THAD elective requirements.

Course #1306
Pascale Rihouet

Schedule B
June 27–Aug 2, 2019
Thursdays + Fridays
9 am–12:30 pm (no class 7/4)

Tuition $2,975
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,380

3 Credits


Pascale Rihouet

Pascale Rihouet: Originally from Paris, Pascale holds a joint PhD from Brown University and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Italian Renaissance art. She has been an art history educator for more than 25 years, leading gallery talks in Parisian museums and monuments and self-designed cultural trips. She has taught at Wheaton College and the University of Rhode Island. Since 2008, she teaches four courses a year at RISD including glass history, 18th-century France, Renaissance and Baroque European art, and the "Power of Images." She has widely published on art and ritual, material culture, and group identity. Her first book, "Art Moves. Processions and Material Culture in Renaissance Perugia," is forthcoming with Brepols (2017). Her second book on early modern Rome is in progress.