Welcome, Members of Parliament

Welcome, Members of Parliament. This blog is designed to act as a student forum for anyone enrolled in my classes at a Dallas-area proprietary college, former students, and/or others who find our conversations interesting. The Parliament will be moderated to ensure civility and relevance. The directions we take, the paths we follow, and the concerns we address are all up to you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spring Quarter Miscellany

Due to major lack of interest on my students' part, as well as lack of time on my own, I've neglected the Parliament for the entire quarter. Sudden needs for bonus points have emerged, however, and so to accommodate those who've been suddenly inspired to enhance their final grades, I'm offering up a couple of newsy bits that might be useful to some of you.

An old friend of my art and design history and humanities courses, Maggie Macnab (Macnab Design) recently presented a TEDx talk in Albuquerque, called "The Nature of Symbols." This should be interesting to anyone involved in design, advertising, branding, and any number of artistic pursuits.

I've frequently recommended Macnab's book, Decoding Design, to instructors and students alike, and her newest effort, Design By Nature, will be published later this year.

Here's one that goes to show you that taking art history classes might not be a complete waste of time. The Morgan Library & Museum in New York has launched an exhibit called Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, and the New York Times review of the show includes a nifty slide show with images from the featured manuscripts. Karen Rosenberg, who wrote the review notes that it "will teach you to scrutinize centuries-old manuscripts as you would a style magazine." For fashion history students, this approach seems made in heaven; not only can you find out what people wore when, but you might also be struck with inspiration for new and unusual designs based on centuries-old models. Aspiring rock singers could out-gaga Lady Gaga with information like this!

For further inspiration, try perusing the manuscript illumination images on Wikimedia Commons, where I found the image of Queen Isabelle of France at left. It's a 15th century painting by a guy known as "the Boethius Master" for the Froissart Chronicles.

This will undoubtedly be my last (as well as first) post for the quarter, so I hope everyone has a splendid summer vacation. I think we all deserve a bit of time off after having slogged through 22 weeks with only a seven-day break in the middle, and a couple of holidays that may have done more harm than good. Be careful out there!