Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Office Staff: 240-895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Chairs in the Context of Museums and Private Homes Aesthetics vs. Function
Abstract: As a general rule of thumb an art historian considers a chair an art object. This principle limits the existential questions that can be asked surrounding any given item. Thus, review of a chair in an art museum will not yield a comprehensive or uninfluenced understanding. Limited perspective is chosen for the viewer. A part of material culture, created and utilized by people, antique chairs cannot be rightfully addressed in a museum restricted to aesthetics. This approach, although necessary to achieve further understanding in furniture design, is done at the expense of other information. An inclusive study of a chair’s cultural relationship to objects and people, while appreciating design styles, is possible in a private home. Intentional research, however, inevitably changes the purpose of a chair meant as a seat, not a focus of study. The public museum of a historic home compromises living space to make available past culture and history to a wider audience. In this "museum" the chair is displayed as one object amongst many, which then create a larger meaning for the room. The intrinsic value of a chair as a utilitarian item is sacrificed to provide the most suitable public space for education and research.