Desire, Conflict & Exchange Featured Student: Libby Fischer

Written by Arts Management Intern Diana Kate Karsanow

Libby Fischer  is one of the students from the Art History Capstone course from this past fall which was responsible for the curation of the current exhibit: Desire, Conflict & Exchange Art of 19th Century East Asia & the West. Fischer is a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio majoring in  Art & Architecture History with minors in Italian and Studio Art. She is involved in the Phi Mu Fraternity on campus.

During the semester long capstone course, all students worked collaboratively to select an overall theme, sub-themes, and a wide variety of pieces to be featured. Later on, each student chose an individual piece to highlight and explore more in-depth, researching its history and background and then compiling that information in a catalogue entry. 

Fischer chose Still Life With Peach Blossoms by Charles Caryl Coleman.This piece, which is on loan courtesy of the Art Bridges Program, shows the Western adoption of East Asian styles and visuals during the Aestheticism movement. Fischer is particularly interested in Aestheticism and was excited to research Coleman who is a lesser-known Aestheticist. 

Charles Caryl Coleman (American, 1840-1928)
Still Life with Peach Blossoms, 1877
Oil on canvas
Loan courtesy of Art Bridges

The Capstone course greatly expanded Fischer’s understanding of Asian Art History and the relationship between the Western and Eastern worlds at this time. She enjoyed learning about the exchange of aesthetics, artistic practices, and luxury goods between these two regions. Fischer’s favorite parts of the course were the group discussions and the class trip to Boston. Reflecting on the class’s lively group discussions Fischer states “it was refreshing to have such cohesive group work that created a wonderful outcome of the exhibition.” 

One of the reasons the group discussions were so fascinating was that the students came from all different majors and backgrounds. Fischer believes that art encompassess all acadmeic interests and therefore recommends the Capstone course to any student who wants to learn more about culture and its role in their discipline.

Learn more about Libby’s piece along with the rest of the exhibition, Desire, Conflict & Exchange, on the exhibition website

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