Each summer, Parsons faculty organize two-week graduate study courses in settings around the world — Paris, London, Berlin, Stockholm, and Helsinki, to name some recent examples — that are rich in history and opportunities for focused study of decorative arts, design, and curatorial work. These courses draw on local cultural resources and offer unparalleled access to the objects, interiors, curators, and approaches to scholarship and presentation that make these cultural capitals unique. Recent classes have engaged with topics including Scandinavian modernism and national identity, French period interiors, and German material culture from the late 18th century to the early 20th century.
The summer 2020 program will be “Paris: The Capital of the Arts.” Taught by Ulrich Leben, the program will include visits to historic sites that are closely related to the history of the decorative arts and architecture of France. The class will visit museums and historic palaces, allowing students to see interiors, room decorations, and furniture from the 17th to the early 20th century in their original settings. Sites include:
- Château de Versailles (private tours)
- Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
- Decorative Arts Department, Louvre Museum
- Decorative Arts Museum
- Musée Nissim de Camondo
- Musée Jacquemart André
- La Conciergerie, the prison in which Marie-Antoinette was held
- La Sainte Chapelle
- Musée Carnavalet (to reopen in 2020)
- Musée Cognac Jay
- Sèvres Manufacture Museum
- Palais Beauharnais, the German ambassador's residence
- Château de Malmaison
- Château de Compiègne
- Le Musée du Petit Palais
- Musée d’Orsay, where the class will view decorative arts
- Maison de Verre, dating from the 1920s
This course is open to university graduate degree candidates and undergraduate seniors by permission of the School of Art and Design History and Theory.
Participants earn three graduate credits for successful completion of the course.
Students are expected to attend all classes, site visits, and excursions. Classes and excursions begin promptly at the designated times; latecomers cannot be accommodated. Grades are based on class participation and a final research paper.
The course is moderately physically challenging, as it involves hours of walking and standing. Because of space limitations, friends and family are not permitted to join the class for lectures, walks, or site visits.