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Free Content Victor D’Amico’s art teaching philosophy from 1968 to 1979

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Victor D’Amico was a pioneer and milestone in art education and served as Director of the Education Department at the Museum of Modern Art for more than 30 years. This article is based on an analysis of primary and secondary documents by and related to Victor D’Amico to construct an account of his art teaching philosophy from 1968 to 1979. I discuss his ideology about the need for the staff of an art institute or art department to possess a profound and homogeneous philosophy based on specific curriculum recommendations that, he emphasized, should draw from contemporary trends in art and art education. I highlight his vision of an art department’s relation to other disciplines in the University, to the community and to the reality of living in the current world (of his time), particularly focusing on an art institution’s flexible or rigid practices to new thoughts and methods. I further discuss his opinions about the rapport between faculty and students and the presence of mutual respect and sensitivity. This article also involves D’Amico’s perspectives on the adequacy of infrastructure and physical facilities being an asset or a handicap to making changes and developing a strong art programme. He strongly believed in conducting comprehensive research in the field, seeking solutions to old problems and improving the status quo in an art education setting. Finally, I discuss how some of D’Amico’s philosophies and ideologies, which evolved almost 35 years ago, are still relevant and being practised in contemporary art pedagogy.

Keywords: Victor D’Amico; art department; art education; art practices; development; philosophy; principals

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Columbia University & Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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  • The scope of the journal is broad and is aimed at facilitating a wide spectrum of perspectives. It is essentially a medium for engaging the rich and multifaceted process of learning and teaching art that takes place in the classroom, studio, and beyond. However, the seriousness of journal is not out weighed by making critical topics accessible and readable to a large constituency of readers. It is a forum to be reflective on the process of creating and teaching art, embrace teaching art in a variety of contexts, engage art appreciation experiences, share scholarship in teaching artistry, and celebrate the rich traditions of art making and teaching.
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