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News from the Hilltop

Nov. 5, 2009

Birmingham-Southern president to chair advisory committee on new CIC series of seminars on teaching pre-modern European art

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.— Birmingham-Southern College President Dr. David Pollick will chair the advisory committee to oversee a new series of seminars on “Teaching Pre-modern European Art in Context” recently announced by The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and made possible through the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The first seminar will take place at the Birmingham Museum of Art in July 2010. It will be co-led by Jeannine O'Grody, chief curator and curator of European art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, and Tim Smith, assistant professor of art history at BSC.

Each summer for the next three years, a specially focused week-long seminar for full-time faculty members who regularly teach art history at smaller colleges and universities will be hosted by a museum with a significant Kress Collection of pre-1830 European art. The goal of the seminars is to strengthen the teaching of art history—a discipline that is fundamental to a liberal arts curriculum—to undergraduates at smaller colleges and universities.

The High Museum in Atlanta, Ga., will host the summer 2011 seminar. The third and final seminar in summer 2012 will take place at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

“Strengthening the teaching of art history at colleges and universities—many of which have limited faculty resources in art history—is critical,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “The seminars will have significant value for the faculty members who participate, the colleagues with whom they will share their new knowledge, and the students who enroll in their courses. We are most grateful to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.”

The Council of Independent Colleges is the national service organization for small and mid-sized independent colleges and universities. It includes more than 600 independent liberal arts colleges and universities and more than 60 higher education affiliates and organizations that work together to strengthen college and university leadership, sustain high-quality education, and enhance private higher education's contributions to society. For more information, visit the CIC website at

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