Paige Hirschey Intellectual Profile

  1. I’m a sophomore art history major here at CU and I’m thinking about getting a minor in French. I’ve wanted to pursue art history since I was about 11 and saw an amazing exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Ever since that day I’ve been set on becoming a curator, hoping to inspire people the same way that that exhibit inspired me. Other than that I really enjoy learning about history, literature, and a healthy dose of science here and there.
  2. One exhibit that I saw a couple of years ago that has really stuck with me was the Marina Abramovic retrospective at MoMA. I had never heard of Ms. Abramovic and once I heard the premise of the centerpiece of the show (the artist seated at a table in the atrium with an open invitation for patrons to sit across from her) I was very skeptical. In general I usually find performance art difficult to take seriously but this show completely changed my mind. In addition to the aforementioned work happening in the atrium, upstairs other artists recreated some of her and her partner Ulay’s other work. In one room, a nude woman was mounted on a bicycle seat 20 feet off the ground and would stare down at the audience and in another, a nude man and woman were standing facing eachother and the museum patrons were meant to walk between them. It sounds somewhat ridiculous, I’m sure, but to actually experience it in person was truly one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen.
  3. Right now I’m in the middle of Pride and Prejudice, I think it’s the only Jane Austen book I haven’t read before. Pretty sure everyone knows the basic plot from watching one of the countless movie remakes but I still think that reading the actual text is worthwhile. I really love her writing style, there’s something so comforting and personal about it. I’m always shocked by how timeless her characters and themes are.
  4. Aside from art I’m very interested in fashion (though technically this could fall under art…). In particular I love looking at street style blogs like The Sartorialist which features people from all over the world. It’s so interesting to see the trends in Japan and Paris and even moreso to see the people who are completely doing their own thing. Another great resource is which has archives of collections of tons of designers. They also have videos of past shows which, when you get into the really extravagant, dramatic couture shows like Givenchy and Valentino, have a very theatrical quality. You can also watch videos of the designers themselves talking about the collection and the incredible detail, not to mention months of labor, that go into every piece.
  5. Like I just said I’m constantly checking up on street style blogs like The Sartorialist, Garance Dore, and Angy’s Tea Room. Tomboy Style is also really great, it references women with great style throughout history. I love that it combines classic icons like Coco Chanel with women like Christiane Amanpour and cutouts from vintage LIFE magazines. Her aesthetic is so simple but elegant at the same time. Another blog I frequent is David Leibovitz, he’s an American pastry chef who uses his blog to chronicle his new life in Paris. I love reading his stories not only about Parisian food but the trial-and-error of living in a new country. Another great part about his blog in particular is that since he’s pretty well-known in the culinary world he has behind the scenes access to all of these amazing artisanal chocolate shops and bakeries.
  6. I’m not sure that this was an exactly a cultural “event” per se but I recently saw the movie, The Artist and it really made an impression on me. I went in having no idea what to expect (just that it had gotten great reviews) so after the first five or so minutes with zero dialogue I was a little concerned, I’m not a fan of silent movies. I often find myself barely able to stay engaged in regular movies so I was expecting the next two hours to be absolute torture, but I was pleasantly surprised. The plot was compelling and the lack of dialogue gave it a really quaint, charming quality. I love that in this day and age, when  ridiculous special effects seem to rule the box office something so simple (and, to be fair, remarkably well done) can be so well received.

7-8. I always love reading about new discoveries in the universe (it’s, I’m embarrassed to  say, the only section of the NY Times online that I ever actually read) and a few weeks ago I saw this article about the concept of “goldilocks” planets, that is, a planet which is neither to hot nor too cold for water and life to exist. The majority of the article was spent explaining the rarity of finding a planet that could sustain life of single-celled organisms let alone anything near the biological diversity of Earth. I am awed to think about all of the little blips in the history of our planet that made it possible not only for life to flourish but to create a species advanced enough to have some awareness of it’s place in the universe.

9. Having grown up here in Boulder I’ve been to all of the above. There was an amazing exhibit at the Denver Art Museum in 2003 that actually inspired me to pursue art history. It was called “Art Beyond Isms” and it featured a number of the most renowned  works from the Phillips Collection. Duncan Phillips, the founder of the collection hoped to allow people to see his collection beyond the confines of artistic periods (“isms”) while still examining how individual artists have influenced one another. The exhibit was great not just because of the quality of the work but the way that it was displayed, not necessarily in chronological order but in a way that facilitated connections among the artists.

One Response

  1. The Exhibition “Art Beyond Isms” seems so fascinating. I love the ability of Art Historians to go back in time and allow us understanding of the period and the art that we are so far away from in the time sense. I have always found it peculiar that even though we have “isms” that contain canons, that we don’t look more at their differences than their similarities even though they lie in the same “ism.”

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