Seniors Select

In 2010-11 the Department of Art and Art History inaugurated the “Seniors Select” project, giving the members of the class of 2011 the opportunity to choose and purchase a work of art for Agnes Scott’s permanent collection.

faculty discussing at art auction

Each year seniors research and consider in advance potential acquisitions.  As they present their preferences to the group, they make arguments about the strengths of individual works, their significance as teaching and learning tools for departmental faculty and students, and their relevance to the Questions We Ask.  This year they were excited to acquire a work by Bethany Collins at the 2013 Art Paper Auction.

The faculty see this project as an extraordinary occasion for experiential learning.  It allows the seniors to summon and enact their acquired knowledge and skills in multiple ways, with a new relevance and direct impact.  The Department of Art and Art History is thrilled to have acquired this work through their efforts and in their honor.

How do we decide that a work of art adds to value to the Agnes Scott College permanent collection?

Questions We Ask 

  • Departmental Mission: Does the work fit into the Department of Art and Art History’s art teaching goals? Does it “speak strongly to the process of creativity, rather than the product”?

How does this piece:

  • Achieve formal unity through specific elements and principles of design?
  • Reflect characteristics of its historical period and/or stylistic movement?
  • Relate to other pieces in the artist’s career?
  • Demonstrate overall unity by integrating the composition and content?
  • Liberal Arts Connection: Does the work touch on liberal arts concepts such as history, science, religion, etc.? Does it speak to the intellectual and social challenges of our time?
  • Intellectual Rigor: Does it challenge the way we think about art?
  • Complexity: Does the work speak on multiple levels? For example, is it limited in subject matter, materials and meaning, or is it open-ended, generative and expansive?
  • Quality and flexibility: Does the artwork have an aesthetic longevity? Is it trendy or timeless? Will it continue to live and evolve as we do?
  • Materials: Will the medium broaden the range of pedagogical techniques and technologies represented in the collection?
  • Maintenance: Considering the material and size can we house and maintain the work?

group shot of faculty and seniors

We appreciate the ongoing support of Art Papers, as well as the James T. and Ella Rather Kirk Fund, designated for use to support academic programs in history, music, literature, art, and philosophy, and provides partial funding for this purchase.