Art and Biology: What Do You See in the Andes?

Famous painting is ‘reading’ assignment for first-year students

Herman Eure, Professor of Biology engages students to look at art with a biological lens.

More than 1,200 first-year students and their advisers visited Reynolda House Museum of American Art on Sunday as part of this year’s summer “reading” project. Rather than reading an assigned book before they arrived on campus, new students instead studied a painting, Frederic Church’s 1855 masterpiece, The Andes of Ecuador.

Students are asked to engage questions of science, politics and religion associated with the painting. Professors of art, biology, psychology and economics shared their views of the painting through the lens of their specific disciplines.

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By Cheryl Walker (’88)
Office of Communications and External Relations
Published August 23, 2009