Larry L. R. Ligo Professor of Art History
- Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- B.D. Princeton Seminary
- B.A. Muskingum University
I love to teach! I find very few things in life more rewarding and exciting than seeing the eyes of students light up when they finally grasp a difficult topic we've been discussing.
I'm only half joking when I affirm that no student should be able to get a passport until he or she has had an introductory course in the history of art.
I believe it's important for students to study original works of art instead of book illustrations or scanned images projected in a dark room. As a result, whenever possible, my Modern Painting and Sculpture class spends a couple of days in New York City in face-to-face encounters with the actual works of art we've been studying all semester. My 19th Century Painting class does the same with the art in Washington, D. C., and my Modern Architecture class spends a long weekend in Chicago actually walking through the buildings we've been studying all semester from mere two-dimensional reproductions.
I'll never forget the day I was in York Cathedral in England and overheard two American tourists exclaim, "Boy, can you imagine how many bales of hay they could store in this place?" After my course in The Gothic Cathedral, Davidson students will be able to walk into York Cathedral, or Chartres or Notre Dame in Paris, and instantly recognize the various building campaigns in that cathedral's history, know when these campaigns were begun and completed, and best of all, be able to justify, at length, the reasons for their conclusions-and that ain't hay.
I love the theater! My excitement about the theater is not limited to attending performances. I'm particularly enthusiastic about working with a talented group of folk on stage as a member of the cast. After all, good lecturing done properly is good theater.
I love to garden! By gardening I don't mean growing vegetables. I mean designing and building fountains, creeks, ponds, pergolas, fences, trellises and stone walls. My wife and I are now about 20 years into our 100 year garden plan and for the past 10 years our garden has served as a laboratory for my History of Garden Design Class.