Associate Professor of Art History
Degrees earned: Ph.D.
in Art History, University of Maryland, 2006; M.A. in Art History, University
of Arizona, 2000; B.A in Art History, University of Arizona, 1998.
experience: Bryan joined the faculty of Clarke University in 2007. Prior to
that, he had taught at Northwest Missouri State University (2006-2007), the
University of Maryland (2001-2006), George Washington University (2005),
Trinity College (2003-2004), and the University of Arizona (1999-2001). In
2013, Bryan was a Fulbright Scholar to Poland and taught at the University of
Łódź. Beyond that, he is the author of Portraiture and Politics in New York
City, 1790-1825: Gilbert Stuart, John Vanderlyn, John Trumbull, and John Wesley
Jarvis, and several scholarly articles. I have made scholarly presentations all
over the United States and Europe, and am currently contributing editor of
American Art at Smart History, an online art history textbook.
Art History is the greatest of all of the Liberal Arts, for to explore art and
its creation, one must learn about a variety of academic disciplines. Indeed,
art history is not just about pretty pictures, it’s about history, religion,
economics, philosophy, science and math. To become learned in art history is to
become learned about humankind.
Clarke’s impact on
Bryan: Although I am the product of large state universities (that I loved!
Bear Down! Fear the Turtle!), it is at Clarke where I feel I can make my
biggest impact on students and where I feel I can be the kind of teacher I am
most called to be. I am a member of a wonderful and accepting community. I am
not sequestered to a single solitary hallway on campus. Instead, I am an
associate of an entire campus. A walk across campus results in dozens of hellos
and salutations, from students who have both enrolled in my courses and those
who I have never had the honor to teach. This sense of community fills my
professorial life with a wonderful sense of worth.
Bryan’s impact on
students: I have many aspirations as a college professor, but one of those
is to model, and I hope this happens in a variety of independent ways. I hope
my enthusiasm for my own academic discipline motivates my students to be
excited about whatever it is they study. I hope my active pursuit of a
philosophy degree instills in my students a love of being a life-long learner.
I hope that my commitment to travel helps to reinforce a commitment to being a
citizen of the world. And finally, I hope my love of ironing models a belief in
high-quality and interesting neckwear.
Movie – I first
saw Raiders of the Lost Ark when I was 7 or 8, and this caused the immediate
desire to be an archaeologist even though I had no idea what an archaeologist
did. In time, I just wanted to become an Indiana Jones: an amazing college
professor who gets the treasure, defeats the bad guys, and knows that X never
(ever!) marks the spot.
Book – The
classical Greek philosopher Heraclitus once wrote, “You never step in the same
river twice.” This is exactly how I feel about my favorite book, To Kill a
Mockingbird. I read this book every two years. Not because the book has
changed. It is, after all, perfectly static. Same words. Same story. Same plot.
Same theme. Instead, it is I who have changed. Harper Lee’s novel reminds of me
of all that is good in the world, and fills me—after each reading—with a
renewed feeling of hope.
Quote – The sassy
Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote, “You see things and say ‘Why?’ But
I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’” I love the hopefulness of
this sentiment. So too did Robert F. Kennedy, for it was later made famous in a
speech he made when running for president in 1968.
Class in college
– Like most college professors, I sincerely loved my time as a university
student, and to pick a single class as a favorite would be impossible. However,
I particularly loved the World Literature class I took during my sophomore
year, and it very much reaffirmed my love of reading.
Place traveled – There are many great things about being an art
history professor, but one of them involves the ways in which travel makes me
better at my job. But of all those places, Florence remains my favorite
place—it’s where I proposed to my wife—and Krakow is wonderful. Beyond those,
Belgium is filled with great food, ales, and people.
Hobby – Making
beer is one of the most interesting hobbies I’ve found. It’s the perfect storm
of my nerd: it’s part chemistry, part history and part food science. Making
beer is fun, and then one is left with the end result, and the chance to drink
really good beer.