Now in its third year, the Global Student Certificate presents its capsule program-within-a-program, A Tour of the World in 6 Artworks.

This series of 6 masterclasses by art historians will introduce students to Culture with a capital C. In the rest of the GSC program, we examine world cultures. In this section, we will connect world cultures with the fine arts, to see if we can find an alternate way to become globally-accomplished students.

What is a masterclass?

A masterclass is a lesson given by an expert in a subject, usually to students of that subject. It is in depth and aimed at students who have achieved some degree of prior knowledge in the subject. Typically used in music or studio arts, the instructor will work with one student at a time and provide detailed feedback on their performance, while the rest of the students observe and take notes.

How is this a masterclass?

Instead of putting one student in the hot seat, we will closely examine one artwork during each masterclass. The lecturer will discuss the social context of the artwork and its creator, placing the artwork in a historical and geographical context, and provide commentary from an artistic and social point of view. Throughout the course of the series, a broad range of artworks will be presented so that students who follow the entire series will learn about examples of artworks across several eras and cultures.

Are the masterclasses just for GSC students?

GSC students are the target audience, but we believe that all Baruch students would be interested in increasing their “culture quotient.” The lectures will be available to the entire Baruch community for free. Registration by Zoom will be required.

What does a “close examination” of an artwork mean?

A close examination of an artwork is like a close reading of a text. The lecturer will guide students through the visual aspects of the artwork, highlighting key details and identifying why they are significant. The instructor will also examine the cultural context in which the artwork was created,  providing historical details for the artwork as well as the social change that resulted from the artwork or that the artwork reflected. Finally, the instructor will help students understand its relevance for contemporary society.

Why does the GSC need a series of masterclasses on art?

The GSC has long held that art and business are interrelated, and that one of the ways that to understand global cultures is through the fine arts of a culture. For years GSC students have attended Chinese and Western operas, seen Brazilian drum performances, or participated in Japanese tea ceremonies, each of which has been an eye-opening experience. For Baruch students who wish to operate at the highest echelons of business and industry, a working knowledge of art history and culture will be indispensable.

Our goals for the series are that:

  • Students will be able to recognize cultural, artistic or historical references and discuss them with depth, accuracy and meaning
  • Students will gain an appreciation for visual and performing arts, a necessary task in a primarily business-oriented school
  • Students will extend their knowledge of fine arts beyond the “classic European masters”
  • Students will draw connections between historical works of art and the contemporary world
  • Students will gain an appreciation for how artistic expression impacts society
  • Students will develop a mental timeline of world history, religion and philosophy through art