Art Department

Art was first taught in 1928, when a bequest from William H. Williamson (class of 1886) established a Professorship in Fine Arts. From 1928 to 1931, Ernest Cullum taught an art appreciation course. This course continued until 1953, and it was taught by C.R. Harding, Joseph Hutchinson, and Philip Moose.

Art class

Art class

Printmaking Class

Printmaking Class

In 1953, Douglas Houchens became the first full-time professor of Art at Davidson College.

He taught three courses in art each year, including for the first time a studio art course.

The Art Department gained a new instructor and three more courses in 1966 after they moved into the Cunningham Fine Arts Building in the 1960s.

Art became a major at Davidson in 1971, and by then there were three full-time professors (Herb Jackson, Douglas Houchens, and Larry Ligo) and 17 courses offered.

The department gained their own building in 1993 when the Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center was completed. The VAC includes two public galleries and equipment for all types of studio courses.

Every spring Art History majors travel abroad to areas of their historic focus to work on their senior capstone projects.

Student with art

Student with art

In 2010, the department listed 28 art history courses and 14 studio art courses in the catalog.

There are currently ten professors in the art department: Professors Herb Jackson, Larry Ligo, Cort Savage (chair), Nina Serebrennikov, and Shaw Smith; Assistant Professor Rebekah Tolley; Visiting Assistant Professor Rogers; and affiliated Professors Michael Toumazou (Classics), Peter Krentz (Classics), and Job Thomas (History).

The art major today concentrates on studio courses or history courses.

As of 2023, the Art Department offers 51 courses (eleven of which are offered in the Fall of 2023), taught by 8 Art professors and students can major or minor in Art.

Works Cited

Beaty, Mary D. A History of Davidson College. Briarpatch Press, 1988.

“Art.” Davidson College Catalog. 1950-2023.

“Art Department.” Davidsoniana File. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC.

Photograph of art class. Photograph collection, number 13-0042a. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC.

Photograph of Douglas Houchens. Photograph collection, number 19-0385a. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC.

Photograph of John Krotchhe. Photograph collection, number 13-0188b. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC.

Photograph of printmaking.

Photograph collection, number 13-0193b. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC.

“RM – Art Department.” Davidson College Library Website.

Author: Sarah Adams, ’10
Date: July 2010
Cite as: Adams, Sarah, “Art Department” Davidson
Encyclopedia, July 2010.

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