First-hand in Grinnell and hands-on in Florence
Tad Boehmer, a third-year art history major from Urbana, Ill., produced a catalogue of the 25 16th and 17th century antiquarian books, ranging from rhymed instructions for curing disease in sheep to a courtly romance in which valiant knights rescue “distressed ladies.” They were a donation from Peter Ridgway Jordan to the library.
Says Tad, “I can vouch for the fact that no matter how much Shakespeare one reads in modern editions, it is nothing like holding a First Folio from 1623 in your hands and reading the famous passages as they were originally collected and printed.“At Grinnell, I have taken several courses that involved first-hand interaction with books and works of art that we had studied previously. Not only did this bring these objects alive for us (and so often such things can unfortunately remain 'dead' to students who experience them only through textbooks), but it forced us to consider them from different points-of-view, and to ask new questions because of this.
“I believe that these inquiry-based and “hands-on” methods are more challenging ways to learn, but because of that they are ultimately more fulfilling for students and more stimulating educationally. The material is thoroughly learned from a variety of angles, as opposed to remaining two-dimensional when inquiry, curiosity, and first-hand experience are left out of the equation.”
In fall of 2010, Tad will be studying art in Florence, Italy. He hopes to add Classics to his major this year.
We look forward to seeing how Tad blends his love for books into his professional pursuits.
~Special thanks to Ken Fuson