All schools should be Art schools – a talk by Will Gompertz

Maria Saenko (Lower Sixth) shares her impressions of the talk given by BBC Arts Editor, Will Gompertz:

On Wednesday 8th March, all pupils were lucky to be invited to a lecture prepared by Will Gompertz, a well-known journalist, art historian and appreciator, whose famous written works include: What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. Mr Gompertz has also written extensively for The Guardian and The Times newspapers.

Maria Saenko with some of her work in the Art Department

Maria Saenko with some of her work in the Art Department

The talk was called “All Schools Should Be Art Schools”, and one of its aims was to provide examples of influential artistic figures and demonstrate their importance for various aspects of human development. The presentation allowed us to briefly go through characters from the history of the world’s art, in compartment of their common and distinctive approaches to art. Gompertz provided us with a very good example of how ideas and messages are “recycled” throughout the history of art: Manet’s Olympia (1863), for example, repeats Titian’s Venus de Urbino (1538) in many aspects, however Manet’s new creative invention of modern-life subject-matter pushed art in a completely new direction. Will Gompertz explained that such artistic innovations can be made in other spheres, such as IT, an example of which would be Steve Jobs, who applied his creative talents towards development of the personal technologies business. 

Another aim of the talk was to discuss positive aspects of creative education. Will Gompertz argued that art is one of the most effective forces for social and personal development. We discussed how an artistic way of thinking was studied by scientists of physiological and social areas, and how successful people of our days apply creative ways of thinking in one way or another. All these, he believes, are reasons why All Schools Should Be Art Schools.

Will Gompertz’s talk was informative, however atmospheric and vivid, thanks to the journalist’s active and even informal delivery of the speech. It was an enjoyable experience for those of us who are planning to develop their art interest into a future carrier or a life-lasting hobby. 

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