Students, staff & faculty can login to access personalized content.

Parent & Guardian Access is located here.

Forgot your password?

Italy: Traditional Art-Making Practices from the Renaissance to Today

JUNE 21 - JULY 14, 2014

(Registration Deadline: March 14, 2014)

Italy Graphic

"Rome was not built in a day." One thing all art students understand is that it takes time to create great things. Ancient Romans also referred to their home as "The Eternal City," forever strong regardless of what other empires rise and fall. Carve out your own piece of history and become part of a story that stretches back to the legendary founding of Italy's capital. Then explore the artistic heritage of Tuscany-birthplace of the Renaissance-and end in Carrara, famous for its mountains of marble. Your life and your practice will be eternally changed.

This course is designed to introduce students to traditional artistic practices, such as fresco painting and stone carving, while they learn about the development and/or the evolution of the artist's studio from the Renaissance to the present. Using canonical Italian artworks as case studies, such as Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling frescoes, students will learn about how art was made, usually by busy workshops, and thus have a firmer grasp of art's cultural context. Students will also visit contemporary artists' studios and workshops. Among topics this course will explore are the changing role of the artist in society, the evolution of the studio space itself, how art theory and science influenced art production, art education, art materials and labor, and finally, how artists marketed their works.

Students will document their travels in Italy through photography, video, painting, and/or drawing. Students will pay particular attention to the art of stone carving, and how sculptors organized their studios and/or labor forces, and what role technology played in this lamentably diminishing field of sculptural practice. At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to carve marble under the direction of a master carver.


Jenny Carson holds a PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and an MA in Art History from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Her primary area of study is the art and visual culture of the United States during the nineteenth century. In 2012, she was the recipient of a Senior Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., to conduct research on 19th-century sculptor William Henry Rinehart, and is currently organizing an exhibition of his work. Carson has lectured and published on artist studio practices, and her article on 18th-century artists' use of the camera obscura was recently published in American Art. She has contributed to several museum collections catalogues, including Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is co-author of the textbook, Understanding Artforms in Our World.

Sebastian Martorana is a sculptor and illustrator who received his BFA in illustration from Syracuse University, where he also studied sculpture, including a semester in Italy. After graduating he became a full-time apprentice in a stone shop outside of Washington, D.C., then earned his MFA at MICA's Rinehart School of Sculpture. Following graduate school, he founded Atlantic Custom Carving, LLC; his current studio is part of the stone shop at Hilgartner Natural Stone Company in downtown Baltimore. He is also an adjunct professor in MICA's Illustration Department. Martorana's sculptural work was recently selected to be featured in "40 Under 40: Craft Futures," the 40th Anniversary exhibition of Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His sculpture, Impressions, was acquired by the museum and is now part of their permanent collection.


• $5,700 (does not include international airfare)

Includes tuition for 3 undergraduate Studio or Art History credits

• $7,260 (does not include international airfare)

Includes tuition for 3 undergraduate Studio or Art History credits

+ 3 undergraduate credits in the Curatorial Studies Concentration 

(Art History credits can count toward qualified students' Curatorial Studies Concentration degree plan.)


Contact program coordinator Jenny Carson at

Open to all undergraduate and graduate students-18 years or older with a valid passport-who have completed at least one year of college. For more information, or to inquire about scholarships, contact the School for Professional and Continuing Studies at or 410-225-2219.