Chestertown, MD, February 3, 2005 — Washington College's Department of Art presents John Harris, Senior Editor for the J. Paul Getty Museum, discussing “Editing Art History,” Monday, February 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the College's Casey Academic Center Forum. Harris will share his insight, true stories, case histories, and survival tips for those who might consider pursuing this career. The talk is free and the public is invited to attend.
“Neither a science nor an art, the editing of art history texts requires an unusual set of skills,” says Harris. “Among other things, the editor must be a cheerleader, high school English teacher, graphologist, disciplinarian, computer tech, mind reader, and clinical psychologist.”
In his twenty-five years as an editor of art history books, Harris—a graduate of Middlebury College—has witnessed how a broad-based, liberal arts background can lead to this interesting vocation. Part-editor, part-writer, and part-collaborator, Harris has produced a variety of books for the academic and consumer markets, including exhibition and collection catalogues; handbooks and trade books; and best-selling gift and children's books. For adults, he has developed such titles as Robert Irwin: Getty Garden; Walker Evans: Florida(with an essay by novelist Robert Plunket); and Walker Evans: Cuba (with an essay by Andrei Codrescu). Harris also has created four best-selling children's books: A is for Artist: A Getty Museum Alphabet, Where's the Bear?, Going to the Getty, and Marguerite Makes a Book, one of the best-selling children's books in Southern California as recognized in The Los Angeles Times.
He also has two more children's books in the works: Pop-Up Aesop, with illustrations by Calef Brown, and Strong Stuff: The Labors of Herakles, with illustrations by artist and filmmaker Gary Baseman.
“In our continuing effort to provide models for our students that may lie outside the traditional areas of teaching and research, we look forward to welcoming someone with John Harris's credentials, experience and creative energy to campus,” said Donald McColl, Associate Professor of Art History and Chair of the Department of Art.