"The first, and last, and closest trial question to any
living creature is, "What do you like?" Tell me what you like
and I'll tell you who you are,,, It is not an indifferent nor optional
we love this or that; but it is just the vital function of all our being.
What we like determines what we are, and is the sign of what we are;
to teach taste is inevitably to form character."
on taste: Traffic (1864)
Ruskin Study Group meets at the Ruskin Art Club's historic clubhouse
on selected Saturday mornings from 10am to 12 noon. While there is
a flexible study plan of readings, the group is informal, meeting to
discuss a broad cross-section of Ruskin's work, and that of his disciples
- past and present. More importantly, we use Ruskin's insights on everything
from art to ecology as a starting point for reflecting on what it means
to have an aesthetic and social conscience in the 21st century.
club members are welcome!
The Ruskin Study Group has focused on the basics, on how to read Ruskin,
and on the foundational elements of Ruskin's vision. Sessions have
centered on topics
such as: Ruskin's use of the word 'Moral', Ruskin on Truth, Beauty,
and what it means to see, (Modern Painters, Vols. I, II) [Rosenberg: The
Darkening Glass, pp. 1-45], complemented by sessions of art analysis: Ruskin
on Tintoretto's "Annunciation" and Turner's "Slave Ship" and "Garden of the
Painters, Vol. V) [Rosenberg: Genius of John Ruskin, pp. 32-41].
Most recently, we have dipped into Ruskin's social thought with his famous
lecture Traffic -
a work that draws the aesthetic and social dimensions of his thought together. [Rosenberg: Genius
of John Ruskin, pp. 273-295]
The group has chosen to move on to architecture next and do an in-depth reading
of Ruskin's most famous single essay, "The Nature of Gothic" from The Stones
John D. Rosenberg, The Genius of John Ruskin: Selections From His Writings (reader)
ISBN: 0813917891 (University of Virginia Press)
D. Rosenberg, The Darkening Glass: A Portrait of Ruskin's Genius (commentary)
ISBN: 0231063873 (Columbia University Press)
at discounted rates through the Ruskin Art Club)