"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 thing whether 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."

—Ruskin on taste: Traffic (1864)

The 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.

All club members are welcome!

Recently Discussed:
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 Hesperides" (Modern 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 of Venice.


Source materials:
John D. Rosenberg, The Genius of John Ruskin: Selections From His Writings (reader)
ISBN: 0813917891 (University of Virginia Press)

John D. Rosenberg, The Darkening Glass: A Portrait of Ruskin's Genius (commentary)
ISBN: 0231063873 (Columbia University Press)

(available at discounted rates through the Ruskin Art Club)