by Laura Hutson
Time magazine once named Andrew Delbanco America’s Best Social Critic. But what is Delbanco, director of American studies at Columbia University, doing in a Critic’s Pick on Vanderbilt art? Quite a lot, apparently. Delbanco’s book College: What It Was, Is and Should Be is required reading for all incoming Vanderbilt first-year students, and it’s also the inspiration behind this exhibit of art drawn from the university’s extensive permanent collection.
Delbanco’s thesis — that the role of the liberal arts education is to allow students to test and discover their values and ideas — is matched with the gallery’s selection of “difficult” works from artists such as Salvador Dali, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter and Kara Walker.
Test the limits of your ability to experience and appreciate art — and be a part of a university-wide conversation — at tonight’s opening.