Ted Ford

Ted Ford

Assistant Professor Art History





What is your name?
Ted Ford

What courses do you teach?
Freshmen Survey, 19th and 20th Century Art, and the Fine Arts Seminars

What is your educational background?
B.A. University of Colorado, Boulder; MFA (Visual Arts and Culture) Vermont College; also studied at L’École des Beaux-Arts, Paris; The Art Institute of Chicago

In two sentences or less, describe your teaching philosophy.
Art history draws on our two chief faculties: sight and language. The interplay between what we see in art and the effect that has on language is fascinating. I ask my students to look, and look again, and then write about that experience.

What inspires you as an artist historian?
I think art history is worth studying not just for its own sake, but because it complements almost any field. The ‘who, what, when, where and how’ are important in developing our sense of history, but the ‘why’ leads to a wider set of questions. In order to address the why, we need to develop a sense of context – historical conditions, reception and so forth – it is important for young developing artists to develop a sense of today’s conditions – to discover the context of our times. I hope that the study of the past deepens our students understanding of the human condition, and helps them to explore the big questions of civic responsibility and ethics.

What do you think is special about PrattMWP?
Two things make PrattMWP special: its small size and its diversity. There is a real opportunity to get to know students individually. Also, our wonderful museum provides opportunities to engage directly with the art object.

What kind of students do you like to work with? What qualities do they possess?
Because of my own studio background, I love teaching art students - they bring a special sensitivity to the study of the past. I try to encourage a sense of curiosity and an open mind. I hope my lectures give a sense that the past is very much alive. I like to push students gently out of their comfort zones, and to recognize how our biases can limit our worldview.