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To the editor,

I thank Stop the Statue for their message and for the invitation to sign a petition concerning the Henry Moore statue. However, I must respectfully refuse to sign the petition, which concerns a work of art I've never seen.

What I am proposing is to offer a new undergraduate seminar to be taught next spring in the department of art history and archaeology, described below:

"Public Sculpture at Columbia, and Beyond"

This seminar will focus on works of sculpture on the Columbia campus, examining all aspects of their production and their aesthetic features and the meanings they convey.  We will delve into archival materials at Columbia to study how these works were acquired by the University and how the sites where they appear were chosen. The larger goal of the seminar will be to understand how works of art express ideas about an institution and how they affect the lives of people who work, live, and study in their presence. In addition to studying sculpture on campus, we will take into consideration also works of public sculpture elsewhere in New York City.

Sincerely,

Robert E. Harrist Jr.

The author is the Jane and Leopold Swergold professor of Chinese art history at Columbia's department of art history and archaeology. He is also a member of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences class of 1980.

To respond to this letter, or to submit an op-ed, contact opinion@columbiaspectator.com.

henry moore sculpture petition protest
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