Concordia University

Meet the Chair

Dr Elaine Paterson

Elaine Cheasley Paterson

Bienvenue au département de l’histoire de l’art de l’université Concordia, dans notre magnifique ville de Montréal.

Welcome to Art History, to Concordia University as a whole and to the beautiful city of Montreal, my home town.

I am Dr Elaine Paterson, craft scholar and decorative art historian. I’ve been teaching full time for the Department of Art History since 2004, and as of June 2016 am also Chair.

As you pursue your education at Concordia and prepare for a professional life beyond it, you may discover a passion for the arts here or be coming to us because of your love of art, architecture, craft, design, fashion, photography, a combination of these or others. My hope is that you leave here having gained useful ways of thinking critically, of thinking creatively and, most importantly, of thinking for yourself in order to make your own contributions to culture in Canada and wherever else life takes you.

In this Department, we are all engaged with what we teach, research, write, curate and are excited to share it with you and to find out what inspires you! As professors, we are active participants in the discipline of art history and believe creativity really matters in the world.

Our Department of Art History is situated within one of the largest art schools in Canada — a surrounding filled with art making and exciting opportunities for collaboration, both within and beyond Art History. Some of you may be artists yourselves, whether practicing in our joint majors or maintaining your practice while completing your studies. Either way, I encourage you to make the most of your time within the Faculty of Fine Arts by creating your own network of peers to sustain you throughout your degree and well past its completion.

The spirit of collegiality and intellectual curiosity within the Department of Art History is also evident in its student-led initiatives. Becoming involved in the University community though these dynamic groups may offer more ways of discovering what you’re good at and for thinking expansively about what matters to you.

The students I met during my time as a graduate student in Concordia’s MA programme in Art History have remained my friends and colleagues to this day. As a graduate student at Concordia, I was encouraged to explore histories of craft at a time when few in Canada were doing so. This progressive and sustaining Department is now my professional home where my teaching and research in craft contributes to a field currently exploding in scholarship and curating, while also inspiring community and political activism.

Concordia, and specifically art history, has much to offer you — how to be a creative, critical thinker, how to connect with the world around you, how to make change where it’s needed, and how to go your own way with the assurance that your path is valid.

Your future begins at Concordia. We are so glad you are here!

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