Alex Foo GS’21

Ciao! I am a sophomore in GS majoring in Art History and English. This past summer, I spent six weeks in Venice studying Venetian art and architecture and Renaissance portraiture. I really appreciated the in situ aspect of the program, where we were able to view a lot of art in its original display context, so as to understand how an object operates within the larger space or pictorial program and to re-enact how viewers would have come to approach and interact with an artwork in the past. Under the guidance of Columbia professors, we embarked on several trips to neighboring cities that not only expanded my understanding of Venetian history, but also provided me with an extensive vocabulary to talk about Venetian art. I lived in Cannaregio with two other housemates who also happened to be Art History majors, so we would frequently go on church crawls or hit the art libraries together. Since I did not take any Italian classes, I really enjoyed the weekly Aperitivo Italiano sessions where the conversational Italian I picked up became incredibly useful in my interactions with the local grocer. If you have any questions about taking art history classes abroad, or if you’d just like to chat, please feel free to reach out to me!