Munson Williams Proctor Institute

Utica, NY



The Voyage of Life: A Chronology

by Dr. Paul D. Schweizer


About the Author

Paul D. Schweizer, an art historian and educator, is a scholar of nineteenth and early twentieth century art, specializing in landscape painting and the relationship between art, science and technology. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the History of Art from the University of Delaware, where he was a Unidel Fellow for several years, and wrote his dissertation on John Constable and color theory. He has taught art history at the University of Delaware, St. Lawrence University and the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement, SUNY Utica/Rome and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Pratt at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, an extension center campus in Utica, NY of Pratt Institute .

In 1990 Schweizer attended the Museum Management Institute, a post-graduate program for museum professionals at the University of California, Berkeley, sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the American Federation of the Arts. Interested in the role of education within a museum setting, Schweizer has been a museum director for all but one of the more than two decades of his professional career. He has held the posts of museum director and chief curator of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY, since 1980 where he has organized numerous exhibitions, among which were The Art of Trenton Falls, 1825-1900 (1989), and Alex Katz: A Drawing Retrospective (1991).

Schweizer is the author of exhibition catalogs on the marine painter Edward Moran (1979) for the Delaware Art Museum, and Thomas Cole's allegorical series, The Voyage of Life (1984) at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute. He co-authored Life Lines: American Master Drawings, 1788-1962, From the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute (1994), was editor and a contributing author of the book, Masterworks of American Art from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, and wrote an in-depth study of the still life painter Rubens Peale for the catalog that accompanied the touring exhibition, The Peale Family: Creation of a Legacy, 1770-1870, organized in 1996 by the National Portrait Gallery and the Trust for Museum Exhibitions. He has written collection catalog essays for the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Sewell C. Biggs Museum of American Art, the Worcester Art Museum, the Nantucket Historical Association and the Schwarz Gallery, Philadelphia and is currently researching the European tour undertaken in 1840 by three Hudson River School artists; John W. Casilear, Asher B. Durand and John F. Kensett.

His groundbreaking study of the late-18th century English reproductive process known as polygraphy was recently published in the 30th anniversary issue of the American Art Journal. His other articles have appeared in the following journals: Art Bulletin, Artibus et Historiae, American Art Journal, Imprint, American Art Review, Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Nova Scotia Historical Review, The Clarion, and the Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife. Schweizer has presented more than forty public lectures at museums, colleges, universities and professional meetings throughout the United States.

In January of 2001 he completed a two-year term as president of the board of directors of the Gallery Association of New York State and continues to serve as a member of the executive committee. He is also a director of the Museum Association of New York; a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors; a member of the visiting committee of the Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University; a senior scholar/researcher for the Peale Painting Project and, formerly, was president of the board of trustees of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center in Williamstown, MA.

(information as of 5/01)

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/28/11

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