Hello! Do you like art and history?

This blog highlights works of art, and occasionally architecture and music. No matter your knowledge level, you’re welcome to participate in our discussions of great human achievements.

Do you believe the 21st century has great potential?

One aim of this blog is to transform our beliefs about the 21st century. We’re in the midst of a new, and perhaps the greatest and most astonishing, scientific revolution: knowledge about the universe; medical advancements; space travel; computer technology and the internet; an explosion of scholarship in all areas of study.

This should also be a time of great artistic flowering: all of past endeavor, all of history’s ideas and art, form a treasury from which we can take at will for our own creations. But problems like climate change and population growth often seem so great that we think humanity can’t overcome them. Remaking our ideas is important: ideas lead to actions; actions shape what the world becomes.

Are you a creator?

Exploring great art can help you create, even if you’re not an artist. I’m not! (Apart from craft projects and ill-fated experiments with oil paints). Creators might be writers, musicians, philosophers, entrepreneurs – or anyone who thinks about life and the world.

Then this is the blog for you!

The fundamental belief here is that past art provides fuel for our new creation. The process I follow in posts is simple: here’s a work of art, here’s how it relates to human striving, here’s what we can create from it in the present age. The comments on each post are open for discussion – do you agree with the post? Disagree? Have something to add? The end goal is learning how art can help us create.

Okay… Where is this coming from?

I’m Erica Olson: rural-raised, humanist, lover of Virgil, Goethe, and Beethoven. Here are a few things about me:

  • 2003: Left Plains, Montana (pop. 1146) for college at Penn. Learned about art history from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • 2004: Toured Oxford University in England – a surreal experience, since I’d long dreamed of Oxford and its greatness. Visited the Louvre.

    Me in Fife, Scotland, 2009.

Once I’d been to Europe, I had to get back again…

  • 2005: Began the best experience of my life – a year as a student at Oxford.  Imagined I walked in the steps of countless great people, and that I would achieve great things, too.
  • 2006: Filled countless notebook pages at three formative museums – the Museum of Science (Oxford), the Museum of Natural History (Oxford), and the British Museum (London).

Okay, so I enjoyed Oxford. Then what?

  • 2007: Read The View from the Center of the Universe, which inspired many of my ideas about the potential of our current century. Graduated from Penn with a major in European history and a minor in philosophy.
  • 2008: Left for grad school in St Andrews, Scotland, now studying Classics (ancient Greek and Roman history, literature, and language). I wanted to study the past in order to create and develop my own ideas.

    In Edinburgh, Scotland, 2009.

Grad school was frustrating; the work rarely allowed for my own creation. So what did I do?

  • 2009: More grad school in rural Washington State – English literature this time, still to help me as a writer and creator. Wrote a thesis about how contemporary literature could explore positive ideals of human striving.

But now…

  • 2011: Out of academia; I need to create on my own. Among my various writing projects are a novel and this blog. Thank you for visiting Art For Creators! Hope you enjoy.

11 responses »

  1. Pingback: “Mona Lisa”: Opening New Worlds « Art For Creators

  2. Pingback: Brunelleschi’s Dome: Reaching for the Sky « Art For Creators

  3. I consider myself to be grossly undereducated when it comes to anything classic, or art-focused. This blog is making me feel that this is a serious failing…you’re raising exactly the kinds of ideas I love thinking about!

    p.s…if the topic is anything to judge from, your thesis sounds fascinating!

  4. Pingback: Goya: Setting the Human in the World « Art For Creators

  5. Pingback: “Mona Lisa”: Opening New Worlds « StarMuse

  6. Pingback: Brunelleschi’s Dome: Reaching for the Sky « StarMuse

  7. Pingback: Goya: Setting the Human in the World « StarMuse

  8. Pingback: Goya: Setting the Human in the World | Erica Olson

  9. Pingback: Brunelleschi’s Dome: Reaching for the Sky | Erica Olson

  10. Pingback: “Mona Lisa”: Opening New Worlds | Erica Olson

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