Art History lecture discusses creative writing challenges

Roberto Tejada, endowed professor of art history at SMU's Meadows School of the Arts, talks about writing about art during a lecture series at the University of Texas.

By Rebeca Rodriguez

Alexander Nemerov, an art professor at Yale University, said art can be expressed and perceived in different ways by different people, and all of these interpretations are valuable.

Nemerov spoke alongside Roberto Tejada, an art history professor at Southern Methodist University, Thursday night as a part of the Art History Lecture Series sponsored by the Blanton Museum and the UT art history department. More than 60 people attended the event. The lecture focused on the methodology art writers use and challenges they face expressing themselves creatively.

Tejada said one of these challenges include distinguishing the thin line between fact and fiction. He said writers often feel restricted by the historical record of literature, photographs and paintings and become afraid to express their own point of view in their writings.

“Think of art history as speculative fiction,” Tejada said. “We’re referring to what happens afterwards. [Writing about] how things are related is what really conveys your point of view and makes you accountable.”

Tejada said Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges was a great example of interpretive fiction because he often mixed fact with fiction....