Travel Study/Florence

The Kent State University Florence Summer Institute is a four-week summer program that offers credits in Art History, Studio Art, Italian Culture, and more. 

The program is based in Florence, Italy, birthplace of the Renaissance, and home to many of the most important monuments of the period.  Florence is often hailed as the most beautiful city in the world, and students will have the singular opportunity of living and studying in the old historic center, becoming thoroughly acquainted with its monuments and treasures.                  

Course Offerings:

June Session

Course Name: ARTH 22007 Art History: Renaissance to Modern Art

Instructor: Professor. Shana Klein

Description:  This course will review a diversity of artists, styles, and ideas from the fourteenth century to the modern period. Beginning in Renaissance Italy and ending in contemporary Australia, this class explores movements in painting, architecture, photography, and more across the continents. This course is also an introduction to the Art History discipline and considers the successes and pitfalls of building an art historical canon—a canon that has historically focused on Western European art. Students will also focus on the role that women artists and artists of color have played within the field of Art History. With in-class discussions, museum visits, and opportunities to study artworks in person, students will gain the art historical skills of close looking and critical analysis by the end of this course. This course may be used to satisfy a Kent Core requirement. Kent Core courses as a whole are intended to broaden intellectual perspectives, foster ethical and humanitarian values, and prepare students for responsible citizenship and productive careers.

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: None

Course Name: ARTH 42045 Italian Art from Giotto to Bernini  (also offered in the July session)

Instructor: Professor Laura Fenelli

Description: This course will explore the development of art and architecture in Italy from the late Middle Ages to the Roman Baroque period. Through an in- depth analysis of the art and history of these periods, we shall develop an understanding of Italy’s role in the overall development of Western civilization. Particular emphasis will be given to Florentine Art. Florence exhibits to this day a particularly well-integrated conception of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Taking advantage of this, we will use the city as our classroom in order to examine the development of Florentine art and architecture in context. In addition to “on-site” lectures, classroom lectures will focus on the art produced in other major Italian cities.

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: None

Course Name: ARTH 42091/62095 Art Experiences in Italy

Instructor: Professor Gustav Medicus

Description: You are enjoying the singular opportunity of becoming acquainted with Florence, Italy, one of the most beautiful and celebrated cities in the world, hailed as a birthplace of the modern era in Western civilization.  This course will introduce you to the major artworks and monuments in the city, with the goal of giving you a sense of the progression of styles from the Middle ages through the Renaissance to the Baroque.  You will learn to understand some of the social, political and historical contexts that led to the formation of these styles. We will analyze and discuss the great works and monuments of the Florentine Renaissance directly on the spot in front of the actual works of art, a circumstance few people get to experience, and one which I hope will leave you with a lifetime of impressions and memories to savor.  You will also be exposed to the diverse regional productions of the great cities of Rome and Venice and the Tuscan hill towns.

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: None

July Session

ARTS 45089 International Experience: Studio Art

Course Name: ARTS 45089 International Experience: Studio Art

Instructor: Professor Isabel Farnsworth

Description: Through a daily sketchbook practice in Florence students will observe and record their environment through drawing from observation at locations such as: gardens, museums, churches, the scenic landscapes, and the city views of Florence. By sketching, taking visual field notes (such as rubbings of textures), and using photography, students will create studio-based work that builds upon and distills their direct observations. Through this process students will develop a series of self-directed works-on-paper that translate those impressions into finished artworks. Depending on the student’s sensibility and interest, completed work will range from pictorial to abstract, as well completed works maybe conceptually driven. Students will create a portfolio of artworks reflective of their experience living in Florence, using techniques and strategies that range from drawing and wet-media painting to image transfer, various low tech printmaking techniques, and collage. This studio-based class will be influenced by and will complement the numerous museum and historic site visits which are part of the Florence Summer Institute experience. The daily sketchbook practice will act as a travel-log/diary documenting students’ trips in the region, for example to Siena and the other destinations. Students will be introduced to artists, illustrators and scientists that utilize the sketchbook and fieldnotes as way of seeing and understanding their environment.

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: None

For complete program information and course offerings visit:

Office of Global Education Website