Morris Shapiro teaches the importance of art to international scholarship students
As part of Park West’s continued commitment to bring the joy of art to everyone, Park West Gallery Director Morris Shapiro imparted his wisdom and passion for art to a group of international scholarship students.
Shapiro gave a lecture in Westchester, New York on Sept. 22. He spoke to a group of students with the Kathryn W. Davis Global Community Scholarship Fund, a program for students demonstrating extraordinary leadership and academic excellence. The lecture was held at State University of New York’s campus at Westchester Community College.
“It was an honor for me to speak to the Kathryn W. Davis international scholarship students, and share some of my passion about art and art history,” he says. “It was also fun to be able to hone my ‘teaching chops,’ as I’ve always been a teacher at heart, and hope someday, in my retirement/reinvention years to do so.”
Shapiro led the students through a discussion about the history of art, from prehistoric art to the contemporary and conceptual art of today. He also touched on the importance of art for the great philosophers, citing Plato, Hegel and the French writer, Marcel Proust.
During the lecture, Shapiro brought out a masterpiece by one of his favorite artists, Albrecht Durer. Students had the pleasure of passing around the 500-year-old engraving to examine it for themselves. At the end of the lecture, Shapiro fielded questions and gave each student a graphic work by Park West artist Dominic Pangborn.
Dr. Lori Maida, director of the foundation, lauded Shapiro for giving the Davis Program students a wonderful and insightful lecture regarding the importance of art.
“He emphasized the need for young people to protect and honor the legacy of great art throughout the world, as a concrete and conceptual representation of culture, and as a medium which reflects and expresses society’s values and norms, but also propels social shape,” she said.
Shapiro admits that he has concerns about the future of art for this generation in an era full of information overload, but felt confident that the elite scholarship recipients grasped the need to become stewards of art history and pass it on to future generations.
“For me to be able to engage even one of those young people to the richness of the study of art, was a gift for me as well,” he says. “I hope to have many more similar experiences.”
During his career, Shapiro has spoken at other schools and universities, including the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
Shapiro has worked as the gallery director for Park West Gallery since 1983, having previously served as a director for galleries in Chicago. In 1975 he earned a bachelor of fine arts in art history, aesthetic philosophy and criticism from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
In between executing his responsibilities as Park West Gallery Director, Shapiro offers his expertise and time to educators interested in having him speak at their facilities. His schedule only allows for a few speaking engagements per year, so please contact Park West at email@example.com for availability.