Docent training under way

Published 9:55 pm Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dr. Kenyon Holder, Troy University art history professor, is leading docent training programs at the Johnson Center for the Arts.

The programs will be held the last Monday of the month and are not limited to docents at the art center.

“The docent training is an educational component of our programs and the public is invited to attend all docent training programs,” said Richard Metzger, Johnson Center executive director. “Anyone who loves art and desires to learn more is invited and, hopefully, many of the participants will decide to become docents.”

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Docents for the Johnson Center for the Arts receive training about the exhibitions at the arts center that will enable them to talk about the exhibits with school and other touring groups.

Through the training programs, the docents also learn art history, including information about the great artists, from the masters to the contemporary artists.

Monday’s docent training program centered on the exhibition works by the Renaissance Italian master Titian.

Holder and Metzger visited the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and viewed the “Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland” exhibition, which runs through Jan. 2.

The exhibition puts two of the artist’s finer masterpieces on display in the United States for the first time.

Holder said that “Diana and Actaeon” and “Diana and Callisto” were painted between 1556 and 1559 for King Philip II of Spain and were designed as a pair, with a stream flowing from one to the other. The pieces were part of a six-painting series exploring mythological themes.

Holder has a degree from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. She and Metzger were invited to a private reception for the alumni of the university and were in a tour group led by the head curator for the National Museum in Scotland.

“We would like to offer our docents the opportunity to visit the ‘Titian” exhibition as a part of their training and just for the enjoyment of it,” Metzger said. “Day trips like this will, hopefully, be a frequent part of the docent training. We encourage anyone who is interested in participating in our docent program to visit the Johnson Center and talk with us about the program. There are some time constraints but it is well worth the time—and there are no tests.”

The Johnson Center for the Arts is located at 300 East Walnut Street in Troy in the old post office building. Hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. There is no admission charge.