Art and Nature

Intersection of Imagination & Ingenuity

July 19–25, 2020 | Santa Fe, NM

On-campus Summer Academy has been postponed to summer 2021. You can experience the next best thing during summer 2020: the online Great Books Summer Seminars for High School Students.

So great is the power of “art”, in all its dimensions, that Aeschylus portrays the Olympian gods as punishing Prometheus for stealing the source of art, the “sacred fire” of the gods, and giving it to humans. What are the true powers of art? Does art “imitate nature”, as Aristotle claimed, or, at its peak, does it express forms of life, creativity, and individual expression that transcend the world as understood by philosophy or the sciences? Does it possess unique forms of insight, or does it mask its inability to account for its own origins (as Plato suggests in the Ion)? We shall explore these questions directly in the seminar, and indirectly through careful reflection on works of poetry, painting, and photography—all against the aesthetically rich natural and cultural landscape of Santa Fe.

Summer Academy Pottery Class Santa Fe

Classes and Readings

For more information, the college urges students and parents to review expectations and policies, a campus map, and additional need-to-know details about Summer Academy in Santa Fe.


Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

Plato, Ion

Emerson, Nature


Poetry by William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats, John Keats, and Wallace Stevens

Visual Arts

Paintings, essays, and photography by Breughel, W.H. Auden, Georgia O'Keeffe, Nadar, Dorothea Lange, and Susan Sontag

Example Workshops

Yoga, Calligraphy, Archery

Example Excursions

Visits to Ghost Ranch and Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Summer Academy in Santa Fe

The community formed among students is a natural extension of the friendships and ideas shared in the classroom. To further nurture a sense of community, Summer Academy students participate in non-academic workshops such as archery, pottery, yoga, and cooking.  Off-campus excursions will include a refreshing visit to Lake Abiquiu and a tour of Meow Wolf’s immersive, multimedia arts installation.