MSB brainstorming

15 May 2017

Dr Great Art Podcast Episode 12, Why 'Dr Great Art'?

A very short 4 minute episode concerning how this podcast, the accompanying performance-lectures in painting-installations, and indeed the art historian and artist Mark Staff Brandl himself came to be called 'Dr Great Art.'


Here is the script (NOT a transcript as I change elements when recording).

Dr Great Art Podcast Twelve
"Why Dr Great Art?"

Hi this is Mark Staff Brandl, with the twelfth "Dr Great Art" brief podcast. I hope you enjoy it and come back for each and every one.

Today we have a very short Artecdote, the shortest till now, about the name of this podcast and the project of which it is a part.

Why the Name? Why Dr Great Art?

"Dr Great Art," the name of this project, or indeed for me, arose out of witticisms a few students of mine made. As I teach "from the hip," usually the entire survey of Art History, and in 5 various programs, I do not always immediately know exactly how far into history I made it in the last class session. Of course I have extensively planned where we are supposed to get to, as I have so little time to cover the whole survey (usually between 30 to 35 sessions for about a minimum of 40 major periods, epochs, movements). But some classes go slower, or more quickly as we get into interesting discussions.

Therefore, I am known to ask at the beginning of class, "WHEN are we?"

One student found this reminiscent of the famous British time-travelling science-fiction character Dr Who. She commented that I was a "Dr When." The class and I laughed.

Others joined in, and, as they also know I have an interest in comics, suggested that I was more like Dr Strange or Dr Fate, thus "Dr Art."

Finally, a few others revealed that they most appreciated that I helped them enjoy what was great, or not, in art. This reminded me of the wonderful radio and live concert programs on music by Rob Kapilow titled "What Makes It Great," which I often promote. This is INDEED my goal, in teaching, in my Performance-Lectures in Painting-Installations, and in these podcasts --- to make art history interesting, exciting, and useful today.

The students thus settled on me being "Dr Great Art." So, as egocentric as it may sound, I do not mean I personally am great, although I hope so, but that the works I highlight are. Or maybe not. I point out WHY works of art are great, or why not, and offer criteria for that, and passion as well. If you don't like or understand art, then you haven't met me.

Dr Who Music

That was "Why Dr Great Art?"

Thanks for listening. That was podcast number 12. If you wish to hear more cool, exciting and hopefully inspiring stuff about art history and art, come back for more. Also I, Dr Mark Staff Brandl, artist and art historian, am available for live custom Performance-Lectures. In English und auf Deutsch.

I take viewers inside visual art and art history. Entertainingly, yet educationally and aesthetically, I analyze, underline, and discuss the reasons why a work of art is remarkable, or I go through entire eras, or indeed through the entirety of art history, or look at your desired theme through the lens of art history. The lectures often take place with painted background screens and even in my painting-installations. most recent ones were on the image of Social work in Art History, "Kunstgeschichte in Schnelldurchlauf, Sozialarbeit in der Kunst," the image of the dog in Art History, and the entire history of Postmodernist Art from 1979 through today.

You can find or contact me at
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