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Meet Travis Nygard

  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • M.A., University of Pittsburgh
  • B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College

I teach art history and museum studies classes. For me studying art is fascinating because it shows how humans have interacted with each other over the centuries, and it also enables us to see the world in new ways. My art history classes cover all time periods and places, from prehistoric cave art to computer-generated art of today, but my favorite time periods to think about are modern and ancient. I also team-teach a travel course in Rome, Italy, and I love to show students how the grandeur of the ancient Roman architecture mixes with the fast-paced world of today.

I am a museum enthusiast, and I oversee the college’s museum studies program. My museum studies classes are both hands-on and research-based, as I enjoy teaching students how to curate the college’s collections of art and artifacts. We display items across campus, including in the Ripon College Museum in West Hall. Hosting artists when they display their work in the Caestecker Gallery is another highlight of my work in the art department. I am also involved with the Ripon Historical Society, and I am looking forward to connecting students with that institution for internships and volunteer work.

When I am not in the classroom I enjoy researching modern American art, especially as it relates to food and farming, as well as ancient Maya art from the UNESCO world-heritages sites Palenque and Chichen Itza. You can learn more about that research on my website: https://ripon.academia.edu/TravisNygard


Icon for: What’s the best advice about teaching you’ve ever received? My great grandmother was a K-12 teacher for 54 years, and her advice to teachers was that you should never be afraid to learn new things.

What’s the best advice about teaching you’ve ever received? My great grandmother was a K-12 teacher for 54 years, and her advice to teachers was that you should never be afraid to learn new things.

Icon for: What is something your students would be surprised to learn about you? I am a 3D movie enthusiast.

What is something your students would be surprised to learn about you? I am a 3D movie enthusiast.

Icon for: What are you currently reading or watching for fun?

What are you currently reading or watching for fun? “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid” by Douglas Hofstadter, a playful book that teases out connections between the worlds of math, art, music, literature, and philosophy.



Recent News Updates

Photo of Mochida Family

Japanese-American incarcerations during World War II focus of poster exhibit

“Righting a Wrong: Japanese-Americans and World War II,” a poster exhibit, is on view through April 3 in the Ripon College Museum in West Hall. […]

Travis Nygard with examples from the collection

‘Touchable art’ collection will teach museum studies students new perspectives

A collection of touchable art to promote and teach about the creation of art for the visually impaired is being assembled by Travis Nygard, associate […]

Travis Nygard

Nygard Article Appears in SECAC Review

Assistant Professor of Art and Chair of the Art Department Travis Nygard co-authored an article that appears in the 2013 issue of the Southeastern College […]