By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
Last week, Associate Professor of English Jared Richman returned to his alma mater, Union College, to be the closing speaker at their Blake@Union exhibition on English poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake. Richman has been studying Blake since his time at Union as an undergraduate, and continued the work throughout his master’s and doctorate programs.
He is also still engaged in studying William Blake, as he is currently researching and writing about a project on Blake’s visionary works. The talk, Richman explains, “explored Blake’s concept of America, which he used strategically over several decades as a political symbol in his poetry and printmaking.”
Richman specifically focused on “Blake’s conception of art in politically volatile times, the notion of republican art generally, and Blake’s enduring belief that art and poetry are vital components for a free and just society.” He continues, “I situated Blake’s work alongside British radicals and reformers such as Thomas Paine and Richard Price and artists such as James Barry and James Gillray.”
CC students who know Richman will recognize his Blake expertise, as he teaches a class called Blake and the Idea of the Book with Printer of the Press Aaron Cohick. The class studies Blake’s poetry, printmaking and painting, and spends time in the CC Print Shop.