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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Fullerton College professor debuts traveling art history series

Professor Megan Lorraine Debin traveled with a film crew across Italy this year, where she celebrated historical art treasures.
Brian Mack
Professor Megan Lorraine Debin has an eclectic collection of books and cultural items in her office.

One of the most celebrated artists in the 17th century was mostly forgotten for hundreds of years until the 1990’s.

Artemisia Gentileschi was the first woman accepted into the prestigious Florentine Academy of Fine Arts. She is revered as a feminist painter, creating art that displayed women as strong but also suffering.

According to Megan Lorraine Debin, art historians in the 1990’s discovered through letters and documents that many of her paintings were wrongfully attributed to her father Orazio Gentileschi. This is because the paintings only contained a signature with the last name “Gentileschi.”

From storage to display, Gentileschi’s work is now appreciated and recognized more than ever.

Gentileschi’s story and paintings are just some of what you can expect to learn about in Debin’s new YouTube series “Art Trippin’.”

Courtesy of Megan Lorraine Debin

Debin is an art history professor at Fullerton College with a background in Latin American studies. She recently earned her PhD in art history at UCLA in 2021.

Debin invites viewers to digitally travel around the globe with her as she visits 10 cities within Italy, highlighting marginalized artists with a focus on women.

“I’m trying to give some space to the artists who are outside of the art historical canon. It’s not just Leonardo da Vinci and Michelanegelo, there were so many other artists,” said Debin.

Debin wants to rewrite certain narratives in history surrounding artists and cultures, revealing untold stories and facts of history.

She also showcases various forms of art preservation and craftsmanship of the past, such as the production of gold leaf and the use of 16th century natural pigment.

Debin speaks to an Italian gold leaf artist during her trip to Italy this past May. Gold leaf was a popular material used by Italian artists in the late Middle Ages. Art Trippin’ highlights art preservation and the craftsmanship of aged art techniques. (Courtesy of Megan Lorraine Debin)

Using “Art Trippin’,” Debin hopes she can assist in making art history more accessible and digestible to a mainstream audience.

Art history is an interdisciplinary field, often reflecting an era’s culture and politics. According to Debin, learning about art history can help one understand the images and art around them.

From news to social media, art resides everywhere. Understanding what you are looking at is more important than ever according to Debin. Art history can provide you with visual literacy, a skill Debin believes is vital in today’s digital world.

“Art Trippin’” leans into the fun and fascinating side of art history and culture. Debin believes art history is for everyone and wants to showcase how present it really is.

Debin flips through one of her many interesting books in her office, Thursday, Nov. 30. (Brian Mack)

“I think people think art history is like this old stuffy thing of like a guy sitting with a cigar in an office alone,” said Debin. “I want people to see that art history is something that’s alive and well and relevant today.”

Debin’s students at Fullerton College campaigned for her to take a video camera with her on her many travels, and those Hornets serve as the inspiration behind the project.

“It’s really all about my students. It’s really about making something that’s freely accessible. There’s no paywall,” said Debin.

While the series is free to consume, Debin is asking for any donations so she can finish the post production side of the show.

“I think it’s going to be really fun and educational at the same time,” said Debin. “Hopefully, people can be inspired to travel. My dream is that people watch the series and they’re like, ‘I want to go there.’”

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About the Contributor
Brian Mack, Staff Reporter
Brian Mack is a first semester staff reporter for The Hornet newspaper. In his free time, he loves watching anime, sports, and playing video games. He also enjoys sneakers and reading comic books. His goal in journalism is to continue to learn and improve the various skills required in to be in the field.

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