Anthony Scibilia

Assistant Professor
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Artist, musician, and educator Anthony Scibilia has been practicing photography for more than 20 years, with work appearing at the Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford University Press, CBS News, Zone Books, and Gardner's Art through the Ages. Scibilia has played the piano for most of his life, with recordings of Bach, Schubert, and Scarlatti. He also has experience in acting, set design, and architectural design. While much of his formal training is in art and architectural history, his approach to looking at art is fundamentally shaped by his own experience of making things. According to Scibilia, when we look at a work of visual art, we are, like musicians, "performing" the piece: we are experiencing it through time and space, much as we do when we perform a piece of music. We are also experiencing the work as its audience at the same time.

  • Career Highlights
    • Lectures/performances at New England Conservatory, Mass College of Art and Design, Columbia University, and CUNY Graduate Center
    • Recordings of Bach, Schubert, and Scarlatti
    • Published photographic work at the Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford University Press, CBS News, Zone Books, Gardner's Art through the Ages
  • Education
    • B.A., Cornell University
    • M.A., Columbia University
    • M.Phil., Columbia University

In Their Own Words

"This semester I'm teaching two sections of Roman art and one section of Egyptian art. Music's very much involved, in the sense that I've been a pianist for more than 30 years, and a lot of what I do in the classroom ends up having a musical dimension in one way or another."

"I concentrate a lot on the piano music of Franz Liszt. There's a piece called 'Il Penseroso,' where he's looking at the Medici tomb sculptures of Michelangelo, and he appends a poem by Michelangelo. I found some very strong correspondences between the poem itself and how Liszt composed the piece. It was perfectly fair for him to take these things in and make them part of himself. I want the students to own the material for themselves. I like the fact that I can just put something out to the students and they bite; they find their own way into the material."

"I'm assuming a certain level of dedication and competence and passion on the part of the students, and I'm appreciating that very deeply. When a student has that level of depth in any one area, I find that it's very easy to give them something that isn't in their area and, very quickly, something coagulates. They build a world around it much more easily than if there aren't some simple structures in place. When you've had your own deep experience of something, you're able to say, 'I recognize that. This sounds like something that I know, but it's just being done in visual art instead of music.'"