When we tell people we love art history, the question 'why' hangs in the air. Like many academic disciplines, history and the humanities have been relegated to text books, distant museums and lists of names and dates. But the history of art is the history of human ambition. The wild and bloody stories of the world’s most transgressive people. Want to smooth-talk your way into wealth and power, redefine gender norms, or get away with murder? Art history is a guidebook for radical change. We believe there are three steps to make art history interesting again: it needs to be diverse, discoverable, and it can't be boring. Here’s how Trivium is turning things around:
DiverseThe world of art is as diverse as humanity itself, but for centuries its household names have been successful white men. And that’s a problem. How can we relate to a canon that doesn’t mirror our world? Trivium digs deep, scouring history to find under-represented artists of all genders, cultures, sexual orientations, and abilities.
DiscoverableTrivium is build from the ground up to encourage exploration. Even many excellent online resources simply aggregate popular artists or bury interesting content in databases that must be searched with precise jargon. Trivium uses careful curation, bold visuals, and snappy headlines to keep readers curious and reward investigation.
InterestingThis should go without saying, but it takes work to keep history both academically rigorous and fun to read. Trivium works with writers, researchers, artists and editors to create break down the people and cultures of history in accessible, conversational language. We're aiming for Jerry Saltz rather than Buzzfeed, but you'll keep us honest.
Trivium has been a free resource for students and educators since 2011, and is used in classrooms around the world. If you’re interested in learning more about using Trivium in the classroom, contact us. We’d love to chat.
Reed Enger, Founder
Reed Enger is a writer, designer and historian. Over the last ten years, Reed has worked in product and service design, user experience, and artificial intellegence, and has created digital experiences for Google, Goldman Sachs, Madison Square Garden, and Comcast. Reed's deep experience in digital design drives Trivium's ongoing development and high bar for presentation and quality, and his love of accessible communication and self-education forms the core of Trivium's approach to the humanities. Outside of his writing and research for Trivium, Reed's academic engagements are broad, including translating and reprinting rare books, lecturing on the creation of soulful design systems, and examining human/AI relationships. More info at reedenger.com.
Rick Love, Advisor
Rick Love is the chair of the School of Art and Design at the University of Northwestern St. Paul. Rick teaches courses in art history and manages a print studio focused on traditional intaglio, lithography, wood block and photo-transfer. Rick also works with the Haitian non-profit Papillon Enterprises to develop their print studio in Port Au Prince and create new opportunities for local artisans. More info at: ricklove.com
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