I saw it: The invented Realities of Goya's Disasters of War


Alfredo RiveraThe opportunity to work with such an amazing print series and form a professional art exhibition is a truly unique experience for undergraduate scholars.  Though we were often told that, the exact reasons of why this is such a unique opportunity did not become apparent until we began to put the exhibit together.  Planning an exhibit is an intense project, especially when you have twelve students with vastly different views on how to best exhibit the artwork.  Constructive debates and nights of planning and writing eventually produced a show we all take pride in; a show that we feel is worthy of Goya’s legacy.

This website functions as a permanent document of the sweat and dedication that went into forming this very successful exhibit.  The catalogue is included in its entirety, as are installation views, images of the prints, and educational resources.  Information regarding events related to the exhibit will also be included in the future.

- Alfredo Rivera '06

Susan StrauberSusan Strauber Associate Professor of Art History - As an art historian, I find the exhibition seminar to be a very exciting course. It is an extraordinary opportunity for faculty and students to spend an entire semester working firsthand with great works of art. This past semester’s class was especially rewarding for me because of how the students succeeded in their efforts to come to grips with the intriguing, complex, and brilliant art of Francisco Goya.  I am especially pleased by the extent to which they rose to the creative challenge of exhibiting Goya’s Disasters of War prints in a way that encourages visitors to encounter Goya’s powerful artistry and message on deeply personal, profound terms.  My own introduction to Goya’s prints came in an astounding undergraduate lecture, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to pass “Goya” on to an appreciative generation of students here at Grinnell.

Annaliese BeamanAnnaliese Beaman ‘05

Earlham, IA

Studio Art





Nicole BungertNicole Bungert ‘06

St Louis Park, MN

Art History





Audrey CoffieldAudrey Coffield ‘05

Columbia, MO

Art History & Gender Women’s Studies 


I am an Art History major with a Gender and Women's Studies concentration from Columbia, Missouri. This course confirmed for me that I want to pursue a career in the museum field. I enjoy learning about any artist, and Goya was no exception. I was surprised to learn how different the work I was familiar with--the Black paintings, Los Caprichos, and the Disasters of War--was from his commissioned works as a court painter. Goya has a broad range of artistic styles and the Disasters of War articulates his ability to portray strong political messages. I feel privileged to have the experience of working with such important prints and my classmates and Prof. Strauber
in this class.

Megan DreschelMegan Dreschel ‘04

Madison, WI



I’m a senior Anthropology major from Madison, Wisconsin. As someone who plans to go on to graduate school in Museum Studies, this seminar was a perfect way for me to gain experience with exhibition design. Although I ultimately hope to work with anthropological collections in a natural history museum, I became very interested over the course of the semester in the display of art, so it’s something I’m glad I had the opportunity to try. I found learning about Goya’s life and the history of the era fascinating and at times very intense, and, though I won’t be around when the exhibit opens, I’ll certainly be thinking fondly about it come and all of the people involved in making it a reality come August.

Nathaniel JonesNathaniel Jones

Leavenworth, KS

Art History & Classics

Wall Labels




Tala OrngardTala Orngard ‘06

Fairfield, IA

Art History


Prior to college, I never considered art history a subject I would claim as my major. Excellent professors in art history and studio art, along with diverse topics have challenged my pre-existing perceptions and successfully swayed me toward a greater understanding of what art really is. Of course, art is to be appreciated for its aesthetic beauty, yet there is so much more to be perceived by the viewer. Culture, religion, politics and other varibles shape an artist; contributing to the motivation behind his work. Goya's Disasters of War series is an example of the profound influence society may have on an individual. Expressing his perceptions through art, Goya created a reflection of the public for the public. Nearly two centuries later, I am moved by Goya's timeless portrayal of war and famine that continue to plague our world.

Alfredo RiveraFredo Rivera ‘06

Miami, FL

Art History & Africana Studies

Programming & Education, Website

As a prospective student I was impressed by the gallery exhibition of German Expressionist prints put together by ten Grinnell students in 2002, and hoped to have a similar opportunity.  As a great fan of Goya ‘s artwork, putting this exhibit together was an exhilarating, and perhaps the best, academic experience I’ve had at Grinnell thus far.  It was a project that not only ended with a professional, final product, but also allowed me to think more critically about a great artist’s work.

Katherine RochesterKatherine Rochester  ‘06

St. Paul, MN

French & Art History


I will be staying the summer in Grinnell to continue working for Kay Jenkins, curator of the college print and drawing collection, in helping to install the Goya show and in continuing to help Kay plan the William Kentridge exhibition that will show in Faulconer Gallery directly after the Goya exhibition.

Katherine SkarzynskiKatherine Skarzynski ‘04

Summit, NJ


Programming & Education

I'm a senior Spanish major from Summit, New Jersey.  This class has been a really cool way for me to explore the art and history of Goya's Spain in greater depth.  If you ever get the chance to go to the Prado and see Goya's work in person, I highly recommend it. Post-famine Madrid is actually a very fun place.

Kim TheodoreKim Theodore ‘04

Milford, PA

Art History

Programming & Education

An art history major from Milford, PA, I am profusely thankful to have been a part of this Exhibiton seminar. It has given me the opportunity to look, examine, and dissect the fabulous artist that is Goya. My curiosity about this artist was aroused when I visited the Prado and found myself drawn not to his most famous works, but to his painting Gatos Riñendo (Two Cats Fighting). This painting, meant to represent the two warring halves of the soul, captured my attention not because of the seriousness of its subject matter, but because it made me laugh. Goya’s ability to capture so many of the unique quirks of humans and human nature in prints and in paintings provoke emotional responses that range from disgust to intrigue to laughter makes him, at least to me, an irresistible artist. The opportunity to work hands-on with such a wonderful print series was priceless. All expectations I had for this course were met and exceeded. The dialogue engaged in during class, the enjoyably endless meetings with my proposal partners, and the hard work of my classmates has resulted in an extraordinary experience for myself and hopefully translates into a wonderful experience for all those who view our exhibit.

Madeline Van-HaaftenMadeline Van-Haaften ‘04

New York, NY

Art History    

Wall Labels




Roxanne YoungRoxanne Young ‘05

Providence, RI

Studio Art





Last Updated: September 2, 2004