Professor of art history Lynette Bosch first started going to art museums at age 10, and she never stopped. Born in Cuba, Bosch’s family moved to New York City when she was 8 years old. Museums used to be free to the public, so her father would take her to different museums every weekend, where her love and appreciation of art began.
“I really grew up in New York City’s museums looking at art,” she said.
Thus, when she began her undergraduate studies as a commuter at Queens College, she majored in art history with minors in classics and comparative literature.
Bosch worked her way through college by working odd jobs and at a pharmacy, and any money that did not go to tuition or textbooks went to her annual trips to Europe.
“I paid for my own trips to Europe … every summer I would just take off and travel until my money ran out,” she explained.
She would choose her location based on the local art museums and exhibits, and go to different countries and cities each summer. Her first trip was to Rome, Paris and London, and future trips included Spain, Holland, Belgium and Italy.
After graduating from Queens College, Bosch worked full time in the fashion industry and later as a secretary at an engineering firm while earning her master’s at Hunter College in the evenings.
Although she received a scholarship to Princeton University to earn her Ph.D., Bosch still had to work three jobs while attending in order to pay her way through, earning a Ph.D. in Renaissance art and religion.
Since then, she has been a professor at several schools, including Tufts University, Brandeis University and Cornell University. She began working on Latin American art while at SUNY Cortland, curating exhibitions with Cuban-American, Mexican and Chilean artists.
“That soon developed into a whole field in and of itself,” she said.
This March, Bosch has a show opening at the University at Buffalo, starring Alberto Rey and including a book she co-wrote.
She has curated other exhibitions around the world, from Santiago, Chile to Boston, starring various Latin American and Spanish artists.
After years of travel and city life, Bosch chose to live in Geneseo, although she still regularly travels back to the Bronx and around the world with her husband.
“The city is not what I remember, and the longer I stay here the more I find myself thinking, ‘This is perfect,’” Bosch said.
Her favorite city out of everywhere she traveled, however, remains to be “Rome, always,” she said without any hesitation.
It contains artifacts from every art movement since classical times, especially her favorite era, the Renaissance.
“It’s a moment when the world was so hopeful,” she said.
Her current studies are much more modern. She is writing a book called The Mannerism Book that uses studies in the neuroscience field to understand visions and revelations, particularly in religion and art.
“I’m interested in the representation of visions, and I’m interested in what’s actually going on in the brain of someone who is in those states,” Bosch said.
The studies she looks at address brain patterns including those of Tibetan monks in a meditative state or nuns while praying. Bosch believes that a similar experience occurs in artists while they are creating.
“An artist in a creative zone is in touch with something beyond themselves,” she said.