Dr. Sachs received his B.A. in art history from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1978, specializing in Renaissance and Baroque painting and sculpture. Following his undergraduate studies, he attended the Boston Museum School for one year and then did an independent study in oil painting with John Burns. Dr. Sachs worked as a freelance illustrator in New York after moving there in 1981 and then returned to his studies in art history at Hunter College of the City University of New York in 1987, where he received his M.A. in art history, concentrating on American Watercolor Painting, in 1990. He then went on to complete is Ph.D. in art history at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in nineteenth-century American landscape painting.
Today, Dr. Sachs's art historical interests include all of nineteenth-century art and culture, particularly Romanticism and the Victorian era, as well as the history of illustration and Jewish symbolic imagery in Western art. Dr. Sachs is in the process of completing his first novel and has written over thirty short stories.
As a practicing artist, skilled in many media and addressing a wide variety of subject matter, Dr. Sachs brings to his teaching an open-minded, widely focused philosophy. He believes that art history should not only be informative, but should also be intriguing and entertaining. Every lecture is a performance that includes some histrionics, sound effects, colorful anecdotes and, of course, the history of ideas and images and the character of each period's culture. With such an approach to the teaching of art history, Dr. Sachs believes that art history can never be dull or boring, and that students, no matter what their concentration of study, will enjoy and remember the history of art.
I teach a cycle of four courses each Maymester that explore three different general periods of art history, i.e. the Renaissance, Italian and Dutch Baroque Art, and Romanticism, and one more closely focused course called "Caravaggio and the Spaniards." What makes these four courses unusual is that I combine an art historical study of the period and then teach the students how to re-create a masterpiece in the techniques of the Old Masters from a bare wooden panel to the final stages of the oil glazing technique. Each Maymester I explore one of the four periods.