Teaching Artist


John D’Agostino’s
mission as a teaching artist is to further important critical discourse, and engender enthusiasm, inspiration & finer discrimination in the appreciation of the arts.

Today’s art museums face considerable challenges to adapt to the shifting demands of the 21st century. The old-style museum, with its stale glass boxes and empty rooms, is disappearing. Taking its place is the new teaching museum: serving an eager public looking to learn directly from art objects in a lively & stimulating environment.

Academic museums are re-positioning themselves in the market as a special place for learning, looking for new ways to open up, share, and re-deploy their collection. A brand new nexus is growing between the museum, artists & academia, between different campus partners and academic departments of all kinds, from the fields of literature to medicine.

John’s teaching approach is driven by conversation. With dialogue in a museum setting as the foundation, his is one where Object-based Learning meets Artist-centered Engagement. The museum presents special opportunities to confront real artifacts, and to foster critical experience that cannot be achieved anywhere else. Similarly, the artist is uniquely situated to enlarge the experience of visitors in ways only he can, enabling the richness and multi-valent aspects of original works of art, with their backstories, ideas & layers of meaning bubbling just beneath the surface.


Works from John D’Agostino’s Empire of Glass project.

About the Artist

John D’Agostino is a teaching artist who interrogates the mediums of painting & photography in an interdisciplinary synthesis to challenge and transform their premises, possibilities and poetic potential.

Louis Comfort Tiffany, Gould Deer Window, 1910. Provenance: Vito D'Agostino

Louis Comfort Tiffany, Gould Deer Window, 1910. Provenance: Vito D’Agostino

John grew up amongst one of the singular art collections of the 20th century, including paintings, sculptures, rugs & stained glass of surpassing quality acquired by his grandfather, collector Vito D’Agostino (1898-1968), much of it during The Great Depression when many an incredible masterpiece were simply out of fashion and discarded. Since then, Mr. D’Agostino’s collection has been exhibited or collected by numerous important institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian Institution, Carnegie Museum of Art, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Dallas Museum of Art & The Seattle Art Museum, among others.
Part of this amazing collection included the last fragments of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s stained glass to survive the liquidation of Tiffany Studios in 1933, when Vito D’Agostino rescued boxes of Favrile glass as it was being smashed and thrown away into the East River. Today, John creates new works from this historical Favrile glass and re-articulates it into the contemporary moment in his one of a kind project, Empire of Glass.

John D'Agostino's 'Hunting Grounds' on the cover of Glass Quarterly, 2010.

John D’Agostino’s ‘Hunting Grounds’ on the cover of Glass Quarterly, 2010.

John’s work has been exhibited, collected or recognized by 9 different museums across the country, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Phoenix Art Museum, The Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University and The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, among others.

His paper, The Strength to Dream: How Remnants of The Past Illustrate A Legacy of The Representation of Vision was published in Artforum’s Art&Education, his Monograph, Empire of Glass, with the Griffin Museum of Photography.

His work has appeared in The New York Times, Silvershotz: The Journal of Fine Art Photography, Lindsay Pollock’s Art Market Views and on the cover of Glass Quarterly.

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