Does art have rules? Can it be—should it be—taught, assessed, graded? These questions are very old, but they are more urgent than ever. Although modern art is sometimes seen as a revolt against academic norms, recent years have witnessed tremendous growth in arts instruction on university campuses around the country—including here at UChicago. In this session, a historian of literature and a historian of art will team up to discuss the deep history of this phenomenon: the emergence of state-sponsored academies of art and literature in seventeenth-century Paris. Why did academic art seem like a good idea at the time, what were the pitfalls, and what lessons can we draw for thinking about arts and institutions today?