January 13th, 2012 | Culture

Nemerov caps hottest class on campus

Prof. Alexander Nemerov's survey course covers artists from the Renaissance to the present day, including Cross Campus fave Georgia O'Keefe.
Prof. Alexander Nemerov's survey course covers artists from the Renaissance to the present day, including Cross Campus fave Georgia O'Keefe. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

This semester’s most popular course just got a whole lot smaller.

Alexander Nemerov’s “Introduction to the History of Art: Renaissance to the Present” has nearly 500 shoppers on the Online Course Selection system (down from 584 earlier this week), but the course has been capped at 270 — the maximum number of students that the Yale Art Gallery auditorium can hold.

In past years, Nemerov taught the course in the much larger Yale Law School auditorium, which he estimated can fit around 450 students, and a cap on enrollment was never necessary in that space. But this year, Nemerov requested the use of the art gallery auditorium instead, he told the News.

He said the art gallery auditorium is a darker room, allowing students to see projected images of artwork more clearly. But even more importantly: the room has no Wifi.

“In the past many students in the lecture were doing Facebook or email or all kinds of things on their computers,” Nemerov said. “So for me it’s better if there’s a room where that is not possible, and one of the unfortunate effects of that is that I have to limit the enrollment of the class to the capacity of the auditorium.”

Online selection for sections in the class opened this morning, and the 270 spots — 18 sections with 15 students each — were filled in two minutes, according to a Cross Campus tipster.

Nemerov said he is sympathetic to students who were unable to enroll, but that he thinks the new room will provide “a better quality experience for everyone.”