Montclair State graduates remember favorite professors who were teachers and mentors, and whose wisdom has stayed with them throughout the years.
Professor, Art and Design
A recent George Segal Gallery retrospective of Klaus Schnitzer’s work, Fifty Years of Inspiration and Impact: The Photographic Legacy of Klaus Schnitzer and His Students, showcased images and captured testimonials reaching back a half century. As students described Schnitzer’s influence, one word came up again and again: think. Since 1971, Schnitzer has been making art and photography students think – about everything from technical details to existential issues. “Professor Schnitzer provided me with a valuable lifelong tool in thinking and working with light and the creation of images,” says Chad Mooney ’14. For Bridget Laudien ’07, “Klaus was the one who taught me to think through my art, instead of making images for the sake of aesthetics. He approached the artistic end with the broadest of minds and a big heart.” All agree: There was no faking it in Schnitzer’s classes. “He called upon us to think beyond the technicalities that made a good photograph,” according to Rex Thomas ’12 MA. “We were asked to think about ourselves and why we make the art that we do. In the end, what I gained are the possibilities of what I could be as an artist, an educator and a person.” Recalls Daryl Lancaster ’77: “Klaus Schnitzer was probably my most challenging professor. And the one that made me truly look at my work and never settle for mediocrity. Klaus Schnitzer taught me to see.”