Honestly, Rob was one of the best teacher's I've had at Columbia. I'm not that into art and would never, ever have taken an art history course in college if it wasn't for the Core. Rob, as he asked us to call him, is a real honest to God teacher: you can tell he likes teaching and that he wouldn't rather be cloistered away in the library studying 17th century Dutch prints (which is his speciality).
Rob's greatest asset in my mind is that he is willing to engage students and in our section this allowed for really interesting conversations to develop. I would honestly do the reading in order to participate, which I think demonstrates how engaging Rob made class. (I don't do this for my other classes...)
What I also found incredibly appealing is that Rob isn't stuck up and lost to critical theory / post-modernism. This in no way means--and should never be taken to mean--that he isn't a scholar. That was very clear, he really knew his stuff and was very intelligent. He just wasn't always spouting off about Foucault or talking about dialectics (whew!). I also like that he would sneak in prints whenever he had the chance, which is when you really saw his passion for his speciality. However, he was just as compelling on late 20th century works!
Honestly, every class I walked away feeling like I had used my brain (and learned something about a masterpiece artist). That doesn't even really happen very frequently in my major. My expectations for Art Hum were pretty darn low. I was hoping to just not fall asleep and BS my way through the compositions. With Rob as a teacher this isn't an option, but for only the best reasons.
Give Rob a silver nugget! Take his section if you get the chance!