Lectures, Spring 2014
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Spring 2014 (pdf) >
Join us for these informal presentations on aspects of the Museum's collections and special exhibitions. Lunchtime Talks are usually held on Tuesdays at 12 pm in the Museum.
Golden Age I
by John Hawley
Golden Age II
by Lawrence O. Goedde
Mad Tom Society
These events are for members. Join Mad Tom Society >
Saturday Special Tours
These informal presentations on aspects of the Museum's collections and special exhibitions are usually held on the last Saturday of each month from 2-3 pm in the Museum.
Special Tour for The Big Read
The Cowboy in Art: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny
by Stephen Margulies
Golden Age II
by Lawrence O. Goedde
Reflections and Undercurrents
by Bruce Boucher
Special & Related Lectures
Gladys S. Blizzard Lecture
Thursday, April 10, 2014
From Scaffold to Scaffold: Representations of Justice from Bruegel to Rembrandt
by David Freedberg
Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art, Columbia University
Director, The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America
Newcomb Hall Theatre
Bruegel’s representations of Justice and Calamity constitute some of his most compelling images. They have often been seen in the context of the Revolt of the Netherlands against Spain. In this lecture, Freedberg adds to the traditional narrative by suggesting new texts and illustrations that clarify their historical and legal context, and examines the aftermath of such representations of torture and punishment through the conclusion of the Revolt.
David Freedberg earned a PhD from Oxford in 1973. He is best known for his work on psychological responses to art, and particularly for his studies on iconoclasm and censorship (see, inter alia, Iconoclasts and their Motives, 1984, and The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response, 1989). His more traditional art historical writing originally centered on the fields of Dutch and Flemish art. Within these fields he specialized in the history of Dutch printmaking (see Dutch Landscape Prints of the Seventeenth Century, 1980), and in the paintings and drawings of Bruegel and Rubens (see, for example, The Prints of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1989, and Rubens: The Life of Christ after the Passion, 1984). He then turned his attention to seventeenth century Roman art and to the paintings of Nicolas Poussin, before moving on to his recent work in the history of science and on the importance of the new cognitive neurosciences for the study of art and its history. He has also been involved in several exhibitions of contemporary art (eg. Joseph Kosuth: The Play of the Unmentionable, 1992). Following a series of important discoveries in Windsor Castle, the Institut de France and the archives of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, he has for some time been concerned with the intersection of art and science in the age of Galileo. While much of his work in this area has been published in articles and catalogues, his chief publication in this area is The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, his Friends, and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History, 2002. He is now devoting a substantial portion of his attention to collaborations with neuroscientists working in fields of vision, movement and emotion.
Ellen Bayard Weedon Lectures in the Arts of Asia
With the generous support of the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation, the Museum presents four lectures on South and East Asian art each year.
Please join us for this year's series.
Thursday, February 27
Twanging Bows and Throwing Rice:
Warding Off Evil in Medieval Japanese Birth Scenes
by Yui Suzuki
Associate Professor of Art History, University of Maryland
Although a transformational life experience, childbirth has not received much focused attention in art history. In medieval Japan, birthing scenes were often inserted into medieval picture scrolls (emaki) to evoke the larger Buddhist notion of suffering. Despite the long established practice of medicine in Japan, parturition pictures reveal that the upper echelons of society relied heavily on multifarious networks of ritual specialists and their magico-religious rites. This talk will examine images of the diverse performances by religious professionals and the reasons why such elaborate measures were taken to ensure the safety of mother and child.
Yui Suzuki is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Maryland. She has taught at UMD since 2006. Suzuki is a specialist in Japanese Buddhist art and her research explores issues of Japanese religiosity and its manifestations in visual/material culture. She is the author of Medicine Master Buddha: The Iconic Worship of Yakushi in Heian Japan (Leiden: Brill, 2012), and her essays have appeared in Archives of Asian Art, RES and other scholarly publications. Suzuki’s most recent research examines images of ritual objects and practices of spirit possession in Japanese medieval Buddhism.
Thursday, April 24
The Visual Culture of Yoga
by Debra Diamond
Associate Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution
The premise of the exhibition, Yoga: The Art of Transformation (2013-14) is that masterworks of Indian sculpture and painting, as well as colonial period photographs and early twentieth-century books and films, have the potential to shed new light on centrality of yoga in Indian culture and its diverse manifestations in the past and present. The exhibition’s curator, Debra Diamond, presents case studies in visual culture that elucidate how objects and images helped yoga’s meanings for diverse communities over time. She also addresses some of the challenges in exhibiting what is today an often sharply contested tradition by presenting some of the museum strategies employed in shaping the exhibition and catalogue.
Debra Diamond is the curator of the Smithsonian’s exhibition, Yoga: The Art of Transformation, which opened in October of 2013. She received her PhD in South Asian art history from Columbia University and has published numerous articles on Indian and contemporary Asian art. A specialist in Indian court painting, Diamond curated Garden and Cosmos: Royal Painting of Jodhpur, which opened at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on October 11, 2008. The exhibition then traveled to the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the British Museum, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Debra has curated numerous exhibitions at the Sackler Gallery, including Facing East: Portraits from Asia (2006), Perspectives: Simryn Gill (2006), and Autofocus: Raghubir Singh's Way into India (2003). In 2010, Debra received the Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Prize for the Gardens and Cosmos: Royal Painting of Jodhpur exhibition catalogue. She is also working on an exhibition on the Freer Gallery’s portrait of Mumtaz Mahal (2014).