Every fall, the Art Lecture Series Committee brings yet another fantastic series of lectures to the DCA. The lectures offer an in-depth look into a specific type of art, and are led by curators and other art scholars from the region. This series is sponsored by Sarah Blank Design Studio in Darien.
To receive notice of upcoming lectures, please subscribe to our DCA emails through the link below, and select “Art Lecture Series” as one of your areas of interest, or contact the DCA directly.
Presented by Marcus B. Burke, Ph.D., Senior Curator
The Hispanic Society of America
El Greco (Dominikos Theotokopoulos, 1541-1614) was the most important late Renaissance artist in Spain, influenced by Titian, Tintoretto, and Michelangelo while in Venice and Rome.
The lecture will include El Greco’s most famous works, emphasizing those on view in New York in anticipation of the upcoming joint exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this November. This pooling of the collections of the Met and The Hispanic Society of America commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco. The Old Master, whose works continue to startle with their emotional power and painterliness, is now understood to have been a harbinger of modernism, capturing artistic imaginations centuries later.
Francisco Goya (1746-1828) was one of the first great modern artists, and is the giant in Spanish art at the end of the Enlightenment and the beginning of Romanticism.
The lecture will emphasize the means that Goya uses to convey ideas in his pictures, both complicated political and philosophical ideas and information about the people he depicted. Notably, his canvas The Duchess of Alba (ill.) remained in his studio until his death because of the special relationship he had with his patron. The luscious beauty of his works, and the radical artistic and technical means he brought to their creation, will of course be included as well.
Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923) was the foremost Spanish artist, and surely the best-known internationally, at the turn of the twentieth century – his exhibition at the Hispanic Society in New York attracted 160,000 people in four weeks of February 1909. Sorolla combined plein air realism with Impressionist techniques to produce images of ravishing beauty, including landscapes, beach scenes (ill.), portraits, and images on social themes.
The two institutions with the most works by Sorolla are his house museum in Madrid and The Hispanic Society of America in New York, the treasures of which will be the subject of the lecture.
The Hispanic Society of America (HSA) is a museum and reference library for the study of the arts and cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. The collections are unparalleled in their scope and quality outside the Iberian Peninsula, addressing nearly every aspect of culture in Spain, as well as a large part of Portugal and Latin America, through the twentieth century.
This specially arranged guided tour will begin at the HSA, located on Audubon Terrace, upper Broadway in New York City. Transportation is not provided.
$20 per person
- Advance registration open until September 8th, for DCA members with paid series admission.
- From September 9th, registration open to members of the public with paid series admission.
- A wait-list will be maintained for those without paid series admission. Please contact the DCA to be added to the list.
- Tour limited to 20 people.
- Tour fee payable by check to The Hispanic Society of America. Contact the DCA directly at 203-655-9050 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register and make payment arrangements.
2013 Art Lecture Series
The Rite of Modernism: Sensation and Shock in New York/Paris 1913
One hundred years ago, on both sides of the Atlantic, two seminal events occurred which were breakthroughs in the worlds of art and music — forever altering the cultural landscape of the 20th century. Over the course of four weeks, in the Winter of 1913, close to 75,000 people made their way to the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue at 25th Street to visit the International Exhibition of Modern Art which was organized by the “Association of American Painters and Sculptors.” The critics’ columns were full of descriptions of the “grotesque” paintings that had been shipped over from Europe. It caused a sensation. Image: “Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2)” 1912 Marcel Duchamp, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Less than four months later, the inaugural performance of Diaghilev’s “The Rite of Spring,” orchestrated by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, premiered at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris. On opening night, a riot almost broke out among the audience, threatening the dancers and musicians with their shouts, hisses and catcalls.
Our 2013 series relives this fascinating period, beginning with an afternoon lecture exploring this musical modernism, with the three remaining morning lectures delving into the 1913 Armory Show, the most important art exhibition in the history of the United States. Read further details of this period and explore related videos and exhibits through this link.
Presented by Christopher H. Gibbs Ph.D.
James H. Ottaway, Jr. Professor of Music at Bard College. Co-Artistic Director Bard Music Festival. Co-Author The Oxford History of Western Music 2013 with Richard Taruskin.
“The Rite of Spring” in Paris and the “SkandalKonzert” in Vienna marked the birth of musical modernism, drastically breaking with centuries of musical traditions. Composer collaborations with leading artists of the day created a charged synergy that enervated both the worlds of art and music. Image: “Portrait of Igor Stravinsky” 1920 Pablo Picasso, Musee Picasso, Paris, France.
Presented by Laurette E. McCarthy Ph.D.
Independent Scholar and Curator. Author, Walter Pach (1883 – 1958): The Armory Show and the Untold Story of Modern Art in America.
The insider in Paris, Pach was essential in bringing the European modernists to New York, thus making the Armory Show the most important art exhibition in the history of the United States. As critic, agent, and liaison, his work helped win the acceptance of modern art throughout North America. Image: Walter Pach, 1909. Photograph by Pach Brothers. Walter Pach papers, 1857–1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Presented by Gail Stavitsky Ph.D.
Chief Curator, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey. Curator, with Baltimore Art Museum, “Cezanne and American Modernism.” Co-author exhibition catalog.
Overshadowed by the avant-garde Europeans, American art and artists made up two-thirds of the work on exhibit at this legendary show. Critical reappraisals challenge the long-held notion that their work was provincial, and establish the inherent artistic quality and vitality of the variety of American art on view in 1913. Image: “Family Group” 1910-1911 William Glackens, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Presented by Larry Witham
Author of 14 books, award-winning journalist nominated for Pulitzer Prize.
The separation of art in the 20th century into “retinal art,” or visual, and “idea art,” known as Conceptual Art, largely originated in the Cubist Room of the New York Armory Show 100 years ago. These two diametrically opposite views and approaches toward modern art and the controversies they engender continue to this day.
2012 Art Lecture Series: The Frick Collection
We were delighted to feature The Frick Collection – the venerable Gilded Age mansion and museum on Fifth Avenue in New York – with their own curators offering our attentive audiences a glimpse at their expansive knowledge. Please find the list of presenters and their topics below, followed by those of previous years. The DCA Art Lecture Series is proudly sponsored by SBD Kitchens, LLC in Darien, CT.
Susan Grace Galassi Ph.D.
Senior Curator, The Frick Collection
“Picasso the Draughtsman: From Malaga to Mastery”
Charlotte Vignon Ph.D. (under completion Sorbonne, Paris)
Curator of Decorative Arts, The Frick Collection
“Henry C. Frick and Joseph Duveen Built a Museum: French 18th Century Decorative Arts at The Frick Collection”
Image credit: The Frick Collection, New York. Photo: Michael Bodycomb.
Inge Reist Ph.D.
Director, Center for the History of Collecting and the Frick Art Reference Library, The Frick Collection“Helen Clay Frick: Charting Her Own Course as a Collector.”
Image credit: The Frick Collection, New York. Photo: Michael Bodycomb.
2011 Art Lecture Series: “Paris – Le Seduction Artistique”
“Ruhlmann: Genius of Art Deco” Presented by Jared Goss, Associate Curator, Metropolitan Museum Of Art, M.A., Cooper-Hewitt Museum/Parsons School of Design
“A Preview of Matisse: In Search of True Painting”
An Exhibition Opening Next Year at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Presented by Rebecca A. Rabinow, Curator, Dept. of Nineteenth Century, Modern and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ph.D., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Image credit: Nasturtiums with the Painting “Dance,” 1912 Henri Matisse, Metropolitan Museum of Art. (1)
2010 Art Lecture Series: “Italy: A Grand Tour”
Connoisseurship and the “Eye” of the Collector
Presented by Richard L. Feigen, International Art Dealer