Release Date: April 30, 2014

Summer Lectures Celebrate Andrew Wyeth and Degas/Cassatt Exhibitions, Experimental Cinema, and More

Richard Meryman, Andrew Wyeth biographer and longtime friend; reporter, correspondent, editor, and staff writer, Life magazine, presents a lecture titled Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait on Sunday, May 18, at the National Gallery of Art. A book signing of Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait follows.

Richard Meryman, Andrew Wyeth biographer and longtime friend; reporter, correspondent, editor, and staff writer, Life magazine, presents a lecture titled Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait on Sunday, May 18, at the National Gallery of Art. A book signing of Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait follows.

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art welcomes summer with lectures by distinguished guest speakers and Gallery staff. Highlights of the season include a panel discussion and three book signings.

The Gallery's acclaimed A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts continues on May 4 and 11. Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton University, presents a six-part lecture series titled Past Belief: Visions of Early Christianity in Renaissance and Reformation Europe.

In collaboration with the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), the Gallery hosts a panel discussion on the role of artists in international diplomacy on May 7. In a conversation moderated by associate curator of modern art James Meyer, actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, chairman of FAPE Professional Fine Arts Committee and dean of the Yale School of Art Robert Storr, and artist Carrie Mae Weems will discuss the impact of creating and sharing art in a global community.

Several programs honor the exhibitions Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In and Degas/Cassatt, for which the Gallery is the sole venue worldwide. Nancy Anderson, curator and head of the Gallery's department of American and British paintings, and associate curator Charles Brock present an opening-day lecture and sign catalogs on May 4. Richard Meryman, former Life magazine staff writer, editor, and longtime friend of Andrew Wyeth, reflects on the artist on May 18. On June 15 Henry Adams, professor of American art at Case Western Reserve University, explores Wyeth's fascination with King Vidor's 1925 silent film The Big Parade.

Degas/Cassatt is celebrated with an introductory lecture and catalog signing on opening day, May 11, by associate curator of French paintings Kimberly A. Jones. Hollis Clayson, Samuel H. Kress Professor, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, presents the lecture “Mary Cassatt's Radical Monstrosities” on May 14. On May 18 Theodore Reff, professor emeritus of European painting and sculpture at Columbia University, discusses Degas's relationships with women.

All lecture programs are presented free of charge and take place in the East Building Auditorium unless otherwise noted. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Programs may move to other locations as the East Building undergoes renovations; for the latest information, check www.nga.gov/programs/lectures.

Panel Discussion

The Role of Art in Diplomacy: The Artist in a Global Community
Wednesday, May 7, 1:00 p.m.
Anna Deavere Smith, actress, playwright, and director of Anna Deavere Smith Works at the Aspen Institute; Robert Storr, chairman of FAPE Professional Fine Arts Committee and dean, Yale School of Art; Carrie Mae Weems, artist. Moderated by James Meyer, associate curator of modern art, National Gallery of Art. This program is coordinated with the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies.

The 63rd A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts

Past Belief: Visions of Early Christianity in Renaissance and Reformation Europe,
presented in six lectures by Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor
of History, Princeton University

V. Martyrdom and Persecution: The Uses of Early Christian Suffering
Sunday, May 4, 2:00 p.m.

VI. Constantine and Conversion: The Roles of the First Christian Emperor
Sunday, May 11, 2:00 p.m.

Lectures

Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe: Balázs Béla Studio (Budapest)
Saturday, May 3, 3:30 p.m.
Illustrated lecture by Sonja Simonyi
Established in 1959, the Balázs Béla Studio is known for producing films by such directors as István Szabó and Béla Tarr. Much less known is the Studio's support from the early 1960s and throughout the 1970s of experimental films ranging from cinéma vérité documentaries to structuralist and abstract works made not only by professional filmmakers, but also by artists, writers, and sociologists. Comprising four short films, this program explores the high points of BBS's experimental output, with two films that highlight the work of pioneering director Gábor Bódy. (Total running time 110 mins.)

Introduction to the Exhibition: Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In
Sunday, May 4, noon
Nancy Anderson, curator and head, department of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art; Charles Brock, associate curator, department of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art. Book signing of Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In follows.

Introduction to the Exhibition: Degas/Cassatt
Sunday, May 11, noon
Kimberly A. Jones, associate curator, department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art. Book signing of Degas/Cassatt follows.

Mary Cassatt's Radical Monstrosities
Wednesday, May 14, 3:30 p.m., West Building Lecture Hall
Hollis Clayson, Samuel H. Kress Professor, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art

Degas and Women
Sunday, May 18, noon
Theodore Reff, professor emeritus of European painting and sculpture, 1840–1940, Columbia University

Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait
Sunday, May 18, 2:00 p.m.
Richard Meryman, Andrew Wyeth biographer and longtime friend; reporter, correspondent, editor, and staff writer, Life magazine. Book signing of Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait follows.

The Girl with a Pearl Earring: The Making of an Icon
Sunday, June 1, 2:00 p.m.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art

Andrew Wyeth at the Movies: The Story of an Obsession
Sunday, June 15, 2:00 p.m.
Henry Adams, professor of American art, Case Western Reserve University

Works in Progress
Lectures are offered on Mondays in the West Building Lecture Hall at 12:10 and 1:10 p.m.

Investigating the Gilding, Silvering, and Patination of Renaissance Bronzes with X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis
June 2
Dylan Smith, Robert H. Smith Research Conservator, National Gallery of Art

Out of the Kokoon: Modernism in Cleveland before the Armory Show
June 16
Henry Adams, professor of American art, Case Western Reserve University

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. With the exception of the atrium and library, the galleries in the East Building will remain closed for approximately three years for Master Facilities Plan and renovations. For specific updates on gallery closings, visit http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/modern-art-during-renovation.html.

For information call (202) 737-4215 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (202) 842-6176, or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc.

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