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During the academic year CASVA organizes scholarly meetings that range in size and duration from multiday gatherings with audiences to individual lectures and closed roundtable discussions. Meetings are held primarily at the National Gallery of Art and occasionally at other institutions, both in this country and abroad. Subjects include themes related to the history of the visual arts of any period and geographic location and to all media.

The program of special meetings includes symposia, conferences, colloquies, seminars, study days, and incontri. Symposia and conferences are multiday presentations of formal papers with audience participation. Colloquies (usually focused on objects in the Gallery's collection), seminars (thematic), study days (special exhibitions), and incontri (informal talks by visiting scholars) are small gatherings in which scholars in related fields are invited to participate. Symposia are published as volumes in the series Studies in the History of Art; some seminars are published in CASVA’s Seminar Papers series.

The program of regular meetings includes shoptalks and colloquia presented by fellows and professors in residence.

The lecture program includes two named lecture series: the Gallery’s annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts and the biennial Wyeth Lecture in American Art. Other occasional lectures occur during the academic year. CASVA also cosponsors, with the University of Maryland, the annual Middle Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art, presenting graduate student research.



The Sixty-Sixth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, 2017

The Forest: America in the 1830s
Alexander Nemerov, Stanford University
Sundays, 2:00 pm
East Building Auditorium

Announcement (PDF 413 KB)

March 26 Herodotus among the Trees
April 2 The Tavern to the Traveler: On the Appearance of John Quidor's Art
April 9 The Aesthetics of Superstition
April 23 Animals Are Where They Are
April 30 Emerson, Raphael, and Light Filtering through the Woods
May 7 The Forest of Thought: On the Roof with Robert Montgomery Bird



Wyeth Foundation for American Art Symposium

The African American Art World in Twentieth-Century Washington, DC
March 16–17, 2017
East Building Auditorium

Speakers included Rhea L. Combs, Gwendolyn H. Everett, Paul Gardullo, Tuliza Fleming, Jacqueline Francis, Lauren Haynes, Amy Kirschke, Robert G. O'Meally, Richard J. Powell,  Jacquelyn D. Serwer, Elsa Smithgall, Jeffrey C. Stewart, John A. Tyson, and Tobias Wofford. Session moderators were Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Charles Brock, and Huey Copeland. The symposium also featured a panel of artists moderated by Ruth Fine including Lilian Thomas Burwell, Floyd Coleman, David C. Driskell, Sam Gilliam, Keith A. Morrison, Martin Puryear, Sylvia Snowden, and Lou Stovall. Program (PDF 433 KB)

Image: Alma Thomas, Red Rose Cantata, 1973. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Vincent Melzac


Forty-Seventh Annual Middle Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art
March 4, 2017
West Building Lecture Hall

Jointly sponsored by CASVA and the University of Maryland Department of Art History and Archaeology. Program (PDF 442 KB)

Herr Chapuis


Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Lecture

The Lost Museum: The Berlin Painting and Sculpture Collections 70 Years after World War II
Julien Chapuis, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Watch or listen online.



The Sixty-Fifth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, 2016

The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Chola Bronzes from South India, c. 855‒1280
Vidya Dehejia, Columbia University

Watch or listen online.

Contact Us

Telephone: (202) 842-6480
Fax: (202) 842-6733
E-mail: [email protected]

Mailing Address
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785

For additional information on past symposia, colloquia, seminars, and lectures, refer to the Center Reports.