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Reflections on the Collection: The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professors at the National Gallery of Art

The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts presents the video and audio podcast series Reflections on the Collection: The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professors at the National Gallery of Art. In this series, Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professors share their unique insights on works of art, selected by each professor, from the National Gallery of Art collection. The presentations that follow are a special opportunity to take a closer look at important works inside gallery spaces with these distinguished professors.

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Richard J. Powell (John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Archibald J. Motley Jr.’s painting Portrait of My Grandmother (1922). Powell describes the arresting power of the artist’s loving portrayal of Emily Simms Motley, a woman born in slavery and hardworking all her long life, asserting its place among the other Jazz Age paintings for which the artist is well known.

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Richard J. Powell (John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Archibald J. Motley Jr.’s painting Portrait of My Grandmother (1922). Powell describes the arresting power of the artist’s loving portrayal of Emily Simms Motley, a woman born in slavery and hardworking all her long life, asserting its place among the other Jazz Age paintings for which the artist is well known.

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Stephen Bann (professor emeritus, University of Bristol, and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses reproductive engravings by Léopold Flameng in publications such as the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, which brought old master and contemporary paintings to a wide audience. Bann argues that the history of reproduction offers insight into how the work of masters, old and new, were received and circulated.  

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Stephen Bann (professor emeritus, University of Bristol, and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses reproductive engravings by Léopold Flameng in publications such as the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, which brought old master and contemporary paintings to a wide audience. Bann argues that the history of reproduction offers insight into how the work of masters, old and new, were received and circulated.  

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Nancy J. Troy (Victoria and Roger Sant Professor in Art at Stanford University and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Piet Mondrian’s painting Tableau No. IV: Lozenge Composition with Red, Gray, Blue, Yellow, and Black (c. 1924/1925). Troy describes the history and previous iterations of this diamond composition and the work’s powerful influence within popular and artistic spheres.

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Nancy J. Troy (Victoria and Roger Sant Professor in Art at Stanford University and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Piet Mondrian’s painting Tableau No. IV: Lozenge Composition with Red, Gray, Blue, Yellow, and Black (c. 1924/1925). Troy describes the history and previous iterations of this diamond composition and the work’s powerful influence within popular and artistic spheres.

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Victor Stoichita (Université de Fribourg and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Murillo’s Two Women at a Window in terms of the artist’s preoccupation with two relationships: that between the private space depicted in the painting and the public space of the beholder, and that of the viewer and the viewed.

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Victor Stoichita (Université de Fribourg and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Murillo’s Two Women at a Window in terms of the artist’s preoccupation with two relationships: that between the private space depicted in the painting and the public space of the beholder, and that of the viewer and the viewed.

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Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken (Teylers Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands, and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) brings viewers inside the “rustic paradise” of river landscapes by brothers Annibale and Agostino Carracci in the National Gallery of Art collection. While describing their distinct approaches to the subject, Professor van Tuyll shows the pleasure the brothers took in creating these views.

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Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken (Teylers Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands, and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) brings viewers inside the “rustic paradise” of river landscapes by brothers Annibale and Agostino Carracci in the National Gallery of Art collection. While describing their distinct approaches to the subject, Professor van Tuyll shows the pleasure the brothers took in creating these views.

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Jacqueline Lichtenstein (Université Paris-Sorbonne, emeritus, and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Edgar Degas, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1878–1881). Lichtenstein touches on issues such as the hierarchy of painting and sculpture, originals and copies, and the value of seeing works of art in person.

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Carl Brandon Strehlke (Philadelphia Museum of Art, adjunct curator, John G. Johnson Collection, and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Domenico Veneziano, Saint John in the Desert (c. 1445/1450). Strehlke describes the history of the altarpiece of which this painting was originally a part and how the painting came to the National Gallery of Art. 

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Kathleen A. Foster (Philadelphia Museum of Art and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) focuses on the Winslow Homer watercolor Boys Wading (1873). Foster describes Homer’s surprising turn to watercolor, a medium he learned first as a commercial illustrator and one that he embraced as a fine artist for the next thirty years.

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Anna Ottani Cavina (Università di Bologna, emerita; Fondazione Federico Zeri, presidente onorario; and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) focuses on John Robert Cozens, Cetara on the Gulf of Salerno (1790). Ottani Cavina describes Cozens’s visionary approach to watercolor painting, which inspired the romantic painters of the next generation. 

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Kathleen A. Foster (Philadelphia Museum of Art and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) focuses on the Winslow Homer watercolor Boys Wading (1873). Foster describes Homer’s surprising turn to watercolor, a medium he learned first as a commercial illustrator and one that he embraced as a fine artist for the next thirty years.

audio

Anna Ottani Cavina (Università di Bologna, emerita; Fondazione Federico Zeri, presidente onorario; and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) focuses on John Robert Cozens, Cetara on the Gulf of Salerno (1790). Ottani Cavina describes Cozens’s visionary approach to watercolor painting, which inspired the romantic painters of the next generation. 

audio

Jacqueline Lichtenstein (Université Paris-Sorbonne, emeritus, and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Edgar Degas, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1878–1881). Lichtenstein touches on issues such as the hierarchy of painting and sculpture, originals and copies, and the value of seeing works of art in person.

audio

Carl Brandon Strehlke (Philadelphia Museum of Art, adjunct curator, John G. Johnson Collection, and former Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the National Gallery of Art) discusses Domenico Veneziano, Saint John in the Desert (c. 1445/1450). Strehlke describes the history of the altarpiece of which this painting was originally a part and how the painting came to the National Gallery of Art.