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Alexander Nemerov of Stanford University Presents the 66th Annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts in 2017 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Alexander Nemerov, department chair and Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities, Stanford University, presents the 66th A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts on Sundays, March 26, April 2, 9, 23, 30, and May 7, 2017, at the National Gallery of Art. Photo by Huey Ning Tan

Alexander Nemerov, department chair and Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities, Stanford University, presents the 66th A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts on Sundays, March 26, April 2, 9, 23, 30, and May 7, 2017, at the National Gallery of Art. Photo by Huey Ning Tan

Updated: January 12, 2017

Washington, DC—The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art has announced that Alexander Nemerov, department chair and Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities, Stanford University, will give the 66th annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, entitled The Forest: America in the 1830s.

The preeminent lecture series will be held in the East Building Auditorium at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, on March 26, April 2, 9, 23, and 30, and May 7, 2017, at 2:00 p.m.

In his six-part series, Nemerov will explore the Hudson River School painters and their contemporaries, focusing on what their art did and did not show of the teeming world around them. The forest serves as a metaphor for the unruly and wooded realms of lived experience to which art can only gesture. The lectures will present a fundamentally new account of Thomas Cole (1801–1848), John Quidor (1801–1881), James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851), and other artists and writers of that time and are the first A. W. Mellon lectures to be dedicated to American painting and literature in the 19th century.

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

About the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts

Since 1949, the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts have presented the best in contemporary thought and scholarship on the subject of the fine arts to the people of the United States. The program itself is named for Andrew W. Mellon, founder of the National Gallery of Art, who gave the nation his art collection and funds to build the West Building, which opened to the public in 1941.

Past speakers have included Sir Kenneth Clark, T. J. Clark, Thomas Crow, E. H. Gombrich, Michael Fried, Mary Miller, Helen Vendler, Irene Winter, and, most recently, Vidya Dehejia.For a full list, visit www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/research/casva/meetings/mellon-lectures-in-the-fine-arts.html.

About Alexander Nemerov

A scholar of American art, Nemerov writes about the presence of art, the recollection of the past, and the importance of the humanities in our lives today. Committed to teaching the history of art more broadly as well as topics in American visual culture--the history of American photography, for example--he is a noted writer and speaker on the arts. His most recent books are Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine (2016), Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov (2015), Wartime Kiss: Visions of the Moment in the 1940s (2013), and Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War (2010). In 2011 he published To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America (2011), the catalog of an exhibition he curated at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Among his recent essays are meditations on Winslow Homer, Jacob Lawrence, Richard Diebenkorn, Carleton Watkins, Thomas Cole, Joe Rosenthal, Gregory Crewdson, Charles Burchfield, Danny Lyon, and Grandma Moses.

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