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Release Date: August 19, 2008

Leo Villareal, Rafael Moneo, Rachel Whiteread, Peter Schjeldahl, and Calvin Tomkins Are Among the Headliners in National Gallery of Art’s Fall 2008 Lecture Series

Washington, DC—A star-studded lineup of top curators, historians, and book authors in the arts are among the speakers in the National Gallery of Art’s fall 2008 lecture series. All lectures are free. Most programs are illustrated and include question-and-answer sessions with the audience. Several are followed by a book signing. Books may be purchased in the shop adjacent to the spacious auditorium of the East Building, where seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to the landmark lectures held at 2 p.m. on Sundays, the Works in Progress series, which occurs at 12:10 p.m. and 1:10 p.m. on select Mondays, features new research by Gallery staff, interns, fellows, and special guests. This lunchtime series of 30 minute talks followed by an open question-and-answer session enables the public to access scholarship and artistic creation.

Details for both series are listed below. For updates, please check the Gallery Web site at

Sunday Lectures

Unless otherwise noted, the following programs are on Sundays at 2:00 p.m. in the East Building Auditorium.

September 7
Conversations with Artists: Leo Villareal
Lecturer: Leo Villareal, artist, in conversation with Molly Donovan, associate curator of modern and contemporary art, National Gallery of Art

Contemporary artist Villareal (b. 1967) and Donovan will discuss the artist’s groundbreaking work, which features movement and light. Inspired by the theories of Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and John Conway (b. 1937), Villareal creates programs using the language of mathematical and computer-based systems, notably Conway’s Game of Life.

September 14
George de Forest Brush: The Indian as a Metaphor
Lecturer: Nancy Anderson, curator of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art
Book signing to follow: George de Forest Brush: The Indian Paintings

Combining extraordinary technical skills acquired in Paris with firsthand experience living among the Arapahoe, Shoshone, and Crow in Wyoming and Montana, Brush (1854/55-1941) created, during the 1880s, an important series of paintings of American Indians much celebrated by his contemporaries but rarely seen since. Exhibition curator Anderson re-introduces Brush and talks about the recent discovery of several of his “lost” works.

September 21
Pushcarts, Souks, and Cold Storage: Public Markets through the Photographer’s Lens
Lecturer: Helen Tangires, administrator, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art
Book signing to follow: Public Markets

Based on her recent book, Public Markets, Tangires discusses a selection of approximately 800 historical and contemporary photographs in the Library of Congress that depict food markets and marketplaces around the world. These photographs illuminate our understanding of this persistent and universal system of agricultural marketing.

Friday, September 26
3:00 p.m.
The New Prado Extension: A Conversation with Rafael Moneo and Miguel Zugaza, Moderated by Selma Holo
Lecturers: Moneo, architect; Zugaza, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid; and Holo, director of Fisher Gallery, professor of art history, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, director of the International Museum Institute, and author of Beyond the Prado: Museums and Identity in Democratic Spain

A new extension of the Prado Museum will be the focus of conversation at this Friday afternoon program. The event is part of a five-month celebration of contemporary Spanish culture in Washington, DC.

Note: This program is coordinated with and supported by the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC.

September 28
Martin Puryear: “How Things Fit Together”
Lecturer: John Elderfield, chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York

On the closing day of the Gallery exhibition Martin Puryear, distinguished art historian and curator Elderfield presents his views of his friend, the internationally acclaimed and native Washington artist, Martin Puryear.

October 5
Joan Miró, Michel Leiris, and Eroticism
Lecturer: Charles Palermo, associate professor of art history, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
Book signing to follow: Fixed Ecstasy: Joan Miró in the 1920s

Palermo’s new book, Fixed Ecstasy: Joan Miró in the 1920s, changes our view of the artist and his period. Although Miró is best known as a Surrealist, Palermo explains how the early years that Miró spent in Barcelona and Paris defined his role as a modernist.

October 12
Conversations with Artists: Rachel Whiteread
Lecturer: Rachel Whiteread, artist, in conversation with Molly Donovan, associate curator of modern and contemporary art, National Gallery of Art

Contemporary artist Whiteread (b. 1963) will discuss her career with Donovan. Whiteread, recognized for her talent in sculpting and more specifically casting, created Ghost, one of her best known works which is displayed at the Gallery.

Note: This lecture is part of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture Series, endowed by Barbarlee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Carl Spielvogel.

October 19
Finding Ancient Rome on the Bay of Naples: An Introduction to Pompeii and the Roman Villa
Lecturer: Carol Mattusch, Mathy Professor of Art History, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Guest curator Mattusch will help open the spectacular exhibition, Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples, with a sneak peek into its development. Mattusch turns her interest in technology to the ancient art market, and considers antiquities from the perspectives of both their ancient contexts and their modern lives.

Saturday, October 25
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Last Days of Pompeii: Lecture and Films
Lecturer: Martin M. Winkler, classical scholar and author of Classical Myth and Culture in the Cinema

Specialist Winkler will introduce two early and imaginative cinematic versions of the epic, The Last Days of Pompeii, based on Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830s novel. The discussion will be followed by a viewing of the movie in both English and Italian.

October 26
Jan Lievens: Out of Rembrandt’s Shadow
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art

Jan Lievens in Black and White: Etchings, Woodcuts, and Collaborations in Print
Stephanie S. Dickey, Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

This paired lecture, focused on Dutch artist Jan Lievens (1607-1674), will be presented by Wheelock and Dickey.

Wheelock—the lead curator for the exhibition Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered, the first monographic show in the U.S. on view from October 26, 2008, through January 11, 2009—will examine the character of Lievens’ art and the vagaries of his reputation. Dickey will focus on how Lievens developed his personal printmaking style and used the media of etching and woodcut to showcase his skills as a draughtsman, portraitist, and storyteller.

November 2
Let’s Talk: A Conversation with Peter Schjeldahl
Lecturer: Peter Schjeldahl, senior art critic, New Yorker magazine
Book signing to follow: Let’s See: Writings on Art from the New Yorker

Schjeldahl will talk about his new book, Let’s See: Writings on Art from the New Yorker, and will welcome questions, comments, and challenges from the audience. The book covers large-scale exhibitions and private gallery shows and profiles leaders in the art world and artists themselves.

November 9
To Live with Myths in Pompeii and Beyond
Lecturer: Paul Zanker, professor of art history, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa

Zanker is internationally renowned for his research of Roman art. He will discuss ancient myth and how it was represented in Pompeii and other sites in Italy.

November 16
Conversations with Collectors: Dorothy and Herbert Vogel
Lecturers: Collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel in conversation with Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art

Fine will moderate a conversation with renowned New York collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. They will discuss Megumi Sasaki’s film "Herb and Dorothy" and the recent gift of 2500 works from their collection, 50 to each of the 50 states in the Union. The film will be shown at 4:00 p.m.

November 23
Conversations with Authors: Calvin Tomkins
Lecturer: Calvin Tomkins, author and staff writer of The New Yorker, in conversation with Harry Cooper, curator of modern and contemporary art, National Gallery of Art
Book signing to follow: Lives of the Artists

Tomkins discusses his latest book, Lives of the Artists, with Cooper, which explores ten major artists to demonstrate the direction that contemporary art is taking.

November 30
From Botticelli to Buonarroti: Medici Portrains and Anti-Medici Plots
Lecturer: Marcello Simonetta, writer and historian
Book signing to follow: The Montefeltro Conspiracy: A Renaissance Mystery Decoded

In the wake of the publication of his recent book The Montefeltro Conspiracy, which solves the mystery surrounding the notorious attempt on Lorenzo de Medici's life in 1478, Simonetta focuses on the National Gallery of Art's Medici portraits, both painted and sculpted. His lecture will also explore some of the Sistine Chapel's secrets.

December 7
Film, Memory and Amnesia
Lecturer: Péter Forgács, filmmaker

Hungarian filmmaker Forgács presents an illustrated lecture on his award-winning films. His presentation will be followed by a showing of Miss Universe of 1929 at 3:30 p.m. and Own Death at 5:00 p.m.

December 14
Time, Space, and the Progress of History in the Medieval Map
Lecturer: Conrad Rudolph, professor of medieval art history, University of California at Riverside

Rudolph will use medieval maps to show how users could learn about their past and future, in relation to the entire human race. Particular attention will be given to the world map in Hugh of Saint Victor’s The Mystic Ark of around 1125 to 1130.

Works In Progress Series

Unless otherwise noted, the following programs are on Mondays at 12:10 p.m. and 1:10 p.m. in the East Building Small Auditorium.

Monday, September 22
Of The I Sing: Sound in Early Johns
Lecturer: Harry Cooper, curator and head of modern and contemporary art, National Gallery of Art

Cooper will present his latest thinking about renowned artist Jasper Johns in the first Works in Progress lecture of the season.

Monday, October 6
Thinking about Clouet
Lecturer: John Hand, curator of northern Renaissance paintings, National Gallery of Art

Hand will think aloud about the French Renaissance painter, Francois Clouet, focusing on A Lady in Her Bath, which is on view in the Gallery’s Northern Renaissance painting collection.

Monday, October 20
Venice in the Bazaar: Ceramics, Textiles, and Furniture
Lecturer: Rosamond Mack, independent scholar

Venetians seem to have adapted their trade, production, and diplomatic gift-giving to Eastern Mediterranean tastes and fashions.This lecture examines the marketing of crusader-era ceramics, the patterns of Venice’s luxury silks, and the presentation of chairs.

Monday, November 3
Rogier van der Weyden, the Bishop of Cambrai and the “Netherlandish Renaissance”
Lecturer: Douglas Brine, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art

Brine presents his latest research on recollections of Van der Weyden in the gilt-brass foundation memorial of Jacques de Croy, Bishop of Cambrai (d. 1516), housed in the treasury of Cologne Cathedral.

Monday, November 17
Lure of the Exotic: Asian Papers in Nineteenth-Century French Etching
Lecturer: Kimberly Schenck, head of paper conservation, National Gallery of Art

Nineteenth-century printmakers used a variety of papers to explore the distinctive qualities of the etching medium, often selecting special papers to make impressions from the same plate distinct from one another. This lecture provides an overview of the use of Asian paper for etching, describes the types of Asian paper found in French prints, and gives a preliminary assessment of their impact on the print trade.

Monday, December 1
Yours Obediently and Faithfully: The Letters of W.O. Oldman, English Ethnographic Dealer
Lecturer: Jennifer Wagelie, department of academic programs, National Gallery of Art

Monday, December 15
Cosmic Politics: Hugh of St. Victor’s “The Mystic Ark” and the Struggle over Elite Education in the Twelfth Century
Lecturer: Conrad Rudolph, professor of medieval art history, University of California at Riverside

Rudolph will use The Mystic Ark (c. 1125–1130), perhaps the most complex single work of art from the entire Middle Ages, to show how great Parisian scholar Hugh of St. Victor addressed creation theory.

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

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