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A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts

Sir Oswald Hornby Joseph Birley, Andrew W. Mellon, 19331933

Sir Oswald Hornby Joseph Birley, Andrew W. Mellon, 1933, oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. Mellon Bruce, 1941.9.1

The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts were inaugurated in 1949. Endowed by a gift of the Old Dominion Foundation and the Avalon Foundation (creations of Paul Mellon and his sister, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, respectively) the lecture series was founded “to bring to the people of the United States the results of the best contemporary thought and scholarship bearing upon the subject of the Fine Arts.” The lecturers were to be, and have been, of “exceptional ability, achievement and reputation.” The National Gallery engages distinguished scholars from all disciplines to lecture on subjects in their fields, as the original gift mandated, “provided such subjects have a relationship to or bearing on the Fine Arts or are important to understanding, appreciation, or promotion of the Fine Arts.” As publication was always an essential part of the vision of the Mellon Lectures, a relationship was established between the National Gallery and the Bollingen Foundation for a series of books based on the lectures. Since 1967 the series has been published by Princeton University Press. For discussions of lectures and lecturers through 2001, see the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts publication The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, Fifty Years, edited by Elizabeth Cropper (2002).

powell-full

Photo © Chester Higgins

2022
Colorstruck! Painting, Pigment, Affect
Richard J. Powell, Duke University

March 20
March 27
April 3
April 10
April 24
May 1

Further information to be announced.

jennifer-roberts-lrg

2021
Contact: Art and the Pull of Print
Jennifer L. Roberts, Harvard University

April 25: Pressure
May 2: Reversal
May 9: Separation
May 16: Strain
May 23: Interference
May 30: Alienation
Watch or Listen

bois-lrg

Fall 2022
Transparence and Ambiguity: The Modern Space of Axonometry
Yve-Alain Bois, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ

Dates to be announced.

hung-400

2019
End as Beginning: Chinese Art and Dynastic Time
Wu Hung, University of Chicago
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foster-cover

2018
Positive Barbarism: Brutal Aesthetics in the Postwar Period
Published as Brutal Aesthetics: Dubuffet, Bataille, Jorn, Paolozzi, Oldenburg (2020)
Hal Foster, Princeton University
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nemerov-full

2017
The Forest: America in the 1830s
Alexander Nemerov, Stanford University
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dehejia-cover

2016
The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Chola Bronzes from South India, c. 855‒1280
Published as The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from Chola India, 855‒1280 (2021)
Vidya Dehejia, Columbia University
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crow-cover

2015
Restoration as Event and Idea: Art in Europe, 1814‒1820
Published as Restoration: The Fall of Napoleon in the Course of European Art, 1812‒1820 (2018)
Thomas Crow, New York University, Institute of Fine Arts

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grafton-full

2014
Past Belief: Visions of Early Christianity in Renaissance and Reformation Europe
Anthony Grafton, Princeton University

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bergdoll-full

2013
Out of Site in Plain View: A History of Exhibiting Architecture since 1750
Barry Bergdoll, The Museum of Modern Art/Columbia University

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clunas-cover-full

2012
Chinese Painting and Its Audiences
Published (2017)
Craig Clunas, University of Oxford

beard-cover

2011
The Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from Ancient Rome to Salvador Dalí
Published as Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern (2021, forthcoming)
Mary Beard, University of Cambridge
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miller-full

2010
Art and Representation in the Ancient New World
Mary Miller, Yale University

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clark-cover

2009
Picasso and Truth
Published as Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica (2013)
T. J. Clark, University of California, Berkeley

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koerner-cover-full

2008
Bosch and Bruegel: Parallel Worlds?
Published as Bosch and Bruegel: From Enemy Painting to Everyday Life (2016)
Joseph Leo Koerner, Harvard University

vendler-cover

2007
Last Looks, Last Books: The Binocular Poetry of Death
Published as Last Looks, Last Books: The Binocular Poetry of Death: Stevens, Plath, Lowell, Bishop, Merrill (2010)
Helen Vendler, Harvard University

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schama-full

2006
Really Old Masters: Age, Infirmity, and Reinvention
Simon Schama, Columbia University

winter-full

2005
"Great Work": Terms of Aesthetic Experience in Ancient Mesopotamia
Irene J. Winter, Harvard University

lavin-full

2004
More Than Meets the Eye
Irving Lavin, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ

varnedoe-cover

2003
Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art since Pollock
Published (2006)
Kirk Varnedoe, Institute for Advanced Study

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fried-cover

2002
The Moment of Caravaggio
Published (2010)
Michael Fried, The Johns Hopkins University
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settis

2001
Giorgione and Caravaggio: Art as Revolution
Salvatore Settis, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa

fumaroli

2000
The Quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns in the Arts, 1600–1715
Marc Fumaroli, Collège de France

bertelli

1999
Transitions
Carlo Bertelli, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Accademia di Architettura

ledderose

1998
Ten Thousand Things: Module and Mass Production in Chinese Art
Published (2001)
Lothar Ledderose, Universität Heidelberg

golding

1997
Paths to the Absolute
Published as Paths to the Absolute: Mondrian, Malevich, Kandinsky, Pollock, Newman, Rothko, and Still (2000)
John Golding, Painter

p-rosenberg

1996
From Drawing to Painting: Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, David, Ingres
Published as From Drawing to Painting: Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, David, and Ingres (2000)
Pierre M. Rosenberg, Musée du Louvre

danto-2014

1995
Contemporary Art and the Pale of History
Published as After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History (1997); first Princeton Classics edition, with a new foreword by Lydia Goehr (2014)
Arthur C. Danto, Columbia University

brown

1994
Kings and Connoisseurs: Collecting Art in Seventeenth-Century Europe
Published (1995)
Jonathan Brown, New York University, Institute of Fine Arts

boardman

1993
The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity
Published (1994)
John Boardman, University of Oxford, Lincoln College

hecht

1992
The Laws of the Poetic Art
Published as On the Laws of the Poetic Art (1995)
Anthony Hecht, Georgetown University

sauerlander

1991
Changing Faces: Art and Physiognomy through the Ages
Willibald Sauerländer, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

montagu

1990
Gold, Silver, and Bronze: Metal Sculpture of the Roman Baroque
Published (1996)
Jennifer Montagu, Warburg Institute

grabar

1989
Intermediary Demons: Toward a Theory of Ornament
Published as The Mediation of Ornament (1992)
Oleg Grabar, Harvard University

shearman

1988
Art and the Spectator in the Italian Renaissance
Published as Only Connect . . . : Art and the Spectator in the Italian Renaissance, (1992)
John Shearman, Princeton University

foss

1986
Confessions of a Twentieth‑Century Composer
Lukas Foss, Brooklyn Philharmonic

ackerman

1985
The Villa in History
Published as The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Houses (1990)
James S. Ackerman, Harvard University

wollheim

1984
Painting as an Art
Published (1987)
Richard Wollheim, Columbia University

scully

1983
The Shape of France 
Published as Architecture: The Natural and the Manmade, 1991, by St. Martin’s Press, New York)
Vincent Scully, Yale University

steinberg

1982
The Burden of Michelangelo's Painting
Leo Steinberg, University of Pennsylvania

harris

1981
Palladian Architecture in England, 1615–1760
John Harris, Royal Institute of British Architects

kidson

1980
Principles of Design in Ancient and Medieval Architecture
Peter Kidson, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

rewald

1979
Cézanne and America
Published as Cézanne and America: Dealers, Collectors, Artists, and Critics, 1891–1921 (1989)
John Rewald, Graduate Center, City University of New York

alsop

1978
The History of Art Collecting
Published as The Rare Art Traditions: The History of Art Collecting and Its Linked Phenomena Wherever These Have Appeared (1982)
Joseph W. Alsop, Journalist

chastel

1977
The Sack of Rome: 1527 
Published (1982)
André Chastel, Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art/Collège de France

von-blanckenhagen

1976
Aspects of Classical Art
Peter von Blanckenhagen, New York University

landon

1975
Music in Europe in the Year 1776
H. C. Robbins Landon, Musicologist

janson

1974
Nineteenth‑Century Sculpture Reconsidered
Published as The Rise and Fall of the Public Monument (1976) by The Graduate School, Tulane University
H. W. Janson, New York University

barzun

1973
The Use and Abuse of Art
Published (1974)
Jacques Barzun, Columbia University

heydenreich

1972
Leonardo da Vinci
Ludwig H. Heydenreich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

boase

1971
Vasari: The Man and the Book
Published as Giorgio Vasari: The Man and the Book (1979)
T. S. R. Boase, University of Oxford

pevsner

1970
Some Aspects of Nineteenth‑Century Architecture
Published as A History of Building Types (1976)
Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, Birkbeck College, University of London

bronowski

1969
Art as a Mode of Knowledge
Published as The Visionary Eye: Essays in the Arts, Literature, and Science (1978) by MIT Press
Jacob Bronowski, Scientist

spender

1968
Imaginative Literature and Painting
Stephen Spender, Poet

praz

1967
On the Parallel of Literature and the Visual Arts
Published as Mnemosyne: The Parallel between Literature and the Visual Arts (1970)
Mario Praz, Università degli Studi di Roma

cecil

1966
Dreamer or Visionary: A Study of English Romantic Painting
Published as Visionary and Dreamer: Two Poetic Painters, Samuel Palmer and Edward Burne-Jones (1969)
Lord David Cecil, University of Oxford

berlin

1965
Sources of Romantic Thought 
Published as The Roots of Romanticism (1999)
Sir Isaiah Berlin, University of Oxford, All Soul's College

j-rosenberg-original

1964
On Quality in Art: Criteria of Excellence, Past and Present
Published (1967)
Jakob Rosenberg, Harvard University

pope-hennessy

1963
Artist and Individual: Some Aspects of the Renaissance Portrait
Published as The Portrait in the Renaissance (1966)
Sir John Pope‑Hennessy, Victoria and Albert Museum

raine

1962
William Blake and Traditional Mythology 
Published as Blake and Tradition (1968)
Kathleen Raine, Poet

a-grabar

1961
Christian Iconography and the Christian Religion in Antiquity
Published as Christian Iconography: A Study of Its Origins (1968)
André Grabar, Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes/Collège de France

lewis

1960
Horace Walpole
(published 1960)
Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis, Yale University

gabo

1959
A Sculptor's View of the Fine Arts
Published as Of Divers Arts (1962)
Naum Gabo, Artist

blunt

1958
Nicolas Poussin and French Classicism
Published as Nicolas Poussin (1967)
Sir Anthony Blunt, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

giedion

1957
Constancy and Change in Art and Architecture
Published as The Eternal Present: A Contribution on Constancy and Change (1962–1964)
Sigfried Giedion, Universität Zürich

gombrich

1956
The Visible World and the Language of Art
Published as Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation (1960)
E. H. Gombrich, University College London

gilson

1955
Art and Reality
Published as Painting and Reality (1957)
Etienne Gilson, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies

read

1954
The Art of Sculpture
Published (1956)
Sir Herbert Read, Harvard University

k-clark

1953
The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art
Published as The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form (1956)
Sir Kenneth Clark, Arts Council of Great Britain

maritain

1952
Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry
Published (1953)
Jacques Maritain, Princeton University