Art Focus Lecture Series 2016

The Art Focus Lectures program offers participants an opportunity to expand their knowledge of art through lectures by professors, curators, art experts, and artists.

All lectures take place in the Cantor Arts Center auditorium from 4:15 to 6:15 pm.
Pre-registration is highly recommended. Drop-in attendance is offered on a first-come-first-served basis for $30 at any session including individual talk within a series if space is available on the day. Payment for drop-ins is by check or cash only, accepted at the door.

This season offers the following topics:
- Plundered Art: Nebuchadnezzar to Napoleon & the Nazis Event Full
- Inside Outsider Art
- Stanford Architecture: Making Connections to the Past & Future
- Telling Stories with Photography
- Decorative Arts Discovered: Art Nouveau & Jugendstil
- Post-Impressionism & Les Nabis: Between Impressionism & Abstraction in Fin-de-Siècle Paris
- People & Places of the Bay Area Figurative Movement

PLUNDERED ART: NEBUCHADNEZZAR TO NAPOLEON & THE NAZIS Event Full
The theft of art is hardly a modern phenomenon. Verres, a greedy Roman governor of Sicily, illegally amassed astonishing stolen civic treasures. Among other appropriations, the Roman Emperor Nero robbed Pergamon of its most famous sculpture of the Hellenistic world, the Laocoön Group. The Conquistadors’ sack of Mexico and Peru in the 16th century, European expeditions in Egypt and Mesopotamia over several centuries, and Nazi plundering in the 20th century all provide examples of a sad trend that lives on today. This can be seen in the recent pillaging of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad as well as other sacred Iraqi and Syrian sites. Our cultural odyssey following plundered art is global in nature and covers millennia of purloined treasures.

• Nebuchadnezzar to the Roman Republic
• Nero plunders Imperial Rome; Venice sacks Byzantium
• Napoleon, Nazis, and ISIS

Patrick Hunt, PhD, is an archaeologist, art historian, and biographer teaching humanities, archaeology, mythology, and the arts at Stanford for 23 years. He has published 16 books and articles including Rembrandt: His Life in Art History; Myths for All Time; Caravaggio; and Renaissance Visions: Myth and Art. Dr. Hunt is a frequent featured scholar on documentaries including National Geographic Explorer and NOVA.

Thursdays, February 4, 11, and 18
Cantor Arts Center Auditorium
4:15 – 6:15 pm
Member: $75, Non-member: $90
Registration form

INSIDE OUTSIDER ART
The term Outsider Art, often used to describe the work of self-taught or non-academically trained artists, is both a stigma and a banner. Its history goes back to the French term art brut, but its meaning has greatly evolved and gained increased attention in the art world. This lecture will provide a short overview of the history of the genre and will also focus on artists with disabilities from Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, the oldest and largest center of its kind in the world. The work of Creative Growth artist Judith Scott, a sculptor whose work has been widely exhibited in prestigious venues including the Brooklyn Museum, will be used as an example of Outsider Art in today’s art world.

Tom di Maria has served as Director of Creative Growth Art Center since 2000. He has developed partnerships with museums, galleries, and international design companies to help bring artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world. He speaks around the world about the Center’s major artists and their relationship to both Outsider Art and contemporary culture. Prior to this position, he served as Assistant Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley.

Thursday, February 25
Cantor Arts Center Auditorium
4:15 – 6:15 pm
Member: $25, Non-member: $30
Registration form

STANFORD ARCHITECTURE: MAKING CONNECTIONS TO THE PAST & FUTURE
Stanford University fosters a dynamic culture in a setting that celebrates the contrast of the central campus and the open space of the surrounding foothills. This talk will illustrate how campus planning connects to the original Olmsted Plan and various architectural periods of the past, offers a roadmap to the campus of the future, and physically links multiple schools and disciplines, bridging students, faculty, and staff to culture and the arts. Highlights will include recently completed projects such as the Graduate School of Business, the new medical complex, and the Arts District, as well as glimpses of projects currently in design and construction.

David Lenox, the Stanford University Architect since 2005, has led the development of a campus master plan that outlines strategies to restore the original Olmsted campus plan. He has served on design juries for AIA San Francisco, California Preservation Foundation, AIA National Interior Design Awards, and the Society for College and University Planning.

Wednesday, March 2
Cantor Arts Center Auditorium
4:15 – 6:15 pm
Member: $25, Non-member: $30
Registration form

TELLING STORIES WITH PHOTOGRAPHY
The eye of the photojournalist, like that of the artist, explains and challenges our view of what we think we know. The photojournalist’s mission is a commitment to storytelling, the essential journalistic undertaking. Far beyond simply witnessing, the trained photojournalist creates images that give both longevity and context. This lecture will feature highlights of David Burnett’s work ranging from the Iranian Revolution and the last eight Summer Olympic Games, to the Vietnam War and American presidential politics of the last 40 years.

David Burnett, a magazine photographer, has worked in more than 80 countries, and produces photographic essays for National Geographic, Politico, and other periodicals. A contract photographer for TIME Magazine for 45 years, he co-founded Contact Press Images, the New York-based photojournalism agency, and has covered every American president since John F. Kennedy.

Wednesday, March 9
Cantor Arts Center Auditorium
4:15 – 6:15 pm
Member: $25, Non-member: $30
Registration form

DECORATIVE ARTS DISCOVERED: ART NOUVEAU & JUGENDSTIL
The period before World War I saw the flowering of the decorative arts style of Art Nouveau; in the Germanic countries, its variant was Jugendstil, the style of youth. In this lecture, we will pursue the incredible variety of decorative art design in posters, furniture, glass, murals, whole rooms, and even architecture featured in this period. Major figures such as Mucha, Guimard, and Klimt will be included.

Brigid Barton is a professor emerita in Art History at Santa Clara University, where her specialty was European Modernism. She lectures for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Stanford Continuing Studies, the Oshman Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, and Santa Clara University's OLLI program, and has taught at the Stanford Center in Berlin. She received her PhD from UC Berkeley.

Wednesday, March 16
Cantor Arts Center Auditorium
4:15 – 6:15 pm
Member: $25, Non-member: $30
Registration form

POST- IMPRESSIONISM & LES NABIS: BETWEEN IMPRESSIONISM & ABSTRACTION IN FIN-DE-SIÈCLE PARIS
After 1885, bold avant-garde artists in Paris who felt constrained by the limits of Impressionism began to explore its tenets and possibilities while also creating pathways of originality that led to modernism. This daring group of individuals and their pathways include:

• The formalists: Paul Cézanne and Georges Seurat
• The expressionists/symbolists: Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh
• The prophets: Les Nabis: Pierre Bonnard (featured in the Painting Arcadia exhibition at the Legion of Honor this spring)

Denise Erickson is a professor of Art History at Cañada College and a celebrated local lecturer.

Wednesdays, April 6, 13, and 20
Cantor Arts Center Auditorium
4:15 – 6:15 pm
Member: $75, Non-member: $90
Registration form

PEOPLE & PLACES OF THE BAY AREA FIGURATIVE MOVEMENT
In the 1950s, artists of the Bay Area Figurative Movement rejected the prevailing style of Abstract Expressionism and forged a new idiom. This group, which included Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown, and others, first adopted and then modified many of the aesthetic principles established by earlier modernists including Monet, Cézanne, and Matisse. This lecture will examine select paintings by Bay Area Figurative painters in order to see and understand how each made use of the past in order to create a new visual language they felt best addressed the people and places of the Bay Area.

Kevin R. Muller teaches Art History at College of Marin, and is a frequent lecturer on the collections of the De Young, Crocker, and Oakland museums. Muller’s research has been supported by fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the American Antiquarian Society, and The Huntington Library. His publications span three centuries of American art. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley.

Thursday, April 28
Cantor Arts Center Auditorium
4:15 – 6:15 pm
Member: $25, Non-member: $30
Registration form



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