Since the mid-19th century, American women have pursued careeers in sculpture that often looked to the past, but also brought powerful, new, and important voices to the medium. We will look at both sculptures of the female form and sculptures by women artists from the collection of the Fine Arts Museums.
Florence Gould Theater
See how women have been portrayed by artists in Western art from medieval to modern times, including by Vermeer, Degas, Klimt, Hopper, Picasso, and others.
When do we find the earliest myths in Greek art? This proves to be a difficult question for scholars because before figures are labeled, they are open to various interpretations. This lecture will trace myth in cultures predating Greece, in Mesopotamia and Egypt, and show how the representation of narrative in art is a Greek invention that accompanies the spread of alphabetic literacy.
Lecture by Barry Powell, Halls-Bascom Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This lecture focuses on ancient Egyptian wooden sculpture, three-dimensional and in relief, highlighting its broad range of styles and quality, adaptability, and penchant for innovative styles. This presentation will form a context for the Museums’ recent acquisition of the exquisitely carved and painted statuette of Seneb—an unsurpassed example of the art of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt.
Scherman Lecture by David Silverman, Eckley Brinton Coxe, Jr. Professor of Egyptology and Curator, Egyptian Section, University Museum, University of Pennsylvania.
Little is known about how small and portable artifacts were acquired, used, and then discarded in ancient societies. Such humble objects were recovered by early excavations in various locations in Pompeii—including residences, market gardens, the surfaces of streets, and a trash dump located outside the fortified city walls. The detailed study of their condition sheds new light on the stories this excavated material tells us about life in an ancient Roman city.
San Francisco Ceramic Circle Illustrated Lecture: Invention and Art at Meissen: Europe's First True Porcelain, by Professor Jeffrey Ruda, President of the San Francisco Ceramic Circle, Professor Emeritus, Art History, UC Davis
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The single most important gift of art in our nation's history came from the Kress Collection. From this gift, the Fine Arts Museums received a superb selection of old master paintings, making its holdings a "mini–National Gallery."
Many surprises are revealed in comparing works on paper with those on canvas. The diverse media and techniques used to make drawings, etchings, woodcuts, prints, and paintings result in fascinating differences in artistic expression.
Some of the most dramatic pieces of European art were created from the inspiration of literature, in particular the Bible and ancient Greek mythology. From works in the Legion of Honor, we will explore the great skill of European artists to render the drama of literature and life.