Clyde Burroughs Dinner Lecture Series
on American Art & Design
This 2018-2018 evening lecture series at the Scarab Club explores the contributions of leading figures in American art and design from the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries.
Join us for one, or all five of these engaging evening lectures, delivered by distinguished, nationally ranked American art and design specialists.
Dinner & Lecture
Members / Students $15
All lectures follow the same schedule:
6:00 pm Cocktail hour
7:00 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Lecture
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables
Barbara Haskell, Senior Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art
Grant Wood’s American Gothic—the double portrait of a pitchfork-wielding farmer and a woman commonly presumed to be his wife—is perhaps the most recognizable painting in 20th century American art, an indelible icon of Americana, and certainly Wood’s most famous artwork. But Wood’s career consists of far more than one single painting. He was a complex, sophisticated artist whose image as a farmer-painter was as mythical as the fables he depicted in his art. Wood sought pictorially to fashion a world of harmony and prosperity that would answer America’s need for reassurance at a time of economic and social upheaval occasioned by the Depression. Yet underneath its bucolic exterior, his art reflects the anxiety of being an artist and a deeply repressed homosexual in the Midwest in the 1930s. By depicting his subconscious anxieties through populist images of rural America, Wood crafted images that speak both to American identity and to the estrangement and isolation of modern life.
Barbara Haskell is a long-time curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a well-known scholar on American modern art, and author of over thirty publications. Among the landmark thematic exhibitions she has curated are The American Century: Art & Culture 1900–1950 (1999) and BLAM! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism and Performance 1958–1964 (1984). In addition, she has curated retrospectives and authored accompanying scholarly monographs on a range of early-twentieth-century and post-war American artists, including H. C. Westermann (1978), Marsden Hartley (1980), Milton Avery (1982), Ralston Crawford (1985), Charles Demuth (1987), Red Grooms (1987), Donald Judd (1988), Burgoyne Diller (1990), Agnes Martin (1992), Joseph Stella (1994), Edward Steichen (2000), Elie Nadelman (2003), Oscar Bluemner (2005), Georgia O’Keeffe (2009), Lyonel Feininger (2011), Robert Indiana (2013), Stuart Davis (2016), and Grant Wood (2018). In 2005, she was awarded the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Field of American Art History by the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
LUMIA: Thomas Wilfred and the Origins of Time-Based Media in Modern Art
Keely Orgeman, Alice and Allan Kaplan Associate Curator of American Painting and Sculpture, Yale University Art Gallery
In her lecture, Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Origins of Time-Based Media in Modern Art, Keely Orgeman will focus on the work of the Danish-American artist Thomas Wilfred, who built an international reputation in the first half of the twentieth century as the pioneer of a new art form, which he called lumia. Wilfred invented sophisticated analog “instruments” that produce brilliantly colored displays, realizing a fusion of modernist abstraction and pre-digital technology. My talk considers at the formal and conceptual affinities between lumia and the wide-ranging work of Wilfred’s contemporaries, from other early kinetic-light objects, such as Stanton Macdonald-Wright’s Synchrome Kineidoscope and László Moholy-Nagy’s Light Prop for an Electric Stage, to experimental films, Abstract Expressionist paintings, Light and Space environments, to psychedelic light shows.
Keely Orgeman is the Alice and Allan Kaplan Associate Curator in the Department of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale University Art Gallery. She received her Ph.D. from Boston University in 2014, writing her dissertation on representations of radioactivity in American art. At BU, she received the Presidential Fellowship, as well as the Jan and Warren Adelson Fellowship in American Art, organized the exhibition Atomic Afterimage: Cold War Imagery in Contemporary Art (2008) at the Boston University Art Gallery, and authored its accompanying catalogue. Since coming to Yale in fall 2008, she has served in several curatorial roles in the American Paintings and Sculpture Department and has contributed entries and essays to museum publications, including collection catalogues and the Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin. In 2017, she organized the traveling exhibition Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light for the Yale Art Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Washington, D.C., which was accompanied by a scholarly catalogue. Currently, she is embarking on a new project that centers on a historical portrait miniature.
Thursday, February 28, 2019
The Architect Vanishes
Michael H. Hodges, Fine Arts Writer, The Detroit News
Industrial architect Albert Kahn was a giant in Detroit’s heroic age, the visionary who invented the humane “daylight factories” that helped birth both modern manufacturing and modern architecture. In this lecture and slideshow, Detroit News reporter Michael H. Hodges — author of “Building the Modern World: Albert Kahn in Detroit” — will review Kahn’s local legacy, his vigorous defense of Diego Rivera’s “Detroit Industry” murals when under attack, and his role helping the Soviets beat the Nazis in 1941-42.
Michael H. Hodges is the fine-arts writer for The Detroit News, where he’s worked since 1991. “Building the Modern World: Albert Kahn in Detroit” is his second book on local architecture. His first, “Michigan’s Historic Railroad Stations,” was named a Notable Book by the Library of Michigan. Hodges blames his architectural enthusiasms on both the picturesque Oakland County dairy farm he grew up on, as well as the six years he spent as a student at the Cranbrook School for Boys.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
The Love Flight of a Pink Candy Heart
Nancy Rivard Shaw, Curator Emerita American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts
Florine Stettheimer socialized within the same milieu as her contemporary, fellow artist and museum founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, becoming a fixture among the New York avant-garde. She studied in New York and Paris and her lesser known early work recalls the realist traditions of the Ashcan School. Yet, she is best known for the vibrant and exuberant palette of the fantasies that she begins to lay down on canvas after 1916. Behind the Pink Cellophane Curtain: The Fantasy World of Florine Stettheimer will explore not only the imagined often autobiographical worlds found in her canvases, but also the studio she created, where to a good extent, she brought that world to life.
Nancy Rivard Shaw, Curator Emerita of American Art, Detroit
Institute of Arts (DIA) and an independent scholar specializing in late 19th and early 20th century American art. Among the major exhibitions Shaw has contributed to are: “John Singer Sargent and the Edwardian Age,” (1979), “The Quest for Unity: American Art Between World’s Fairs,” (1983), and “American Art from the Manoogian Collection,” (1989). She co-organized “From the Hudson River School to Impressionism: American Art from the Manoogian Collection,” (1997) and prepared the scholarly catalogue that accompanied it.
Shaw has published extensively on the DIA’s collections, and has contributed essays and articles to numerous publications and exhibition catalogues. She has also lectured at various museums in the United States and Japan on the DIA’s collections, and on the private collection of American Art owned by fellow Detroiter Richard A. Manoogian. Recent publications include Calm in the Shadow of the Shadow of the Palmetto & Magnolia: Southern Art from the Charleston Renaissance Gallery (2003), American Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts, vol. III (2005), and Spot: Southern Works on Paper (2008).
In 1998 Shaw moved with her husband, Dr. Danny W. Shaw, to Beaufort, South Carolina, and turned her attention to Southern Art, particularly impressionism, which evolved separately from the North. She has written extensively on such well-known painters as Elliott Daingerfield, as well as more obscure figures like Kelly Fitzpatrick, Lawrence Mazzanovich, Elizabeth Verner, and Bayard Wootten.
Since relocating to Florida in 2004 Shaw has lectured and published on a wide range of art historical subjects, including Eliel Saarinen and the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Michigan artist Frederick Frieseke, and Artistic impressions of the Southern landscape.
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Jennifer R. Henneman, Assistant Curator, Denver Art Museum
While Frederic Remington is often thought of as a western character, namely because of the subject matter of his artwork, he was in fact a cosmopolitan New Yorker who socialized with America’s most important artists at the turn of the twentieth century. This talk will consider his relationship with the American Impressionists, including John Henry Twachtman, Julian Alden Wier, and Childe Hassam, with whom he regularly socialized at the Player’s Club in New York City, and discuss how these artists influenced the development of his artistic technique and philosophy.
Jennifer R. Henneman, PhD is Assistant Curator at the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the Denver Art Museum. Her interdisciplinary transatlantic research, which has taken her from the wilds of the American West to the cosmopolitan streets of London, reflects her own upbringing on a cattle ranch in Montana and her interest in the dominant cultural and artistic spheres of the late Victorian era. Most recently she co-curated Backstory: Western American Art in Context (March 2016 – February 2017), an exhibition in collaboration with the History Colorado Center that told the story of the West through art and artifact.
Jennifer received a PhD in 19th century British and American Art and Visual Culture from the University of Washington, an MA in Non-Western Art History from Richmond, the American International University in London, and BAs in Studio Art and French from Montana State University. During her doctoral degree she completed research fellowships at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY, and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin. Her curatorial and collections experience includes posts at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Morris Graves Foundation, the Henry Art Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Image: Frederic Remington, Buffalo Runners–Big Horn Basin, Oil on canvas, 1909
Courtesy Sid Richardson Museum, Fort Worth, Texas