Art Matters @ SBMA


Series subscription no longer available for Spring Sessions

Single tickets available the morning of the lecture

$15 at the Visitor Services desk

Art Matters (previously Art Talks) is presented by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and is a premier lecture series intended for continuing adult education in the history of art. Our distinguished speakers come from the Santa Barbara area, as well as across the country, and occasionally, abroad. Art historians, curators, and conservators offer fascinating insights into their areas of specialization. This season, we are pleased to introduce Special Topics, in which specialists are given the opportunity to delve into greater depth through consecutive lectures devoted to a particular research area or book project.

View the full brochure of upcoming lectures in the Winter and Spring!

Full Art Matters Schedule

Spring 2018

Thursdays
March 29, April 5, April 26, May 3, May 24
10 – 11:30 am

Purchase tickets at the door the morning of the upcoming shows!

Jean-Léon Gérôme. Duel after the Masquerade, c.1857. Oil on canvas. 59.1 x 56. 3 cm. Baltimore, Walters Art Museum.
Jean-Léon Gérôme and the Crisis of History Paintings in the 1850s – Part I
Gülru Çakmak, University of Massachussetts, Amherst
March 29


A crisis in historical representation unfolded in French visual culture in 1850s, when artists and critics alike came to a troubling realization: depictions of past heroes that had once held exceptional influence over their viewers now left the public indifferent. This lecture series will examine a group of paintings in which Jean-Léon Gérôme charted a new roadmap for the art of painting in response to the modern sensibility of history.

Jean-Léon Gérôme and the Crisis of History Paintings in the 1850s – Part II
Gülru Çakmak, University of Massachussetts, Amherst
April 5


A crisis in historical representation unfolded in French visual culture in 1850s, when artists and critics alike came to a troubling realization: depictions of past heroes that had once held exceptional influence over their viewers now left the public indifferent. This lecture series will examine a group of paintings in which Jean-Léon Gérôme charted a new roadmap for the art of painting in response to the modern sensibility of history.

György Képes in the Cold War, Part I: Camouflage and Pattern
John Blakinger, postdoctoral fellow, USC Society of Fellows
April 26


This lecture explores the fraught relationship between art, science, and military power during the Cold War through the work of artist, designer, and visual theorist György Kepes (1906-2001). Part I focuses on Kepes's exile from Europe; his work on camouflage with the US military during the Second World War; and his study of scientific patterns at MIT in the immediate postwar period.

György Képes in the Cold War, Part II: Collaborations and Environments
John Blakinger, postdoctoral fellow, USC Society of Fellows
May 3


Part II of Blakinger’s discussion focuses on Kepes's establishment of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT; the Center's first collaborative exhibitions; and Kepes's use of art-and-technology projects as a response to environmental crisis.

The Contemporary Art World and Accumulation
Charles Stuckey, Independent Scholar
May 24


This lecture traces the history and growing prevalence of a conceptual genre of modern and contemporary art that Charles Stuckey designates with the term "accumulation" used by the French Nouveau réaliste artist, Arman starting around 1960 for works consisting of similar objects piled together. Further, Stuckey will explore the expressive overtones of this genre, whether poetic or political, and connections between accumulation works and works based on repetition or works made in series as a particularly modern idiom, perhaps more widespread today than ever.

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