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Art & Art History

Janson-La Palme Distinguished Lecture in European Art History

Established by Washington College Professor Emeritus Robert J. H. Janson-La Palme and his wife, Bayly, the Janson-La Palme Lecture series brings internationally known scholars on European art to campus for public lectures and presentations.

2017

Joseph Koerner, Victor S. Thomas Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. “The Moment of the Fall: The Ethical Challenge of Adam and Eve in Renaissance Art.

Of all the tales people told about themselves, the story of Adam and Eve has been the most powerful and enduring.  In the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds, people practiced ethical reasoning through the seedpod of this one strange story: the first man, followed soon by the first woman, disobeys his creator and is punished by sickness, hardship, and death. During the Renaissance, especially, the Fall tested the mettle of Renaissance artists through the challenge posed by the nude and through the leap, described in the story, from innocence to guilt.  Restricted to a static medium, painters and sculptors entangled a “before” the Fall and an “after,” and this prompted ethical reasoning in artists and viewers.  This lecture explores how Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, and other European masters portrayed humanity’s pivotal moment.

2015

Jeffery Chipps Smith, the Kay Fortson Chair in European Art at the University of Texas and author of Dürer, published in 2012 by Phaidon. “Dürer on the Museum.”

2014

Mariët Westermann, Vice President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, New York, formerly Director, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and Founding CEO and Provost, New York University, Abu Dhabi. “Silence in the Studio: Vermeer and Terborch.”

2013

Martin J. Kemp, Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art at University of Oxford. “Leonardo da Vinci: Visions of Earth and Heaven.”

2012

Keith Christiansen, John Pope Hennessy Chairman, Department of Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. “Bellini, Saint Francis and the Religious Poesia.” 

2010

Earl A. Powell III, Director of the National Gallery of Art. “The National Gallery in the New Century.” 

2009

Peter Humfrey, Professor of Art History, School of Art History, St. Andrew’s University, Scotland. “Giovanni Bellini and his Patrons.” 

2008

Thomas Crow, Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art History, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. “Composition and Decomposition in Girodet’s Revolt of Cairo.” 

2007

Paul Barolsky, Commonwealth Professor of Art History, University of Virginia. “Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the History of Art.”

2006

Robert Rosenblum, Henry Ittleson, Jr., Professor of Modern European Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Stephen and Nan Swid Curator of Twentieth-Century Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. “Unbridled Passions: Animals in Romantic Art.”