The American way of art

    • 	Image: Henry Inman No-Tin (Wind), a Chippewa Chief 1832–33 (detail), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of the 2008 Collectors Committee, photo: Museum Associates/LACMA
    • Lecture series on American art, culture and philosophy

      Course, Lecture / symposium, Member

The Gallery’s exhibition America: painting a nation is the first survey of American art ever to be seen in Australia. Our two countries share a New World heritage and parallel art traditions, and this sweeping narrative of American art offers a mirror in which we can explore our own culture.

To celebrate this landmark exhibition the Gallery’s membership organisation, the Art Gallery Society of NSW, presents this lecture series, which examines the key artists, cultural and philosophical trends, religion, architecture and literature that together make up the great cultural melting pot that is America.

From the idea of a ‘national art’ to the treatment of the First Americans, the influence of blue jeans on world fashion to the great American collectors and their extraordinary accumulation of art treasures, The American way of art will give you a fascinating insight into this rich and varied nation.

The course brings together experts from many fields, including an introductory lecture by exhibition consultant Dr Chris McAuliffe that will put the exhibition and its art into context.

Each session will be hosted and include readings by distinguished actor John Derum.

Sundays 1-29 September & 13-27 October 2013
10.30am

Full subscription:
non-member $320
member $240

Individual lecture:
non-member $45
member $35
student $20

Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878

BOOK ONLINE

Link above is for subscription booking

Cancellations:
Three full working days (Mon–Fri) notice is required to qualify for a refund. All refunds attract an administration charge of 25% of the ticket price(s) with a minimum charge of $5. With subscription tickets there are no refunds for single sessions, unless a session is cancelled. Not negotiable.

Duration 2 hours, 30 minutes
Location: Domain Theatre

Related exhibition: America

Proudly sponsored by
Arab Bank Australia

Image: Henry Inman No-Tin (Wind), a Chippewa Chief 1832–33 (detail), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of the 2008 Collectors Committee, photo: Museum Associates/LACMA

    • Week 1

      Charges apply

      Sunday 1 September 10:30am – 1pm
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      What’s American about American painting?
      Dr Chris McAuliffe

      Does a distinctive national experience engender a distinctive national art? In what ways do American myth and ideology appear in art? Consultant Chris McAuliffe gives an overview of the themes and works in the exhibition America: painting a nation.

      Puritan moral perfectionism and the Wyeths: Edenic landscapes and American philosophy
      Dr Christopher Hartney

      From out of a powerful American quest for prelapsarian perfectionism arise the transcendentalist movement and Henry Thoreau. Cavell’s reading of Thoreau is used to explain how the idea of moral perfectionism infuses the stunning output of the incredible Wyeth family, focusing on key examples in the works of Newell Wyeth and his youngest son Andrew.

      Related exhibition: America

    • Week 2

      Charges apply

      Sunday 8 September 10:30am – 1pm
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      Pocahontas’ regret; Diallo’s luck
      Craig Judd

      Erasure of indigenous cultures by disease, war and official policy is a key characteristic of colonial expansion. However, this is not a simple formula with predictable outcomes, particularly in the USA. This lecture examines the arts and representation of Native Americans and African Americans c1600-1900.

      Post-World War II architecture: Louis Kahn and the art of making a room
      Dr Peter Kohane

      Louis Kahn’s status as the most significant architect in the post-World War II period stemmed from his rethinking of modernist principles. This offers insight into his designs for the Salk Institute, the Exeter Library, the Yale Art Gallery, Kimbell Art Museum and the Mellon Center for British Art.

      Related exhibition: America

    • Week 3

      Charges apply

      Sunday 15 September 10:30am – 1pm
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      Who’s a Yankee Doodle Dandy? The American influence on modern clothing
      Claudia Chan Shaw

      No item of clothing is more American than a pair of blue jeans. Born in the 1870s these utilitarian work pants would go on to become the most popular clothing product in the world. This lecture moves from the first pair of blue jeans and the cultivation of cotton in the land of Dixie to the emergence of companies like Brooks Brothers and the great department stores.

      Cold War, hot art
      Craig Judd

      Just what makes the work of Lee Krasner, Mark Rothko, Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock et al so important? This lecture introduces some of the key players and broader cultural contexts of what has been constructed as the key heroic phase of USA contemporary art c1940-55.

      Change to schedule: Edward Hopper and Robert Frost with Lorraine Kypiotis, which was originally advertised for 15 September, is now on 22 September

      Related exhibition: America

    • Week 4

      Charges apply

      Sunday 22 September 10:30am – 1pm
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      The necessity of being beautiful: sublime and decrepit landscapes in American art
      Dr Chris McAuliffe

      The discovery of beauty in the American landscape drew ecstatic responses from 19th-century artists. For the painter, pleasure and awe were united in the sublime landscape. By the 1970s, ecstasy was replaced by entropy. This lecture will cover a large territory – from upstate New York to the Great Salt Lake – in an exploration of American beauty.

      Edward Hopper and Robert Frost: the roads less travelled
      Lorraine Kypiotis

      Edward Hopper was familiar with Frost’s poetry – he 'admired it greatly because it was not just beautiful words beautifully arranged’. The painter and the poet, men of similar temperaments, working in New England, dedicated themselves to their calling with deliberate and austere intensity.

      Change to schedule: Cold War, hot art with Craig Judd, which was originally advertised for 22 September, is now on 15 September

      Related exhibition: America

    • Week 5

      Charges apply

      Sunday 29 September 10:30am – 1pm
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      American pragmatism: William James
      Chris Hartney

      William James was an American psychologist, philosopher and founding member of the school of philosophy known as American pragmatism. James wanted people to be happy and if religion makes them happy, let them feel good rather than encourage them to argue about the truth of religious beliefs.

      Change of lecturer: due to illness, Chris Hartney deliver this lecture instead of Prof Robert Spillane as previously advertised.

      Multiculturalism and tradition in American music and painting
      Damien Freeman

      British conductor Sir Simon Rattle once said, 'If European art was a very long marinated casserole, then American art is the fastest, most brilliant stir-fry.’ The different impact of multiculturalism and tradition on art forms in America leads us to think more generally about the significance of these two forces on art and artists.

      Related exhibition: America

    • Week 6

      Charges apply

      Sunday 13 October 10:30am – 1pm
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      The great American collectors
      Lorraine Kypiotis

      From Isabella Stewart Gardner to Solomon R Guggenheim, philanthropists and industrialists from the 1880s through to the mid 20th century amassed collections that would shape a nation’s museums. These rich and powerful art lovers gathered together works of European 'high culture’ which not only enhanced their own reputations but would eventually find their way into the public realm.

      And so this is the end: apocalyptic visions in American (outsider) art
      Dr Christopher Hartney

      This journey into incredible worlds of chaos, revenge, rapture and fantasy will focus particularly on outsider artists: those mad, extraordinary and obsessive creators such as Henry Darger and Norbert Kox whose visions may thrill us with their splendour yet just as equally condemn us to both world destruction and everlasting hellfire

      Related exhibition: America

    • Week 7

      Charges apply

      Sunday 20 October 10:30am – 1pm
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      New York City round the clock
      Dr Bruce Gardiner

      We review some of the most vivid literary and pictorial accounts of the rhythms of daily life in New York City over the centuries. Consider novelists such as Henry James and John Dos Passos, poets Langston Hughes and Frank O’Hara, painters John Marin and Willem de Kooning, and photographers Alfred Steiglitz and Berenice Abbott.

      Some brothers do have 'em: Charles Pollock
      Terence Maloon

      Charles Pollock, the older brother of Jackson, is the subject of a book written by Terence Maloon. Charles’ stoicism and steadiness in the light of his brother’s dazzling accomplishment and worldwide renown, and his own independent achievements as a painter, have gained him a place in the sun during the last decade.

      Related exhibition: America

    • Week 8

      Charges apply

      Sunday 27 October 10:30am – 1pm
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      American voices in poetry: Dickinson, Whitman and Frost
      Professor Barry Spurr

      Writing under the general influence of Romantic and later 19th century poetry and poetics – these American poets nonetheless bring a distinctive individuality of voice and of subject matter to their poems. We will explore aspects of their subjects and techniques with a view to identifying varieties of 'American’ experience.

      The rest is rust and stardust: America acted out
      Tom Wright

      This lecture provides a portrait of America in the 20th century through playwrights and directors. It will examine Eugene O’Neill, Richard Foreman, Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio, Edward Albee’s perverse domesticity, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and The Living Theater.

      Related exhibition: America