Saturday, June 06, 2020 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Tina Rivers Ryan / Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo), Formerly Columbia University
Could you name the four most important paintings in Western art? That is, the ones that most influenced the course of art, or history, or both? (Perhaps you’re thinking about Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling, or Leonardo’s Last Supper?) While a fun exercise, there is no definitive list of the “most important” paintings—or the most beautiful, or the most famous, or the most valuable. And even if we could identify the “most important” paintings, it would not necessarily answer the more profound questions we might ask: namely, why has painting played so central a role in Western culture for centuries, and why does it continue to be the most popular medium for artists working today?
Covering six centuries of painting in about sixty minutes, this lecture looks at four indisputable masterpieces that exemplify how paintings communicate ideas and shape how we see the world. In short, these are paintings that every art lover should see if they want to understand art—and that everyone who doesn’t love art should see if they want to fall in love with it. The paintings include:
An art historian by training, Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan is currently Assistant Curator of contemporary art at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. She holds a BA from Harvard, three Master’s Degrees, and a PhD from Columbia, and has taught classes on art at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Pratt Institute, and Columbia, where she was one of the top-ranked instructors of the introduction to art history, “Art Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Art.” A regular critic for Artforum, her writing has also appeared in periodicals such as Art in America and Art Journal, and in catalogs published by museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Tate. As a public speaker and scholar, Dr. Ryan has delivered lectures on topics ranging from Michelangelo to Warhol in more than 50 cities internationally.
Sam Potolicchio / Georgetown University
As is well known, America’s founding political commitments were to democracy and the rule of law. Some have described them as the soul and spirit of our nation. And over the generations, citizens have given their lives to preserve those commitments. But over time it appears that their meanings have changed and settled “truths” are open to new interpretations. Could it be this is be a symptom rather than a cause of what some see as our current crisis? Does America face an erosion of public faith in long taken-for-granted aspects of our political life?
This class will address those questions through the lens of next year’s presidential primaries and general election. Currently several candidates are vying for an opportunity to challenge President Trump. Professor Potolicchio will discuss leading candidates and access their strengths and weaknesses in the context of the party convention and platform, personality, organization, and fundraising.
Sam Potolicchio is Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. He is also a Distinguished University Professor, Department Chairman and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and the President of the Preparing Global Leaders Forum. He was named one of “America’s Best Professors” by the Princeton Review, Future Leader of American Higher Education by the Association of Colleges and Universities, and winner of the OZY Educator Award as one of the six outstanding American educators. He created and designed the first undergraduate degree in Global Governance and Leadership in English in the Russian Federation where he serves as Academic Director. Professor Potolicchio has also been a visiting professor at New York University.
Robert Watson / Lynn University
World War II is arguably the most tragic episode in human history. The six year war began in Europe but soon spread to all corners of the globe with countless men, women, and children affected by the struggle. Millions were killed on the battlefield, in the air, and on the sea. And as everyone knows, an estimated 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazi's in accordance with Hitler's master plan to exterminate their entire race.
The chronology is well known, but during a war this complex and lengthy, there are many surprising and sometimes shocking incidents that occurred that are less well known – especially during the final chaotic days of the conflict. This lecture will explore the desperate and bizarre actions of the Nazis at the end of the war and the challenges confronting the allies in rescuing Holocaust prisoners, as well as the difficulties historians face in uncovering and making sense of such stories and the role of government in declassifying war documents.
Robert Watson is the Distinguished Professor of American History at Lynn University. A frequent media commentator, he has been interviewed by CNN, MSNBC, “Time,” “USA Today,” “The New York Times,” and the BBC and others, and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Book TV,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He has received multiple Professor of the Year awards at Lynn and other universities, and published 40 books on topics in history and politics. His book “America’s First Crisis” won the book of the year award in history at the Independent Publishers’ awards and his book “The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn” won the Commodore Barry Book Award.