Renaissance, Baroque period lecture series set at Albany Museum of Art

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Sep. 18—ALBANY — A series of Albany Museum of Art gallery lectures this fall will delve into the Renaissance and Baroque periods, with paintings from those eras creating the appropriate setting.

The lectures, which will start at 5:30 p.m. on five Thursdays, are open to the public, and admission is free. Each will take place in the Haley Gallery, where "European Splendors: Old Master Paintings from the Kress Collection" is on view through Dec. 23. The lecture series is funded with a $2,725 Education Program Grant that the Georgia Council for the Arts awarded the AMA in July.

"This series brings local high school and college students, and community members together with art history scholars to discuss selected Renaissance and Baroque works from the Kress Collection, which is on loan from the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina," said Annie Vanoteghem, director of education and public programming at the AMA. "The series starts Sept. 30 and concludes in December."

The primary goal of the European Splendors Lecture Series is to share information on Renaissance and Baroque works of art, and to provide context. The series is especially aimed at high school students in rural south Georgia. Those in attendance will learn from art historians how to interpret the works of the Kress Collection, and how the art relates socially and culturally. In addition, students and others attending the lectures will explore analytical skills through close viewing, visual thinking strategies, description, and historical context.

Following the Middle Ages, a movement began around 1280 in Italy and blossomed into the Renaissance, a period in which art, religion, culture, society, and politics rekindled the humanism that fell by the wayside centuries earlier with the decline of Rome. The rediscovery of ancient culture that dominated the 15th and 16th centuries transformed into an age of expansion in the 17th and 18th centuries. Known as the Baroque period, it was an era when artists explored deeper colors, dramatic imagery, and greater contrast between light and shadows.

"Each of our speakers will address aspects of artworks in the exhibition and explain their relevance to our society in the 21st century," Vanoteghem said. "We are fortunate to have a wonderful group of knowledgeable art professors from Georgia and Alabama universities who have agreed to come to the AMA and to share their expertise and insights with our area students and guests."

Art professors scheduled to take part in the lecture series, and the dates and subject matter for their lectures are:

—Sept. 30: Keaton Wynn — professor of art history and ceramics; Georgia Southwestern State University; "Spiritual Realities within the Immanent Frame;"

—Oct. 7: Charles Williams — professor of visual art, art appreciation and art history; Albany State University; "Multi-culturalism and the Artist Perspective in Renaissance Art;"

—Oct. 21: Grace Harpster — assistant professor of art history; Georgia State University; "Material and Meaning in the European Splendors Exhibition;"

—Nov 18: Elissa Auerbach; professor of art history; Georgia College & State University; "Art for Faith's Sake! How Religious Art Divided Europe in Early Modernity;"

—Dec 9: Joyce de Vries; professor and Department of Art & History chair; Auburn University; "Living with Art: Paintings from the European Splendors Exhibition in the Renaissance Household."

Vanoteghem noted that the schedule will be adjusted if health guidance changes in regard to safe public gatherings. Visitors are asked to wear masks and to observe social distancing while at the museum.

"European Splendors: Old Master Paintings from the Kress Collection" is organized by the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina, with support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York. Its exhibition at the AMA was made possible by the Walter and Frances Bunzl Family Foundation.

The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive, adjacent to Albany State University's West Campus just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Albany Museum of Art is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free.

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