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Lecture on 19th-century Luminism part of Syracuse Symposium, Homer exhibition
Alan Wallach, renowned American art scholar at the College of William & Mary, is speaking at Syracuse University. His presentation, “On Luminism: Light and Landscape in Mid-19th-Century America,” is Thursday, Sept. 24, at 4 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons in the E.S. Bird Library. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, coincides with “Winslow Homer’s Empire State: Houghton Farm and Beyond,” running through Oct. 11 at the SUArt Galleries. Both the lecture and the exhibition are part of the 2009 Syracuse Symposium, organized and presented by the SU Humanities Center. For more information, call (315) 443-7192, or visit the Syracuse Symposium website.
Lecture co-sponsors include the Department of Art and Music Histories in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Andrew W. Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor, an interdisciplinary partnership with SU, Cornell University and the University of Rochester.
“Alan Wallach is generally credited with revolutionizing the teaching of American art and museum studies,” says Gregg Lambert, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities, as well as founding director of the SU Humanities Center and principal investigator of the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor. “His classes are in huge demand, both on the graduate and undergraduate levels, because of their originality and fresh, imaginative approach. He also is a renowned scholar who has written about everything from the Hudson River School to Norman Rockwell to museum ethics.”
At SU, Wallach will discuss Luminism, a type of 19th-century American landscape painting championed by Fitz Henry Lane, Martin Johnson Heade, Sanford Robinson Gifford, John F. Kensett and others that focused on the realistic depiction of light and atmosphere. Sascha Scott, assistant professor of art history in the college, helped coordinate Wallach’s visit. “Alan Wallach is one of the leading scholars in the study of 19th-century American art, and has written field-altering studies on mid- to late-19th century landscape painting, as well as on the history of art institutions in the United States,” she says. “His lecture will appeal to scholars and enthusiasts alike.” Scott adds that his presentation will nicely complement the Homer exhibition, composed primarily of watercolor landscapes.
Wallach is the Ralph H. Wark Professor of Art and Art History, as well as professor of American studies, at William & Mary. He is a leading scholar of American art history, American studies and museum studies and is celebrated for his groundbreaking work on the landscape painters of the Hudson River School and on the history and development of American museums. In 2007, Wallach earned the Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award from the College Art Association. His books include “Exhibiting Contradiction: Essays on the Art Museum in the United States” (University of Massachusetts Press, 1998), frequently used in courses on museum studies and museum history, and “Thomas Cole: Landscape Into History” (Yale University Press, 1994). He is a frequent speaker, commentator and panel chair who has presented papers at Columbia University, Harvard University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre.
Syracuse Symposium is a semester-long festival devoted to the interdisciplinary humanities. This year’s festival explores the protean meaning of light, in all its senses and myriad of forms, through music, dance, the visual arts, philosophy, science and religion. The festival also attempts to bring new meaning to “light” through an array of lectures, performances, symposia and special events.