2022-2023 Norfolk Society of Arts | Lecture 1 | Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

Todd Longstaffe-Gowan is a landscape architect with an international practice based in London. He is gardens adviser to Historic Royal Palaces, lecturer at New York University (London), president of the London Gardens Trust, editor of The London Gardener and author of several books including The London Town Garden (Yale, 2001) and The London Square (Yale, 2012).

In this presentation, he will reveal some obscure and eccentric English garden-makers who created immensely personal and idiosyncratic gardens between the 17th and 20th centuries. Among the themes he will explore are the building of miniature mountains, the shaping and moving of topiaries, the collecting and displaying of birds and animals, the excavation of caves, the assemblage of architectural fragments, and an Edwardian rebuilding of the Garden of Eden.

2021-2022 Norfolk Society of Arts | Lecture Seven | Paul B. Redman

We are excited to present Paul B. Redman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Longwood Gardens as our speaker. Mr. Redman will bring us up to date on “Longwood Gardens – Grand Designs.” Paul will speak at our Annual Meeting, Lecture and Luncheon on May 2 at 10:45 AM. This event will be in-person at the Chrysler Museum, Kaufman Theater.

One of the world’s great gardens, Longwood’s story is one of legacy, innovation and stewardship.

Our Gardens are a living expression of all that our founder, Pierre S. du Pont, found inspiring, meaningful and beautiful. From the intricate fountain systems to the meticulous gardens to the architectural grandeur, awe-inspiring discoveries await at every turn.

2021-2022 Norfolk Society of Arts | Lecture Six | Alex Mann

“Burn the Gondolas: Sargent, Whistler and Modern Art in Venice”

Click here to view our March 23 virtual presentation featuring Alex Mann.

We are pleased to welcome our speaker Crawford Alexander Mann III (Alex), Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator Telfair Museums, Savannah.  (Mary Ellis Jarvie Lecture)

In the late nineteenth century, countless American artists, writers and tourists flocked to Venice to experience its beautiful setting, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant glassmaking history.  This diverse artistic scene is the subject of a major exhibition currently on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC: Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano. For this lecture, Alex Mann, the creator and curator of this show, will explore how some artists of this era boldly rejected stereotypical Venetian sources of inspiration and sought to develop alternative, modern styles. Could the city of Venice celebrate its history and simultaneously be a capital of modern art, nurturing creativity and originality?

This exhibition is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where it will be on view through May 8, 2022, following by presentations at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the Mystic Seaport Museum.

2021-2022 Norfolk Society of Arts | Lecture Five | Mari Carmen Ramírez

“Inverted Strategies: Building a Latin American Art Collection”

Click here to view a recording of the Wednesday, February 23 lecture.

We are pleased to welcome our speaker Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and founding Director, International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The establishment in 2001 of an endowed curatorial department together with a research center focused on Latin American and Latino art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, underscored the financial and ethical commitment of this institution with what was then a rapidly emerging field of scholarship and curatorial expertise. The most salient aspect of this multi-faceted program was the mandate to assemble a brand new collection of modern and contemporary art from Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean as well as outstanding examples of US Latino art. Having started near zero, the collection today encompasses over 850 works of twentieth and twenty-first century art in all media by 250 artists. The organization of such a collection, in turn, illustrates both the challenges as well as the rewards at the core of what twenty years ago—particularly from the perspective of mainstream U.S. art museums—was still a rather “risky” field of collecting. In this talk Mari Carmen Ramírez will focus on some of the conceptual and practical issues posed by this collection-building effort while simultaneously introducing the audience to highlights of these unique holdings.

2021-2022 Norfolk Society of Arts | Lecture Four | Anthea M Hartig

Anthea M. Hartig, PhD.,

“Doing Our Work in a Time of Multiple Pandemics and Cascading Crises”

We look forward to having you join us virtually on Wednesday, January 26th at 11 AM.

We are pleased to welcome our speaker Anthea M. Hartig, PhD., Elizabeth MacMillam Director, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

Ms. Hartig will speak to us about the museum’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has put in place two task forces, one on collecting around the current crisis and the other a digital response team to create new content, particularly in the area of K-12 education. During this time, Hartig also coordinated security, facilities and other functions in cooperation with the Smithsonian leadership and other museum directors, which led to the museum’s reopening in May 2021.

2021-2022 Norfolk Society of Arts | Lecture Three | Scott Rothkopf

(Virtual | This lecture will only be available on November 17th at 11AM.)

Photo Credit – Scott Rudd

Scott Rothkopf will present Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, currently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This show is the most comprehensive retrospective ever devoted to Johns’s art. Featuring his most iconic works along with many others shown for the first time, it comprises a broad range of paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures from 1954 to today across two sites. Conceived as a whole but displayed in two distinct parts, the exhibition appears simultaneously here at the Whitney and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, two institutions with which Johns has had long-standing relationships. This unique dual structure draws on the artist’s lifelong fascination with mirroring and doubles, so that each half of the exhibition echoes and reflects the other.

Scott Rothkopf is the Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He joined the Whitney’s staff in 2009 as curator and in that role has served as a curator or co-curator for Glenn Ligon: AMERICA (2011), Wade Guyton OS (2012), Sinister Pop (2012), Singular Visions (2010), Jeff Koons: A Retrospective (2014), America Is Hard to See (2015), Open Plan: Andrea Fraser (2016), Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection (2016), Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens (2016), and Laura Owens (2017). Previously, he served as Senior Editor of Artforum.

2021-2022 Norfolk Society of Arts | Lecture Two | Daniel Finamore

Wednesday, October 27 at 11:00 am
(Virtual | This lecture will be available for viewing through our 2021-2022 lecture season.  Click here to view the lecture.)

Daniel Finamore, Associate Director-Exhibitions, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History Peabody Essex Museum (Mabel Brown Lecture) presents “In American Waters: The Sea in American Painting” which was recently at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

The sea shapes America, and its painters. For over 200 years, artists have been inspired to capture its beauty, violence, poetry and transformative power in American life. This talk explores the pervasive but underappreciated role the sea has played in American painting – historically, symbolically, and as a symbol of American ambition, opportunity, and invention. Featuring works by known marine specialists like Fitz Henry Lane and James Buttersworth, Finamore also casts his net beyond the tradition of nineteenth-century realism to show how artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Amy Sherald, Paul Cadmus, and Jacob Lawrence use the sea as a source of inspiration and as a symbol of how they see America.   

2021-2022 Norfolk Society of Arts | Lecture One | Ann Dumas

Wednesday, October 6 at 11:00 am
(Virtual | This lecture will be available for viewing through our 2021-2022 lecture season.  Click here to view the lecture.)

A note from NSA President Alice Koziol:

Dear NSA Members,

It is unfortunate and disappointing that we will be unable to meet in person for our first lecture of the 2021-2022 Norfolk Society of Arts Lecture Series. We do look forward, however, to having you join us virtually on Wednesday, October 6th. At that time, we are pleased to welcome our speaker, Ann Dumas, Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, as well as Consultant Curator of European Art at the Museum of Arts, Houston. Ann will speak to us about her exhibition “Hockney-Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature” on view earlier this year at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

On October 5th, you will receive an email with the link for access to the lecture and it will also be posted here on the website. You will also receive an email address to enable you to ask a question of our speaker. We are excited and confident that you will enjoy Ann’s lecture.

Thank you for your continued support.
Alice Koziol, President

Ann Dumas, Consulting Curator of European Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London
Hockney-Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature.

Ann Dumas

Ann Dumas joined the staff of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in October 2019 as Consultant Curator of European Art. She also continues in her long-standing role as Curator at the Royal Academy of Art in London, dividing her time between the two institutions. Ann is a specialist in nineteenth- and early twentieth century European art. She gained her Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art at London University. This was followed by a research fellowship at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and five years as assistant curator at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. She has curated many exhibitions at the Royal Academy, including Van Gogh: The Artist and his Letters in 2010 and Painting the Modern Garden, Monet to Matisse in addition to exhibitions on Degas, Matisse, Vallotton and other artists at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. In 2019 she was awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire award) for outstanding services to the arts.

NSA GOES VIRTUAL with PETER J. SCHERTZ and “Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities.”

We were excited to host Peter J. Schertz on Wednesday, 23 September, as not only our first speaker of the 2020-21 season but also the first NSA speaker to “go virtual,” due to Covid19 health concerns.

He was a willing and able test subject as we premiered our virtual platform for lectures. He offered us not only a compelling virtual lecture on the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts‘ exhibit of items recovered from forgotten, sunken cities in the Nile delta, but also engaged directly with viewers in a question and answer period following his lecture through questions emailed to the moderator and posed to him directly.

Dr. Schertz received his PhD in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Southern California and his BA in Classical Languages and Literature from the University of Chicago.

Among his projects at the VMFA are an in-depth study of the museum’s statue of Caligula, including a digital reconstruction of the statue’s original colors, as well as the exhibition and catalogue “The Horse in Ancient Greek Art”. He has also published on the “Temple of Herod in Jerusalem” and the “Arch of Titus in Rome.”

For his NSA lecture, Dr. Schertz spoke on a VMFA exhibition, open June 2020- January 2021, “Treasures of Ancient Egypt:  Sunken Cities.” 

Stele of Thonis-Heracleion, 380 BC Thonis-Heracleion, Late Period, Dynasty 30, reign of Nectanebo I; Black granodiorite

Some twelve hundred years ago, two cities, Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus sank into Egypt’s Aboukir Bay. Once vibrant centers of international trade and the sites of major religious sanctuaries, these cities lay virtually forgotten until their rediscovery in 1996 by underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio. In excavating these cities, Goddio found not only evidence of the an ancient multi-cultural port city but also evidence of religious ceremonies, especially the annual celebration of the Mysteries of Osiris, the most important festival of the Egyptian year. Mr. Schertz’s talk focussed on the exhibition of Goddio’s finds at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, providing a behind the scenes look at the installation of nearly 300 objects most of them recovered from beneath the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

His program was organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and supported, in part, by the Paul Mellon Endowment and the Jean Stafford Camp Memorial Fund.

Photo credits, thanks to VMFA. 

an installation view, Osiris and Isis-

Donald Albrecht discusses, “New York: the Mythic City.”

Our speaker on February 22nd, Donald Albrecht, a New York City-based curator of design and a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, has curated exhibitions and developed books and catalogs ranging from overviews of cultural trends to profiles of individual design firms and artist.

Some of his curated exhibitions include World War II and the American Dream, Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design for the National Building Museum ; National Design Triennial for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum; and Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York for the Museum of the City of New York.

For most exhibitions, Mr. Albrecht also develops and edits the catalogs, contributes major essays and works with other writers to provide fresh critical perspectives.  His catalogs have received numerous awards, including The Society of Architectural Historians’ Best Exhibition Catalogue for the Eero Saarinen and the Eames Catalogs.  

His profiles of individual design firms and artists include The Work of Charles and Ray Eames for the Library of Congress and Vitra Design Museum; Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future for the Finnish Cultural Institute, the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the National Building Museum; and also The High Style of Dorothy Draper for the Museum of the City of New York.

Mr. Albrecht has contributed essays to a number of books about architecture and design, including The Glass House: Pairings and California Design: The Legacy of West Coast Craft and Style.

On the 22nd, he spoke to us about New York City’s wealth of “Art Deco” buildings and how they came to define or establish New York as the “Mythic City.”