DRILL HALL GALLERY LECTURE SERIES 2019
Languages of ART
Foundation texts in in western art history and criticism.
This year’s Lecture Series focuses on the written word. It revisits “foundational texts” relating to the visual arts. Some of these texts provided key terms which have supplied the criteria of appreciation and criticism over many centuries. Others proposed cognitive frameworks which became the ground-rules of scholarship and helped create the institutions we know today. Yet others record individual writers’ responses to the provocative novelty of the art of their day.
1: SUNDAY 3 MARCH
The Perennial Search for Words: Aesthetics, Art Criticism and Commentary since antiquity
This introduction considers the elementary terminology and descriptive language pertaining to art in ancient times. It also highlights the enduring ideas which have prevailed since antiquity. Christopher Allen is art critic for The Australian and Senior Master in Academic Extension at Sydney Grammar School.
2: SUNDAY 7 APRIL
Lorenzo Ghiberti : The Commentaries
The ground-breaking writings of the 15th century Florentine artist are categorised by art historian Francis Ames-Lewis as the “first coherent history of Italian art, the first artistic autobiography and the first attempt by an artist to discuss in words some of the intellectual and scientific principles of the visual arts, notably optics.” Ghiberti’s Commentaries provided an influential rationale for “the Renaissance.” Terence Maloon is Director of the ANU Drill Hall Gallery.
3: SUNDAY 5 MAY
With the advent of Wölfflin comes a complex, nuanced descriptive language specifically adapted to art history and criticism, enlarging the writer’s capacity to analyse style and account for sharp changes of idiom (which were, in effect, changes of “world view”). Louise Marshall is a senior lecturer in the Department of Art History, University of Sydney.
4: SUNDAY 7 JULY
Vitruvius and his interpreters
This lecture traces the Renaissance rediscovery of a text on architecture dating from the 1st century BC and the recasting of its dry terminology by erudite and eloquent later writers such as Leon Battista Alberti. The augmentation of their ideas resulted in the steady enrichment of architectural aesthetics. Peter Kohane is senior lecturer, Architectural Studies, at the University of New South Wales.
5: SUNDAY 4 AUGUST
Sir Joshua Reynolds and the language of the academy
The founding director of the Royal Academy in London, Sir Joshua Reynolds, had an outstanding knowledge of Old Master paintings, as displayed in his erudite Discourses. His text exemplified not only the critical language of the academy, but also some surprising deviations from its dogmas. Jennifer Milam is the Head of School and Professor of Art History in the School of Culture and Communications, at the University of Melbourne.
6: SUNDAY 1 SEPTEMBER
Writers on Monet
Monet’s art was so novel that his commentators felt obliged to respond with equivalent freshness and eccentricity. This lecture surveys some great texts inspired by Monet, by writers including Maupassant, Proust, Roger Marx, Louis Gillet and Virginia Spate. Terence Maloon is Director of the ANU Drill Hall Gallery.
ALL LECTURES are held at the ANU School of Art and Design Lecture Theatre
Level 1 Childers Street entrance – at 3PM
TICKETS $10 / $5 (student), FRIENDS of the Drill Hall Gallery and NGA Members FREE