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× Art History Talks with Rebecca Albiani

Icons: How does a work of art attain iconic status? This year's art history lecture series will tackle this question via an up-close look at five icons of world art, from the ancient world to the 20th century. We will delve into these works and the circumstances that produced them, exploring questions such as should the British Museum return the Parthenon marbles to Athens? Did the Night Watch really sink Rembrandt’s career? And what might constitute the Great American Picture?

All lectures are held on Tuesdays at 11:30am Series tickets $60 - $80 Single tickets $16 - $24

Rembrandt’s The Night Watch October 9

The Night Watch, Rembrandt’s 1642 group portrait of a militia company, is his largest work and forms a turning point in his career. Packed with incident and drama, it represented a novel approach to portraiture and technique and has proved such a powerful symbol that at least three vandals have attempted to destroy it.

Picasso’s Guernica November 13

Composed in two months in response to the bombing of Guernica in northern Spain, Picasso’s monumental Guernica has become a potent symbol of the anti-war movement. We will follow Picasso’s creative process through his many studies and see which protest painting the public liked better.

The Parthenon January 8

The Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena and constructed on the Athenian Acropolis between 447 and 432 BCE, has long been renowned for the elegance of its architecture and beauty of its sculpture. Examples of the Parthenon's influence are easy to find even in Washington State.

Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans February 12

When we think of Pop Art, we think of Warhol’s Cambpell's soup cans. We will see how deliberately Warhol set out to create an icon, and we will examine why so many Pop artists were borrowing from the supermarket shelves and other feminine realms for some of their best known imagery.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Cow’s Skull: Red, White and Blue March 12

O’Keeffe painted Cow’s Skull in 1931, two years after her first extended trip to New Mexico (a personal landmark in her career). At a time when writers like Fitzgerald and Dos Passos were attempting to write the Great American Novel, Cow's Skull may represent her ambition to paint the “great American picture.”