Tuesday September 25, 2018
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art Presents the 2018–2019 Lecture Series
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art Presents the 2018–2019 Lecture Series

exterior of the CMA building

Free series brings internationally renowned experts to museum to discuss new scholarship and discoveries

Cleveland, OH (September 25, 2018) – The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) announces its 2018–2019 annual Lecture Series. This series brings to the museum some of the most influential scholars and cutting-edge contemporary artists from the academic and museum professions to discuss groundbreaking topics in the arts and humanities. 

Selected for their expertise in specific research areas and to acquaint audiences in Northeast Ohio with their work and thought leadership, this season’s speakers include: Professor Antony Eastmond, A. G. Leventis Professor of Byzantine Art History and Dean & Deputy Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London; Anupam Sah, head of art conservation, research, and training at the Museum Art Conservation Centre at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai; Arthur Jafa, award-winning artist, director, and cinematographer; Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, curator of African art at the Cleveland Museum of Art; Carmen Winant, writer, visual artist, and Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Studio Art at the Ohio State University; and Dr. Mimi Gardner Gates, director emeritus of the Seattle Art Museum and president of the American Friends of the Dunhuang Foundation. 

The endowed lecture series is made possible by the generosity of donors who committed to fostering public education and scholarship in areas of the museum’s collection that reflect their personal heritage and passions. Their endowment lecture funds are enduring legacies that bring together audiences, artists, and scholars every year to celebrate global artistic traditions.

Each lecture is free and open to the public. To make reservations, please call 216-421-7350. 

All lectures take place in Gartner Auditorium.

Endowed Lecture Series 2018–2019 Season 

The Cleveland Saint Luke: The Byzantine Artist as Creator, Bureaucrat, or Copyist 
Antony Eastmond 
Sunday, September 30, 2018, 2:00 p.m.
Professor Antony Eastmond presents The Cleveland Saint Luke: The Byzantine Artist as Creator, Bureaucrat, or Copyist. Saint Luke was both an evangelist and an artist: he wrote one of the four Gospels and painted the first portrait of Christ and his mother. The Cleveland Saint Luke, an exquisite portrait of the saint from an eleventh-century manuscript, shows him in a very different guise: as a bureaucrat with the tools of his trade carefully laid out before him. In this lecture, Eastmond uses the portrait as a starting point to consider the nature of originality in Byzantine art. The Byzantine court has long been associated with the dead hand of rigid, stultifying administration, yet it commissioned and created some of the most beautiful and complex art of the medieval world. Can bureaucracy drive creativity? 

This lecture is made possible through the Dr. John and Helen Collis Family Endowment. 

An Indian Polychromy Story: Traditional Painting Materials and Their Conservation 
Anupam Sah
Saturday, October 6, 2018, 3:00 p.m.  
Master conservator and heritage restoration expert Anupam Sah comes to Cleveland from Mumbai, India, to deliver a vividly illustrated lecture on India’s paints and paintings. Titled An Indian Polychromy Story: Traditional Painting Materials and Their Conservation, the lecture begins with early evidence found in ancient texts, murals, and polychromed sculptures, then touches upon examples from the newly augmented collection of Indian paintings at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Sah presents how traditions continue to be maintained and discusses the state of heritage conservation practices in India today.

This lecture is made possible through the Dr. Ranajit K. Datta in Memory of Kiran P. and S. C. Datta Endowment Fund.

A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions 
Arthur Jafa 
Saturday, October 13, 2018, 2 p.m.
Award-winning artist, director, and cinematographer Arthur Jafa discusses his 30-year career and how he uses a range of visual media and music to examine black life and culture in the United States. His lecture is titled A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions. Renowned for a wide-ranging career, Jafa has said that he hopes to create cinema that “replicates the power, beauty, and alienation of Black Music.” He was cinematographer on Julie Dash’s pioneering film Daughters of the Dust (1991), which was art-directed by Kerry James Marshall. He recently shot and edited the music video for “4:44,” the title track from Jay-Z’s newest album. His groundbreaking video, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death (2016) has toured museums internationally since it debuted in 2017. This masterful, seven-minute meditation on African American life with sampled footage from films, the Internet, the news, and sporting events is set to the music of Kanye West’s gospel-inspired, hip-hop track “Ultralight Beam.” Jafa’s additional film credits include work on Spike Lee’s Crooklyn (1994), Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999), and Ava DuVernay’s Selma (2014). He is a cofounder of TNEG, a production company that supports black independent film, and in 2016 he was director of photography for the music videos Don’t Touch My Hair and Cranes in the Sky by Solange.

This lecture is made possible by the Fran and Warren Rupp Contemporary Art Fund.

Complementary Programming

Wednesday, October 10, 6:45 p.m. 
Morley Lecture Hall, $5, CMA members free (ticket required)
Directed by Spike Lee. With Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, and Spike Lee. Spike Lee’s semiautobiographical film focuses on a young African American girl living with her mother and father and four brothers in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, during the early 1970s. (USA, 1994, color, 35mm, 115 min.)

Daughters of the Dust
Friday, October 12, 6:45 p.m. 
Morley Lecture Hall, $5, CMA members free (ticket required)
Directed by Julie Dash. One of the most beautiful color films ever made! Members of a multigenerational Gullah family living on South Carolina’s Sea Islands at the dawn of the 20th century prepare to leave their economically depressed community and migrate to northern industrial cities on the mainland. (USA, 1991, color, Blu-ray, 112 min.)

African Art: Old Idioms / New Objects in Our Fashion
Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 2:00 p.m.
Works by contemporary African artists reflect how African people living on and off the continent engage with the world and think about the relationship between the present and the past. As the Cleveland Museum of Art’s curator of African art, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi aims to expand the understanding of the arts of Africa through landmark acquisitions and innovative exhibition strategies that link together historical, modern, and contemporary African arts. Titled African Art: Old Idioms / New Objects in Our Fashion, this lecture considers the ways in which the historical artistic traditions in Africa continue to serve as a basis for contemporary artistic practices that abound on the continent today. Recent acquisitions to the museum’s African collection will be discussed, including Totem 01/01-18 (Baga-Batcham-Alunga-Kota) by Cameroonian artist Hervé Youmbi and Twilight of the Idols (Fetish) 3 by South African artist Kendell Geers, both currently on view in the African art gallery.   

*Inaugural lecture The Robert P. Madison Family in Memory of Leatrice B. Madison Endowment Fund supports an annual public lecture that educates the community about the importance of the museum’s African and African American collections.

Unmaking the Picture 
Carmen Winant
Saturday, February 16, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
Carmen Winant is a photographer who does not author her own pictures. Instead, her work circulates within the world of found and often anonymous, camera-made and machine-printed images. Recent projects include My Birth at the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Another Echo at Sculpture Center (NY), Pictures of Women Working at the Columbus Museum of Art; all three installations utilized an explosive, overwhelming, and endlessly modular logic, challenging the manner in which pictorial sequences are read, and made neatly legible. As with their subject—women’s bodies performing and retaliating against sexed expectations—Winant’s work consents to more than one meaning, and more than one shade of conflict, to take shape. In her lecture Unmaking the Picture, Winant discusses the ways in which photography can be used to compel and complicate feminist narratives by asking: is it possible to “picture” liberation? How do violence and submission manifest for the camera? What does pleasure look like? In what ways do pictures consistently fail us? 

This lecture is made possible by the Fran and Warren Rupp Contemporary Art Fund.

Caves of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road
Mimi Gardner Gates
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 2:00 p.m. 
Dr. Mimi Gardner Gates, acclaimed scholar of Chinese art and director emeritus of the Seattle Art Museum, introduces the spectacular Buddhist caves of Dunhuang, a UNESCO World Heritage site where some of the earliest and finest examples of Chinese Buddhist art can be found.

This lecture is made possible through the Pauline and Joseph Degenfelder Family Endowment Fund.

In addition to the Endowed Lecture Series, the CMA offers a robust selection of adult lectures that are inspired by exhibitions, programs, or current issues and events. For more information, visit ClevelandArt.org.

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261