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Art Matters

Art Matters is presented by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and is a premier lecture series intended for continuing adult education in the history of art. Our distinguished speakers come from the Santa Barbara area, as well as across the country, and occasionally, abroad. Art historians, curators, and conservators offer fascinating insights into their areas of specialization.

This season, in an effort to better serve the educational needs of the greater Santa Barbara area, Art Matters is moving to Thursdays at 4:30pm. Lectures will continue to follow a loosely chronological trajectory, from antiquity to present-day. We are pleased to continue offering the Special Topics format in which specialists are given the opportunity to explore their subjects in depth through consecutive lectures devoted to a particular research area or book project. Tickets will be available for individual purchase, rather than season pass. As always, students can enjoy free admission with valid student ID.

Art Matters: Examining Michelangelo’s First Painting - In the Conservation Studio

Thursday, January 31, 2019
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Claire Barry, Director of Conservation, Kimbell Art Museum

According to his biographer Ascancio Condivi, Michelangelo created his first painting, The Torment of Saint Anthony, when the young artist was only about twelve years old. This talk explores how the disciplines of art history, conservation and science united to help confirm the attribution of Michelangelo’s first painting, now in the collection of the Kimbell Art Museum.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member (Curators' Patron & above): FREE
SBMA Member (Collector's Patron and below): $10
General Admission: $15
Student (Valid student ID required): FREE

Art Matters: Materials and Methods - Technical Study of Renaissance Chiaroscuro Woodcut

Thursday, February 14, 2019
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Naoko Takahatake, Associate Curator, Prints & Drawings, LACMA

In recent decades, interdisciplinary technical study of works of art, pooling the expertise of art historians, conservators, and conservation scientists, has provided valuable new insights into artists’ materials and working methods. Such collaborative research has productively addressed a range of far reaching art historical issues, including questions of authorship, chronology, creative process, and artistic intention. This talk will consider some contributions of technical examination and scientific analysis to our understanding of Renaissance works of art on paper, focusing in particular on research on the chiaroscuro woodcut, a pioneering color printmaking technique.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member (Curators' Patron & above): FREE
SBMA Member (Collector's Patron and below): $10
General Admission: $15
Student (Valid student ID required): FREE

Art Matters: Making Connections - Representations of Reflections/Refractions of Light

Thursday, February 21, 2019
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Keith Christiansen, Chairman, Dept. of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

That art has this power to haunt us to such a degree that we scheme of ways to see what we have heard about or seen in reproduction or can easily access on the internet is one of those fascinating mysteries of modern life. A mystery, because it is by no means certain that the thing that haunts me will have the same effect on someone else. Because in the end, our responses to works of art are complex and personal and attempts to intellectualize the process seem to me doomed to failure. In this talk, Keith Christiansen shares some of his strategies for looking at Renaissance and baroque painting.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member (Curators' Patron & above): FREE
SBMA Member (Collector's Patron and below): $10
General Admission: $15
Student (Valid student ID required): FREE

Art Matters: Creole Degas

Thursday, February 28, 2019
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Professor of European and American Art Since 1700, UC Berkeley

When Edgar Degas traveled across the sea to visit his Creole family in New Orleans in 1872, he continually expressed his anxiety about his sight and his difficulty apprehending or painting the black persons so novel to him. The artist claimed that the brevity of his visit justified his decision not to depict this foreign place so pervaded by a boldly visible racial difference. The unfamiliarity of the spectacle of blackness made Degas think about other French artists who might have attempted to meet such a challenge, for instance Manet. This talk analyzes the intersection of sight, blindness, race and Creole identity in the writings and art of Degas during this period in New Orleans and his return to Paris.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member (Curators' Patron & above): FREE
SBMA Member (Collector's Patron and below): $10
General Admission: $15
Student (Valid student ID required): FREE