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Armchair Travels: Subterranean Ghosts: The Vanishing Stepwells of India with Victoria Lautman

Sunday, January 12, 2020
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

India’s palaces, forts, temples, and tombs are on every tourist itinerary and in every guidebook. But the country’s magnificent subterranean stepwells remain largely unknown both within and outside the country. These unique water-harvesting structures—marvels of architecture, engineering, and art—proliferated throughout the subcontinent for over a millennium but eventually faded into oblivion by the 19th century.

Journalist Victoria Lautman has spent years documenting hundreds of the subterranean structures through articles and photographs, and her landmark book, The Vanishing Stepwells of India, was published in 2017 (Merrell Publishers, London). In this lecture, Victoria will trace the fascinating history, variety, and current state of India’s least-known edifices.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member: $5.00
General Admission: $10.00

Art Matters - Michelangelo: Burning Inspiration

Thursday, February 6, 2020
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Julian Brooks, Senior Curator of Drawing, J. Paul Getty Museum

Michelangelo is regarded as one of the most creative artists in western art history, using countless drawings to explore the dynamics of the human form and to solve compositional problems. Yet he is recorded as burning hundreds – perhaps thousands – of his sketches and cartoons. Julian Brooks, Senior Curator of Drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, looks into the extraordinary phenomenon of Michelangelo and his draftsmanship.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member (Curators' Patron & above): FREE
SBMA Member (Collector's Patron and below): $10.00
General Admission: $15.00
Student (Valid student ID required): FREE

Parallel Stories - Jane Smiley: Love Comes First Beauty Follows

Thursday, February 27, 2020
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
“A novelist has two lives—a reading and writing life, and a lived life. He or she cannot be understood at all apart from this.”
Jane Smiley, 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel

Parallel Stories takes a close look at the life-long passions, prodigious productivity, and well-honed writing practice of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley in a far-ranging conversation with longtime friend, fellow author, and colleague in the Creative Writing program at UC Riverside, Andrew Winer. Often epic in scale and yet intimate in telling detail, Smiley’s multigenerational tales tell the story of middle America written, says Winer, “with a classic sense of humanity and compassion that have made her name part of any serious conversation about fiction in our time.” Hailed as one of America’s greatest living writers, Smiley was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001, and in 2006 she received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. Her intimate evocations of American life have been compared to John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom tetralogy; Updike himself praised Smiley for working on what he called “the edge of acceptable novel writing,” where she had replaced “plot and suspense with something freer and more lifelike.“

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member: $5.00
General Admission: $10.00
Senior (age 65+): $6.00

Art Matters - Frederick Hammersley and the Art of Control

Thursday, March 5, 2020
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

James Glisson, Chief Curator, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Beginning in the late 1940s, Frederick Hammersley experimented with artworks that had a limited range of shapes and color choices often created through elaborate procedures and scripted processes. As this lecture will explore, Hammersley used control as way to free himself, to open his mind to new ideas, to play. It will begin by focusing on the SBMA’s Hammersley painting, Four awhile (1974), and will share insights drawn from scientific analysis and archival research.  The discussion will conclude by expanding the discussion to other artists from the mid-20th century who applied rules to structure their art making.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member (Curators' Patron & above): FREE
SBMA Member (Collector's Patron and below): $10.00
General Admission: $15.00
Student (Valid student ID required): FREE

Parallel Stories - Juan Felipe Herrera: Writing Love in the Face of Disaster

Sunday, March 8, 2020
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
“I’m a political poet—let us say a human poet, a poet that’s concerned with the plight of people who suffer. If words can be of assistance, then that’s what I’m going to use.”
Juan Felipe Herrera

Parallel Stories flings open the door to the exuberant experimental poetry of former California and U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera in a conversation between Herrera and his longtime friend, fellow author, and colleague in the Creative Writing program at UC Riverside, Andrew Winer.

Writing to create, as he says, “incredible bridges,” Herrera confounds all borders including that between the written and the spoken. The son of migrant farmers, which he says strongly shaped his work, he finds his stories in the landscape and language of California. This multiple award-winning author of over 30 books including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, reminds us that we are the poetry makers and invites us to join him.

Book signing to follow

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member: $5.00
General Admission: $10.00
Senior (age 65+): $6.00

Art Matters - Expert Hands, Infectious Touch: Painting and Pregnancy in Morisot’s The Mother and Sister of the Artist

Thursday, April 2, 2020
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Mary Hunter, Associate Professor, Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

When Berthe Morisot asked Edouard Manet to have a look at her recently completed portrait of her mother and pregnant sister in the days before the 1870 Salon, she did not expect him to completely repaint the depiction of her mother. “[I]t isn’t possible to stop him,” she wrote in distress to her sister. “He moves from the petticoat to the bodice, from the bodice to the head, from the head to the background.” While Morisot sought Manet’s expertise, she feared that the painting’s public display would ruin her reputation as an independent artist as his heavy hand left too obvious a mark on her canvas.

This paper explores the gender politics of occupational expertise – artistic and medical – through an analysis of Morisot’s The Mother and Sister of the Artist. Firstly, it considers the significance of hands and touch in Manet’s and Morisot’s work. Secondly, it examines how the hands of male experts ‘infected’ female spaces, including paintings and pregnant bodies.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member (Curators' Patron & above): FREE
SBMA Member (Collector's Patron and below): $10.00
General Admission: $15.00
Student (Valid student ID required): FREE

Art Matters - The Art of Agnes Martin: Between the Lines of the Catalogue Raisonné

Thursday, May 7, 2020
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Tiffany Bell, Independent Scholar, NY

The research for the catalogue raisonné, by bringing together information about Agnes Martin’s complete body of work, has made it possible to better understand the development of her early work as well as some of the stylistic shifts and thematic changes throughout her career. This presentation will describe the research for the catalogue raisonné, presenting anecdotes about newly found works and interesting discoveries, as well as giving examples of observations that have influenced a new understanding of Agnes Martin’s art.

Ticket Cost:
SBMA Member (Curators' Patron & above): FREE
SBMA Member (Collector's Patron and below): $10.00
General Admission: $15.00
Student (Valid student ID required): FREE