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Lectures and Events

Film Screening by Dale Schierholt

Thursday, November 9, 6:30pm, at Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Arnoldi Film Poster
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Don Bacigalupi, Founding President of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Building the 21st Century Museum: Crystal Bridges and Beyond

Don Bacigalupi developed an international reputation as the Director of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, bringing the project from its earliest stages, through construction and acquisition of an impressive collection, to its grand opening and beyond. Now, at the genesis of another bold enterprise – the development of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago – Bacigalupi’s lecture for ART Santa Fe Presents promises to be both provocative and inspiring.

Dr. Bacigalupi has over two decades of experience in museum management. He began his exploration into the arts at the University of Houston, where he received a B.A. in Art History. This was followed by Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Post World War II American Art and Popular Culture. He began his career teaching Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. His early forays into the world of arts management included serving as Brown Curator of Contemporary Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art from 1993-1995, and Director and Chief Curator of the Blaffer Gallery, the art museum of the University of Houston (1995-1999). He was awarded a fellowship in 1996 at the Museum Management Institute of the J. Paul Getty Trust. In 1999, Bacigalupi became the Executive Director of the San Diego Museum of Art.

It was while serving as the Director, President, and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art that Bacigalupi had his first experience bringing a museum development project to fruition with the creation of the world-renowned Glass Pavilion. Designed by cutting-edge and Pritzker-Prize-winning architecture firm, SANAA, the Glass Pavilion was named Best Museum Design in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine for 2007.

Following this great success in Toledo, Bacigalupi was invited to join the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art as Executive Director in 2009. Conceived by Walmart heiress Alice Walton, the museum is nestled into a hundred acres of virgin Ozark forest, with the undulating series of pavilions designed by award-winning architect Moshe Safdie. With its meticulously curated collection and unique mission of uniting a history of American Art with the spirit of American landscape, the museum quickly garnered international attention under Bacigalupi’s management. The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago promises to be an equally exciting and dynamic venture. The brain-child of director George Lucas, this ambitious project seeks to explore the history of visual narrative, including narrative art (from Lascaux to Children’s Illustration to Pin-Up Art), the art of Cinema (including such areas as set design, costume design, and visual effects), to the cutting-edge world of digital art (including digital fine art, cinema, and architecture). The architectural design of the museum itself (by Beijing-based MAD Architects) is a futuristic structure culminated with a “floating” disc. Set to open in 2018, the Lucas Museum is already being lauded as a museum that will challenge and shape the very concept of museums in the future.

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.

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James Meyer

"Children of the Sixties"

James Meyer, Associate Curator of Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and professor of Art History at Johns Hopkins University, is the author of key works Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the 1960’s and the long-awaited compendium, Minimalism.

From his early background studying art history at Yale and the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU, and his doctoral work at Johns Hopkins University, to his position as the Winship Distinguished Research Associate Professor of Art History at Emory University, James Meyer has been immersed in the world of Modern Art both in study and practice, as a curator, writer, and professor. Early on in his career, Meyer curated an exhibition titled, “What Happened to Institutional Critique?” at the American Fine Arts Gallery in SoHo which garnered a great deal of attention. He gathered a group of artists engaged in critical practices around institutions, including museums. This exhibition would prove to be the launch of a successful career.

In addition to his work teaching, Meyer received research fellowships from the Smithsonian Institute and the Clark Art Institute. Meyer has written widely, including catalogs for artists such as Howard Hodgkin, Ellsworth Kelly, Mel Bochner, Eva Hesse, Anne Truitt, and Andrea Fraser. His essays have appeared in such journals as OCTOBER, Grey Room, and Artforum, where he is a contributing editor. Meyer’s book, Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties, received excellent reviews, including this from Pepe Karmel at Art in America: “By far the best account to date of Minimalism’s development and the essential point of departure for all future research on the subject.”

In Meyer’s time as an Associate Curator at the National Gallery, he has had a profound influence. He has curated two exhibitions, In the Tower: Mel Bochner, and In the Tower: Kerry James Marshall. The exhibition of Marshall’s work was a landmark exhibition for the National Gallery, marking the first time a living African American artist had been given a solo exhibition at the museum. His next exhibition, From Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery 1959-1971 is scheduled for autumn 2016 in honor of Ms. Dwan’s promised gift of her collection to the National Gallery.

Meyer’s lecture, “Children of the Sixties,” was taken from his current book in progress: Return to the Sixties: On the Meaning of the Sixties in Art and Culture. The project looks at the way artists born in the Sixties (a period from 1955 to 1979) continually return to the political and cultural milieu of that period in their work. The act of revisiting that time serves both as tribute and memorial. There is a sort of nostalgia for the Sixties as a time of radicalism and the avant-garde. But the revisiting of the Sixties within contemporary practice also simultaneously signals its passing.

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.

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Robert Wittman

A "Priceless" speaking engagement

The Wall Street Journal called him "a living legend." The Times of London dubbed him "The most famous art detective in the world."

Robert Wittman founded the FBI's National Art Crime Team and served for 20 years as the FBI's investigative expert in this field. He is responsible for recovering more than $300 million in stolen art and cultural property around the world. Since retiring from the FBI in 2008, he authored the New York Times Best Seller "Priceless-How I Went Undercover to Rescue The World's Stolen Treasures." He speaks about his FBI career leading audiences through notorious art heists and incredibly daring undercover recoveries. Audiences will hear the true stories behind the headlines of the FBI's Real Indiana Jones. It's a one of a kind "info-tainment" event that would be a perfect fund raising opportunity for your institution. Today, Robert Wittman is president of Robert Wittman Incorporated, the international art recovery, protection, and security firm.

Mr. Wittman has presented at more than 100 different venues encompassing everything from large general audiences/museum members to more intimate smaller donor societies. Recently, he spoke at the Naples Museum of Art to a general audience of 600, and at the Smithsonian Institution to a standing room sold out general audience of more than 300.

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.

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Barbara Rose

Author of the seminal essay ABC Art and the landmark survey, American Art Since 1900, Barbara Rose has been immersed in modern art since the 1950’s, studying it and engaging with it from up-close in all its vibrant and diverse forms. Following study at Smith College, Barnard, and the Sorbonne, Rose went on to receive her PhD from Columbia University where she studied with Meyer Schapiro. During that time she met many of the emerging luminaries of the New York art scene, including Carl Andre and Frank Stella (whom she later married). A Fulbright took Rose on to Spain, where she began to write criticism of modern art for the prestigious Spanish art magazine, Goya.

From this point Rose’s career blossomed. She landed her own monthly column in Art International in 1963 and by 1965 was writing regularly for Art in America and Art Forum. During that period, living in New York, Barbara Rose was at the epicenter of the New York avant-garde. Her essay from that time, ABC Art, published in the October 1965 issue of Art in America, proved to be a defining document of the Minimalist art movement. In fact, the essay is credited with being the origin for the term “minimalism.” Her work during this time earned her two Distinguished Art Criticism Awards from the College Art Association of America. Not long after, Rose published American Art since 1900, which became a central text for Art History programs throughout the country.

At that point, Rose’s career diverged and diversified. Rose went on to work as a teacher and visiting lecturer at several prestigious universities, including Sarah Lawrence College, Yale, and Hunter College. Rose was the chief curator of the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, Texas from 1980-1985 and served as editor-in-chief of Journal of Art and as art editor and contributing editor to numerous other publications, including The Partisan Review, Artforum, and Vogue. Despite the demands of such a varied career, Rose has continued to write criticism, art history, and artist monograms. Her most recent book-length work was the survey Monochromes: From Malevich to the Present (University of California Press, 2006).

Barbara Rose is currently working as the first Morgan-Menil Fellow at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York where she is exploring the influence of the Romanesque illuminated manuscripts of the Apocalypse by medieval monk Beatus of Liebana on modernist drawing, particularly on the works of Miro, Matisse, and Picasso.

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.

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Lawrence Weschler

"Towards a Unified Field Theory of Cultural Transmission
(Seriously!) by way of a Typology of Convergences"

ART Santa Fe Presents welcomed Lawrence Weschler, author of over a dozen books and countless articles on art, culture, politics and their intersections, as the keynote speaker for 2011. Weschler’s lecture, titled, “Toward a Unified Field Theory of Cultural Transmission (Seriously!) By Way of a Typology of Convergences,” enthralled the audience with its mix of daring thinking and passionate enthusiasm for art, culture, and how we see the world.

Lawrence Weschler began his career writing for The New Yorker in 1981, continuing to write pieces which, as he put it, “shuttled between political tragedies and cultural comedies” for two decades. His numerous essays and books form an eclectic body of work where art and artists are often a major theme, including the Pulitzer Prize nominated best-seller Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders, about a small museum in Culver City, California, and books of interviews and essays on artists like Robert Irwin and David Hockney.

Weschler has a reputation for unique and passionate thinking. As Toby Lister of the Atlantic writes, “Weschler's entire body of work, in fact, centers on the disquieting strangeness that lurks at the heart of human experience.…” His 2004 book, Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences, awarded an NBCC Award for Criticism, forms the basis for his ART Santa Fe Presents lecture. In it Weschler illuminates links between disparate images—pairing photos with paintings, sculpture with ads, works ancient with images contemporary. In the book he juxtaposes images, for example a Magritte painting and a New York Times Magazine cover—and maps out relationships between them, both visual and cultural, relating them to politics, art, history, and ultimately to our shared cultural lexicon. This book spawned a fascinating ongoing project at McSweeney’s online called A Convergence of Convergences, where readers submit pairs of images in a weekly contest, and the winner’s is posted on-line with an attached essay.

Lawrence Weschler graduated from Cowell College at the University of California Santa Cruz. Following his tenure at The New Yorker, he has worked as the director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, and concurrently from 2005-2010 as the Artistic Director of the Chicago Humanities Festival. He is a frequent contributor to prestigious publications like The Atlantic, Harper’s, the LA Times, and NPR and has been a Lannan Literary Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and two-time winner of the George Polk Award.

The subject-matter of Weschler’s keynote lecture will be something intriguingly accessible to everyone. Who has not experienced a moment of juxtaposition, déjà vu, coincidence, synchronicity, when something shifts inside and a little bell goes off? Weschler highlights and explores, as he puts it, the “helix” of these experiences, when something directly in front of us triggers a sort of chain reaction linking it to other images or memories, fanning out in a network of relationships, influencing what we see and how we feel about the image right in front of us in the moment. On a personal level these moments can be transformative. On a cultural level, according to Lawrence Weschler, they are part of an ongoing feedback loop of cultural transmission.

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.

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Roberta Smith

"The Critic in You, the Critic in Me"

Roberta Smith represents over forty years of experience working within and writing about the complexities and nuances of the contemporary art world and began writing for the New York Times in 1986. She has established a substantial collection of art criticism and observation not only from the highlights and vanguards of the art world, but from its nooks and percolating corners as well. A quick survey of contemporary books about art and artists immediately shows just how much influence Smith has had as a critic—she is quoted with almost unparalleled frequency.

Smith ignited a buzz of controversy in New York and the art world at large with her February 2010 article criticizing the large contemporary art museums (e.g., MoMA, the Whitney, the Guggenheim) for playing it “safe” by presenting, “example after example of squeaky-clean, well-made, intellectually decorous takes on … art that is most associated with the label Post-Minimalism.” Smith called on curators to “…be more ecumenical, to do things that seem to come from left field…. They need to think outside the hive-mind…” Unsurprisingly this clarion call has stirred up quite a mix of reaction and debate.

Smith is often lauded for her clear and accessible writing style. Perhaps the popularity and long-running success of Smith’s voice results, at least in part, from her early decision not to rigidify her likes and dislikes but to maintain an openness to the new and the different. “I wanted to stay open and avoid the hardening of the visual arteries …where you lose your ability to see new art.” Her job, as she says, is looking. “I learn from everything I look at, good, bad, or indifferent.” Her lecture at ART Santa Fe Presents this summer promises to be not only edifying but inspiring and challenging.

Born in New York, Smith grew up in Lawrence, Kansas where her father was a professor. Her mother’s love of art, and time abroad in Europe during her father’s Fulbright year, gave Smith an early interest in art. During her undergraduate years at Grinnell College, Smith was a summer intern at the prestigious Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. She followed that with an independent study program at the Whitney Museum where she met Donald Judd. These early experiences were fundamental and she resolved to pursue a career in the art world, although she had not then thought about becoming a critic. After graduating she worked at the MoMA as well as for Donald Judd, immersing herself in his works and writings. Her work with Judd was the inspiration for her first critical piece: a letter-to-the-editor response to a critique of Judd in Artforum.

Soon afterward Smith quit her job at the MoMA to focus on developing her career writing about art. She began to write articles for Art in America and the Village Voice! among other publications. Her work is wide-ranging, encompassing not only contemporary fine art and artists but also the decorative arts, Outsider Art, design, and architecture. In addition to writing for the New York Times, she has written numerous monographs for artists and a featured essay in the 1975 Donald Judd catalogue raissoné. She was recognized with the prestigious Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism in 2003.

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.

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Michael Kimmelman
Chief art critic and columnist, the New York Times

"The accidental masterpiece"

Michael Kimmelman is an author and the chief art critic for the New York Times. In 2007 he moved to Berlin where he now writes as the Times Abroad columnist on culture and society in Europe. His most recent book, “The Accidental Masterpiece” received widespread acclaim and became a national bestseller. His earlier work, “Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre and Elsewhere,” was named as a notable book by the Washington Post and the Times, and a best book of the year by Publisher's Weekly. Kimmelman has appeared in various television venues including interviews with Charlie Rose and is featured in the 2007 documentary film, “My Kid Could Paint That.” A book on the Brazilian modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer is forthcoming this year.

Born and raised in Greenwich Village, New York, Kimmelman attended Yale College and did his graduate work in Art History at Harvard University. His original job at the Times was as a music critic (he is an accomplished pianist) but when John Russell, chief art critic at that time, discovered Kimmelman had a background in art history, he asked him to write about art. After some hesitation (criticism was not part of his original plan) Kimmelman proceeded to, as he says, “…conduct my education in public, in a very conspicuous way.”

This open self-education is perhaps one of the aspects of Kimmelman’s perspective on art which makes him so widely appreciated. Rather than purveying one particular theoretical view or advocating a rigid set of criteria for art, Kimmelman takes a broad approach which seems to place both art and art viewers into a cultural context and in communication with each other. Because of a perception that there is a “right” way to see art, many people may be intimidated or overwhelmed by a day spent in a museum. However, for Kimmelman the key is, “I try to remember that just looking and keeping your eyes open is essential. You can’t worry whether received opinion is one thing or another.”

Kimmelman exemplifies this expansive view on art in his latest book.The book includes discussions on artists as wide-ranging and lofty as Bonnard, Vermeer, de Kooning, and Duchamp, but it also includes a chapter about Dr. Hugh Hicks, who runs a private museum from his basement showcasing his collection of over 75,000 light bulbs. As he writes in the introduction to “The Accidental Masterpiece,” his goal in writing the book was to explore how, “…art provides us with clues about how to live our own life more fully. Put differently, this book is, in part, about how creating, collecting, and even just appreciating art can make living a daily masterpiece.”

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.

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Dean Sobel
Director, Clyfford Still Museum, Denver

A recognized authority on the art of the 20th century, Dean Sobel has enjoyed a notable career: Director of the Aspen Art Museum from 2000 to 2005, he led the institution to all-important accreditation by the American Association of Museums. Sobel organized solo exhibitions of works by the renowned Robert Mangold, John Currin and Olafur Eilasson, as well as the group exhibition Warhol/Koons/Hirst: Cult and Culture. Before his appointment to the Aspen Museum, Sobel served in a joint position at the Milwaukee Art Museum, where he was Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art. His most recent book, published in 2004, is titled One Hour Ahead: The Avant-Garde in Aspen, 1945-2004.

The Clyfford Still Museum joined the Denver Art Museum in the city's Civic Center Cultural Complex. The physical campus was designed by noted architect Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, and was completed in 2010. Programming for the Museum began with preview exhibitions at the DAM and lectures and presentations by Sobel and other scholars of Abstract Expressionism, the post World War II art movement that shifted the art world from Paris to New York City.

Still is known today as one of New York's most important and most reclusive painters. After his death in 1980, according to a recent Museum press release, his estate was sealed, his will specifying that his art be given to "an American city willing to establish a permanent museum dedicated solely to his work." Denver proved to be that city, and Sobel its inaugural director.

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.

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Frank Ghery

With Special Guest Thomas Krens, 
The Guggenheim Museum

Thomas Krens, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation since 1988, addressed the timely topic of the intersections of art, architecture, and culture with his lecture, The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao: Frank Gehry Designs a Masterpiece.

Under Krens’ leadership the Guggenheim has experienced substantial growth and flowering. In the past two decades, the Guggenheim Foundation has developed an unprecedented international presence, with a network of cultural facilities and alliances with major museums around the world. However, it was the unique partnership that Krens developed with the Basque Regional Government of Spain that set off an historic “boom” in art and architecture. Designed by Frank Gehry, the museum at Bilbao, Spain quickly garnered world-wide attention as a landmark building of the 20th Century. In its first year the formerly economically depressed Basque region welcomed over 1,300,000 visitors to the new Guggenheim Bilbao. The museum’s success has led to a revitalization of the region and millions of visitors continue to visit the museum.

The success of the Guggenheim Bilbao, dubbed the “Bilbao effect” is due in large part to the critically acclaimed architectural design by Frank Gehry. Mr. Gehry agreed to appear as a special guest along with Thomas Krens for this event. Gehry, the Pritzker Prize winning architect of international note, engaged Mr. Krens in a dialogue about the Guggenheim Bilbao, as well as about the newly announced monumental project underway in Abu Dhabi. Gehry’s own laurels are quite notable, including the AIA’s Gold Medal and the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. His life and work have been documented in the recent documentary film by award-winning director Sydney Pollack: Sketches of Frank Gehry.

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.


Philippe de Montebello
Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for more than 25 years, Mr. Montebello chose to address only three venues in the United States during 2005; his lecture in Santa Fe, sponsored by ART Santa Fe Presents, was one of the three. Mr. de Montebello gave a carefully prepared and beautifully illustrated one-hour lecture, "Museums: Why Should We Care?"

Respected throughout the international art community and acclaimed for his dynamic, captivating lectures, Philippe de Montebello is uniquely positioned to speak on the state of the museum world today. Mr. de Montebello was born in Paris, attended French schools throughout the Baccalaureate, graduated Magna cum Laude from Harvard University in 1958 and received an advanced degree from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. He became an American citizen in 1955. With the exception of four and a half years he spent as Director of The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, his career has evolved at The Metropolitan.

Under Mr. de Montebello's leadership, The Metropolitan has conducted an outstanding acquisitions program and at the same time has vastly expanded its areas of international loan exhibition and education. Its growing audience now numbers more than five million visitors a year. To these visitors Mr. de Montebello is also the familiar and elegant voice of The Metropolitan, guiding visitors through special exhibitions and installations with the use of audio tours that he has narrated for most of his tenure.

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.

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Robert Hughes 1938-2012
TIME art critic and award-winning historian

Robert Hughes, was ART Santa Fe Present' s inaugural speaker in Santa Fe. The program was produced by ART Santa Fe in conjunction with its fifth international contemporary art fair.

Robert Hughes was the most widely-read art critic writing in the English language. As art critic for TIME Magazine since 1970, he reached a readership of 20 million people a week. His best-selling books are respected by art professionals and historians alike; The Shock of the New and American Visions have brought his ideas to a much wider audience in their incarnations as BBC and PBS series, which have become classics of educational broadcasting. He wrote on a broad range of subjects within the realms of art and history; his study of Goya, was recently published.

Born in Australia, Hughes lived in England and Italy and was a resident of the United States since 1970, when he began his tenure as art critic for TIME Magazine. Hughes was the rare thinker and writer who could mine his enormous reservoir of knowledge for an incisive, far-reaching overview of complex and sometimes controversial topics, and could present his insights with wit and accessibility. Among his numerous awards were The Sunday Times Writer of the Year Award and the Frank Jewett Mather Award (the only art critic to win this prestigious award twice).

The lecture has been made possible by Art Santa Fe Presents, a not-for-profit corporation, through the generous contributions of private donors.