2020-2021 Schedule

These sessions are now passed.

All sessions are open to the Baruch community free of charge.

November 19, 2020, 1-2 pm: “Picturing Freedom: Photographer Augustus Washington’s Imaging of a Black Republic” 

Dalila Scruggs, museum educator at the Brooklyn Museum, will focus on a daguerreotype by Augustus Washington. Washington was an African-American photographer and daguerrotypist, and she will discuss photography at its birth, the social conditions that led Washington to emigrate to Liberia rather than live in antebellum America, and portraiture as an art form and business.

December 10th, 2020, 1-2 pm: “Frida Kahlo’s Two Fridas: Crafting Paintings and Multiple Identities”

Baruch Professor of Art History Gail Levin will speak about the work of Frida Kahlo. In the large-scale double self-portrait, called Two Fridas (1939), Frida Kahlo suggested her dual nature, her multiple ethnic identities. The image on the right is dressed in Tehuana costume, while that on the left wears a European Victorian-style dress. Some of many interpretations argue that the Frida dressed in Mexican outfit, who holds Diego’s portrait, is the one that he loved. This talk also features international homages to this painting by Mongolian and Japanese artists.

February 11, 2021, 1-2 pm: “Weaving Time: Cecilia Vicuña’s Disappeared Quipu”

Art Historian and Cooper Union faculty Melanie Mariño will introduce us to the work of contemporary Chilean artist Cecelia Vicuña. Vicuña’s 2018 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum explored the quipu, an Incan instrument of recordkeeping composed of knots in wool cords that was banned during the Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth-century. What can her reinterpretation of this ancient communication device tell us about the nature of language, memory, and history?

March 4, 2021, 1-2 pm: “The Story of the Goddess Tara: Exploring the Hidden Messages in a Tibetan Buddhist Statue”, by Nitin Ron, neonatologist, mountain climber and docent at the Rubin Museum

Nitin Ron is excited to share with you the story and the significance of one of his favorite goddesses, the Green Tara. There are beautiful metaphors and great life lessons hidden in the story of her creation as well as in her countenance, which has implications for us in day-to-day life as well as in personal and business relationships! Together we will explore what she has to teach us.

April 15, 2021 1-2 pm: “Guo Xi’s Early Spring and 11th-Century Chinese Landscape of Power, Eremitism, and Ecology” 

Heping Liu, Associate Professor of Art History at Wellesley College, will introduce us to a landscape masterpiece by Guo Xi of the Imperial Painting Academy in light of the changing political, social, and natural environments of Northern Song Dynasty China.

May 6, 2021 1-2 pm: J.P. Morgan and the Stavelot Triptych: Investing in the Legend of the True Cross, by Vanessa Troiano, doctoral candidate in art history at the CUNY Graduate Center

Nearly 900 years old, the Stavelot Triptych is a jewel-encrusted medieval church reliquary, enshrining purported fragments from the crucifix of Jesus Christ. Today, it is housed in The Morgan Library and Museum of New York City, the former private library of financier J. P. Morgan. Vanessa Troiano, a doctoral candidate in Art History at CUNY’s Graduate Center, will take us on a journey spanning two millennia through Jerusalem, Constantinople, and the Holy Roman Empire, to uncover how such a precious artifact came to reside just blocks away from Baruch’s campus.