Marc Gotlieb, director of the graduate program and 1955 Memorial Professor of Art at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, will present a free lecture titled “Who’s Afraid of ‘Academic Art’? The Case of Jean-Léon Gérôme” on Friday, May 11, at 6 p.m., in the auditorium at the Kimbell Art Museum. No reservations required.
Jean-Léon Gérôme can be counted among the “enemies of Impressionism”––artists who once towered over the European and American artistic landscape but whose reputations collapsed with the success of the Impressionists and their Modernist successors. Often referred to as “academics,” these artists were part of an artistic establishment committed to a seemingly outworn aesthetic, though on closer examination this aesthetic turns out to be original and interesting. This lecture explores Gérôme’s approach to storytelling and some of the most artistically compelling features of his art, brilliantly represented in the current exhibition The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark.
Gotlieb is the author of “The Plight of Emulation: Ernest Meissonier and French Salon Painting” as well as essays on French Romantic art, on the image of the artist, and on Orientalist painting. He was editor-in-chief of “Art Bulletin” and is currently working on a book about “the Orientalist Sublime.”
*Admission to the Museum’s permanent collection is always free.
**The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark is on view through June 17, 2012.