The Kittredge-Wilson Lecture Series features an exciting array of speakers who impart a diversity of perspectives on subjects such as art, architecture, history and literature.

Join as a Lecture

$300 per person
(includes two tickets for each lecture)

Series Ticket (6) Lectures

Individual Tickets
$20/$24 Non-members

Pre-registration is suggested.

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The 2016-2017 schedule includes: (6 lectures)

Friday, October 7, 2016 at 6pm
Elizabeth Hutton Turner
University Professor, Department of Art History, University of Virginia
Jacob Lawrence Migration Series

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Friday, November 4, 2016 at 6pm
Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, aka Myth Makers
Environmental Sculptors
Meet the Myth Makers

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Friday, December 16, 2016 at 6pm
Sanchita Balachandrae
Senior Conservator, the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum
Matthew Hyleck
Director of Education and Resident Artist at Baltimore Clayworks
Making Greek Red Figure Vessels - Rediscovering a Lost Technology

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Friday, January 27, 2017 at 6pm
Mark Leithauser
Chief of Design and Senior Curator, National Gallery of Art
Behind the Scenes at the National Gallery of Art

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The final two lectures of the 2016 - 2017 Kittredge-Wilson Lecture Series will be announced in the next issue of the ACADEMY magazine.


Difficult Art & Dangerous Music Lecture Series

Presented by Dennis McFadden and Dr. Rachel Franklin
Dates: Thursdays, February 23, March 2, 9 & 16, 2017

Time: 11am -12:30pm
Series Ticket (4) Lectures:

Individual Lecture Tickets:

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ART What are we to make of difficult art? Paintings and sculpture that we don’t understand, that leave us troubled, or perhaps even provoke the response, “ that’s not art!” The two illustrated talks about the visual arts in this series will focus on work created since 1900 that people find challenging. In addition to talking about individual artworks and the artists who created them, we will explore how over time ideas about what art is and what makes it difficult have changed. We will also consider whether there are different traditions of difficult art in the 20th and 21st centuries.

MUSIC If your music causes a riot, that could be a compliment. But a revolution? Music is dangerous stuff! From Plato through Stalin to the dear old BBC and beyond, governments, institutions and individuals have sought to silence works they considered subversive. Composers as varied as Mozart, Stravinsky and Cole Porter have found themselves the objects of outrage and censorship. Too political, too sensuous, too effeminate, too crude, too nationalistic, too chaotic, just plain evil! Nowadays it’s hard to understand what all the fuss was about, but throughout history composers and musicians have been censored at best or executed at worst for producing the “wrong” kind of music. Even abstract art music without text has been viewed with the deepest suspicion. In some parts of the world it still is. How can sounds be seditious and why on earth should we care?


February 23 - Foundations for a Tradition of Challenging Art
presented by Dennis McFadden
The early years of the twentieth century were a time of dramatic creative experimentation, often leading to the production of works that questioned the very definition of what constitutes art. Against the backdrop of the momentous cultural, social, and political currents that shaped this period, we will explore the rich mix of ideas, identify some of the remarkable personalities, and examine artworks now considered the masterworks of the era. We will then narrow our focus to the French born artist Marcel Duchamp (1887 – 1969), tracing his development from his early years as a Post-Impressionist, through a period of cubist experimentation, to his emergence as a founder of conceptual art, an approach to making art that has inspired the creation of many challenging works and that remains a vital influence on artists today.

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March 2 - The Idea of Art, the Art of Ideas
presented by Dennis McFadden
The possibility of making something new is irresistible for many artists. Often setting a goal of moving beyond the ideas, aesthetics, subjects, and media of their time, these individuals seek to push the boundaries and definition of art in their work. And in the moment in which it is created, new work often does appear to be unlike anything that preceded it, sometimes bringing puzzlement and sometimes even condemnation from its audience. In this talk we will begin by looking at several artworks that were considered dramatic breaks with the past and generated controversy when they were first seen.

We will then consider how, with time and perspective, we may begin to see what once seemed shockingly innovative as one in a sequence of artworks that share genetic code as a kind of certain artistic preoccupations. Identifying some of the dominant codes of the past century, including conceptualism, will provide a tool for understanding artwork that may be puzzling on its own. Our goal will be to better appreciate some of what we will look at, even if we may not like it.

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March 9 - A Night at the Opera - CENSORED
presented by Rachel Franklin
Did the passion of Gluck’s operas cause the French Revolution? Why was Mozart’s delightful “The Marriage of Figaro” considered almost treasonous by Austrian aristocracy? Is “Mack the Knife” an aria celebrating murder? Prudish Pope Clement XI actually banned public opera altogether, claiming it promoted lascivious behavior. Who knew? Bring your smelling salts as we enjoy some seriously dangerous entertainment at the opera house!

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March 16 - Performance and Protest
presented by Rachel Franklin
In Paris, a decent riot meant your work was a success! We’ll travel back to glorious 1913 Paris when audiences yelled, jeered, and duked it out at the premier of Stravinsky’s revolutionary “Rite of Spring.” These days we just sit quietly and marvel at its originality. Meanwhile, performances of the beautiful “Finlandia” by Finnish composer Sibelius were outlawed by the conquering Russians. Only a few years later in Stalin’s USSR, Shostakovich risked persecution and exile every time he premiered a new symphony. Among the many questions we ask: can abstract music contain secret codes, have audiences changed, and how can intangible notes be considered threatening?

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Copyright Rachel Franklin 2016


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