Above: Exterior image of Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.
Art historian James W. Grebl, Ph.D. will explore the remarkable history, splendid architecture and amazing collections of Europe’s preeminent art museums in a series of four richly illustrated lectures.
The first art museums grew out of the personal collections of secular or ecclesiastical rulers, but gradually new notions of democracy, nationalism, scholarship and popular edification transformed them into true public cultural institutions. The monumental architecture built to showcase these collections often rivals the artworks contained within and contributes greatly to national pride and burgeoning international tourism.
The third installment will present a diverse group of national museums which began in the 19th century, including the Netherlands’ Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with its astounding collection of paintings by Rembrandt and other Dutch masters; Spain’s Prado Museum in Madrid, based on the former Spanish royal collections and containing an amazing array of works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, and Rubens; the sprawling group of galleries built on Museum Island in Germany’s capital of Berlin, including archaeological treasures from Pergamon and Babylon; and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, built upon centuries of collecting by Austria’s Habsburg rulers.
The final lecture will explore a number of museums founded or built in the 20th century, including France’s Musée d’Orsay, housed in a restored and adapted Paris train station, as well as several museums that are stunning examples of contemporary architecture. Among these is the Neue Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, whose undulating structure was designed by James Stirling, and Frank Gehry’s spectacular and controversial Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Both lectures begin at 7:30 p.m.
Single lecture: $12 member/17 nonmember
Location: Joan & Irwin Jacobs Music Room, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla, CA