Art History Lectures
ArtHistory: The Art of Being Human
How we see ourselves through the eyes of artists…
Thursdays, June 3 – 24, 2021 (4 sessions)
Lectures are held in person at the Triton Museum of Art
7:00PM - 8:30PM, $60 TMA members, $80 non-members
Click here to register for Art History!
Over the millennia, humanity’s view of itself and our role in the great scheme of life has changed. Many — most — of those changes reflect the different stages of human achievement, historical events, and the ever changing values we adopt as societies. The BIG changes in how we see ourselves, however, namely who and what we are as a species, have occurred only a few times throughout homo sapiens’ time on earth, and these changes established our relationship to all life on earth. It has ever been the artists’ role to portray the world and our place in it.
In this series, art historian and Triton Museum Executive Director Preston Metcalf will take us on a journey through time as we explore the art that reveals who and what we are: as we saw ourselves in millennia past and up to the present day. And those who are familiar with Preston’s encompassing approach to art and history, know that we can expect some unexpected surprises and insights along the way.
Please join us Thursday evenings, June 3 - 24, 2021, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., at the Triton Museum of Art for this grand tour through time, to see how perceptions of ourselves on the big scale also influenced and dictated the many smaller changes we experienced in the art of being human.
Please note: Lectures will be held in person at the Triton Museum of Art. Socially distanced seating and the wearing of masks will continue to be observed, per State, County, and CDC guidelines.
Due to the limited availability of socially distanced seating, advance registration is strongly recommended.
June 3, 2021: Humanity and the Cognitive Revolution
Approximately 70,000 years ago a remarkable thing happened to one of the many evolutionary cousins of the genus homo, that of a small tribe we would come to know as sapiens … us. This change not only led to the eventual expansion of sapiens into every corner of our world, but also marked the beginning of our efforts to understand our place in it. We call this the Cognitive Revolution. It also marks the beginning of art as we know it. In this lecture we will explore the earliest manifestations of art and what it reveals about early humanity, and how it continues to inform many of our perceptions and portrayals even today.
June 10, 2021: Humanity and the Civilizing Revolution
Approximately 12,000 years ago, the manner in which sapiens lived changed dramatically, allowing us to abandon the hunter/gatherer way of life for the more abundant, and ultimately civilizing role of agriculturalists. This change lead to the advent of civilization, namely writing, mathematics, city and empire building, the specialization of labors, the development of organized religions, and new ways of portraying ourselves and our role in the universe through art. In this lecture we will explore the role of civilization and what art reveals about how we saw ourselves, our relation to the greater powers that seemed to dictate our lives, and how we grew from tribal relations to reliance on communities.
June 17, 2021: Humanity and the Individual Revolution
Approximately 2,500 years ago, on a small group of islands in the Aegean, a handful of inquisitive individuals began to try and explain the world in terms of human reason rather than myth and tradition. These thought-exploring individuals were the first Greek humanists, and their focus on understanding the world, and their belief that we, as humans could not only measure nature, but also ourselves, was a fundamental change that would not only challenge humanity’s reliance on the gods of their fathers, but also spur them on to ever greater achievements in science, philosophy, and art. Their example would blossom again and again throughout history, giving us, among other great movements, the Renaissance, the Baroque, and much more.
June 24, 2021: Humanity and the Technological Revolution
Approximately 500 years ago sapiens began a sprint in their race to become a new type of human, one in which we not only manipulate the world through our inventions, but also become one with the very instruments of change. What began as the scientific cataloging of our cosmos and efforts to understand the mechanisms of the human body, would eventually lead to the Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century, the high tech innovations of the 20th and 21st Centuries, and the realization that our very selves are in many ways becoming inseparable from the fruits our rapidly changing knowledge. Fortunately, artists continue to reveal to us what these changes may entail, how we see ourselves, and what it means to be human.
Click here to register for Art History!
Triton Book Club
Triton Book Club: The Stories of Art
First Wednesday of each month,
9:00-10:00 a.m., beginning July 7, 2021
Discussions are held safely distanced & in person at the Triton Museum of Art.
Free for TMA members, $5 suggested donation for non-members
Click here for a PDF of all the books we'll be reading this year!
We invite you to read selected novels about art or famous artists before we meet, and then
join us beginning July 7, 2021 on the first Wednesday morning of each month, for an art history presentation about that month’s novel, the portrayed artist, and related art, as presented by Triton Museum Executive Director, Preston Metcalf. Learn how the novel does — or doesn’t — comport to the actual history of its subject, and hear more about the artwork and the artists’ times in which they were created. Join Preston as he takes you on a journey, rich with the details and stories that will help illuminate both the art and the novel.
Admission to the monthly book club art history lectures is free for Triton Museum of Art Members ($5 donation requested for non-members), and all are welcome, whether you have actually read the book or not. Coffee and pastries will be served, so please order or borrow your first book(s) of the series, get your read on, and you will be set for our first gathering on July 7.
And to get you started, here are the first three books we will be reading and exploring:
July 7, 2021:
My Name is Red
by Orhan Pamuk
August 4, 2021:
by Karen Essex
September 1, 2021:
The Way to Paradise
by Mario Vargas Llosa
Happy reading! We are excited to read with you!