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Lecture dates, times and titles subject to change.
All sales final. No refunds.
The Museum will be adhering to social distancing guidelines and regulations set forth by local and state officials and the CDC. Please note: program formats may be subject to change.

The premier Vero Beach lecture program, now in its 39th year, brings the finest arts and humanities scholars to our community. This lecture series is presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes from the New-York Historical Society, on view from January 23 – May 2, 2021. This season, ILS will be presented onsite as well as via online streaming format for viewing in the comfort of your home. Onsite lecture tickets include admission to the galleries. The museum will be open from 3-4:30pm for ILS ticket holders on January 25, February 15, March 1, and March 15.

Simulcast series tickets; $220 members; $265 non-members | Simulcast single lecture tickets: $80 members; $95 non-members
Simulcast Tickets

Livestream broadcast series tickets: $220 members; $265 non-members | Livestream broadcast single lecture tickets: $80 members: $95 non-members
Livestream Broadcast Tickets

Historian, Curator, and Leading Expert on the Hudson River School
January 25, 2021 @ 4:30pm

This lecture will be presented via Livestream at the VBMA or into your home

During the 19th century, the American landscape was elevated to a place of national pride. Hudson River School painter Albert Bierstadt remarked, “Truly all is remarkable and a wellspring of amazement and wonder. Man is so fortunate to dwell in this American Garden of Eden.” The Hudson River School had a significant role in this vision of America. Just what was the Hudson River School? What drove the rise and importance of this group of painters? Why did it decline after the Civil War? Karen Quinn explores the answers to these questions against the backdrop of the VBMA’s exhibition Poetry of Nature.

Karen E. Quinn is Senior Historian and Curator, Art and Culture at the New York State Museum. Currently she is researching and building the collection of art related to New York State including decorative arts, paintings, works on paper, architecture, photography, popular culture, literature, and music, and interpreting them for the museum visitors. In addition, she is working with colleagues to develop interdisciplinary exhibitions, public programs, and publications that put works of art into their historical and cultural context. Current and past exhibitions include Art of the Erie Canal (2018), The Historic Woodstock Art Colony (2018-19), and Tonalism: Pathway from the Hudson River School to Modernism (2019-20). Previously, she was Kristin and Roger Servison Curator of Paintings, Art of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she contributed to exhibitions and catalogues on the work of Fitz Henry Lane, Lawren Harris, Edward Weston, and Martin Johnson Heade, amongst others, as well as thematic shows devoted to American landscape, Afro Brazilian art, and American modernism. She was part of the team that developed and executed the museum’s Art of the Americas wing (2010).

Former Director, de Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum
February 15, 2021 @ 4:30pm

This lecture will be presented via Livestream at the VBMA or into your home

DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum former Director John Ravenal will discuss how outdoor sculpture defines a sense of place. Viewing sculpture outdoors, often in public settings, with changing natural and social conditions, creates a distinctly different experience than in a museum context. What are the historical precedents for public art and how do issues of monumentality and place-making impact outdoor sculpture today in urban settings and sculpture parks?

John Ravenal served as Executive Director of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in the Boston area from 2015-2019. He was previously the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, and Associate Curator of 20th-Century Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His focus is on living artists, including Jasper Johns, Andy Goldsworthy, and Sally Mann.

Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning Author
March 1, 2021 @ 4:30pm

This lecture will be presented via Livestream at the VBMA or into your home

Spanning 100 years of history, bestselling author Doris Kearns Goodwin takes audiences on the ultimate journey through some of the most momentous decades in American history – the industrial revolution, the rise of the robber barons, the Progressive Era, the Great Depression, and two World Wars. With an uncanny gift for both depth and detail, Goodwin masterfully weaves together a striking number of dramatic and complex story lines drawing from her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II (1995) and her bestselling book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism to provide an intimate, comprehensive and ultimately unforgettable portrait of the era’s three extraordinary leaders – Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt – along with the scintillating cast of characters, who together transformed the country.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prizewinning, New York Times #1 best-selling author. Goodwin’s career as a presidential historian and author was inspired when as a 24-year-old graduate student at Harvard she was selected to join the White House Fellows, one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Goodwin worked with Johnson in the White House and later assisted him in the writing of his memoirs. Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys was adapted into an award-winning five-part television miniseries. Her sixth book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, won the Carnegie Medal and is being developed into a film. Well known for her appearances and commentary on television, Goodwin is frequently seen in documentaries including Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, and on news and cable networks, and shows including Meet The Press and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Among her many honors and awards, Goodwin was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award, as well as the Carl Sandburg Literary Award.

Award-winning chef
March 15, 2021 @ 4:30pm

In the culinary world, renowned Chef Art Smith has a decades-long dedication to farm-to-fork cuisine and sustainability with his restaurants and philanthropic projects. At Homecomin’ at Disney Springs, he balances the personal enjoyment of delicacies such as seared scallops, fried fish, and fried chicken with an approach to purchasing that considers the impact on aquaculture and agriculture. The delicacies served in restaurants create a shared community of experience, memory, and tradition, which relies on the kind of abundant land celebrated by the Hudson River School painters. In this lecture, Chef Smith speaks about his career, the values of tradition and history, and the lasting importance of sustainability.

Chef Art Smith is the executive chef and co-owner of Blue Door Kitchen & Garden in Chicago, Southern Art & Bourbon Bar in Atlanta, Art & Soul in Washington DC, Art Bird & Whiskey Bar at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen & Southern Shine Bar at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort. Art Smith has received two James Beard Foundation awards, the culinary profession’s highest honor, and has cooked for some of the world’s most famous celebrities. In 1997, Smith became the personal, day-to-day chef to Oprah Winfrey, a position that lasted ten years. He is a frequent guest on the Food Network, Cooking Channel, and Bravo. Smith is the author of Back to the Table; Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families; Back to the Family; and Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort, with a focus on healthy cooking and healthy living. Chef Smith is the founder of Common Threads, a non-profit organization teaching low-income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals since 2003. He believes that through hands-on cooking and introducing children to fresh foods we can help prevent childhood obesity, reverse the trend of poor eating habits, and learn about diversity and tolerance through the celebration of our cultural differences and our commonalities.

Not a member?  Call Renee Smith, Development Assistant/Data Specialist, (772) 231-0707 ext. 123 or email
Lecture dates, times and titles subject to change.
All sales final. No refunds.