International Lecture Series
Join us for the 41st season of the Treasure Coast’s most celebrated arts and humanities lecture series. This series is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Rolling Sculpture: Streamlined Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles. The featured speakers will provide audiences with the multiple perspectives to help frame the themes of the exhibition. Patrons are invited to attend the lectures at the VBMA or stream them from the comfort of their home. Museum attendees may join our guest speakers for a glass of wine immediately following the lecture in the Laura and Bill Buck Atrium.
Individual Lecture Pricing
Holmes Great Hall
$120 per person for VBMA Members
$145 per person for non-members
Streaming or Leonhardt Auditorium Simulcast
$80 per person for VBMA members
$95 per person for non-members
Presenting Sponsor: Harry and Virginia Van Wormer Lecture Fund
Supporting Sponsor: Kjestine and Peter Bijur
Patron Sponsors: Susan Bouma, Bill and Laura Buck, Carolyn and William Stutt Endowment for the International Lecture Series
Additional Support: Kenneth W. Cunningham, Jr. Endowment Fund
For updated COVID-19 policies and visitor information, click here.
By entering the Museum, you consent to be photographed and filmed for promotional purposes.
To register for any program, use the links provided, or contact Ellyn:
772.231.0707 x 136
All programs are subject to change.
Monday, January 30, 2023 at 4:30pm | From Paris to Vero Beach: Art Deco Design 1918 to 1939
Catherine Futter, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, Brooklyn Museum
The tumultuous 20-year-period between World War I and the beginning of World War II featured many significant social, political, and economic changes throughout the world. The Roaring Twenties was a time of upward mobility for the middle class. Populations in the developed world enjoyed modern innovations and technological innovations such as automobiles, electric lighting, and radio. Buildings got taller, skirts got shorter, and jazz got hotter. Transformative design combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials, especially in Europe, while in the US, consumers had access to new plastics and mass production. Many Americans enjoyed a general feeling of novelty and prosperity, which all came crashing down with the start of the Great Depression in 1929. It was in the midst of this dynamic upheaval from 1918 to 1939 that Art Deco was born. From Paris to Vero Beach examines the modernity, glamour, and exuberance, while exploring the socio-economic impact of these advancements during the Interwar period.
Catherine Futter is the Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator, Decorative Arts at the Brooklyn Museum. Previously, she was at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City for almost eighteen years. While there, she held the positions of director, curatorial affairs, and the Helen Jane and R. Hugh “Pat” Uhlmann Curator of Architecture, Design and Decorative Arts. Catherine has a bachelor’s degree in medieval and Renaissance studies from Duke University and earned her doctorate from Yale University, where her focus was American decorative arts.
Catherine has curated a number of permanent-collection installations of European and American art as well as numerous exhibitions. Her recent endeavor American Art Deco: Designing for the People, 1918-1939, which just closed a national tour. She also curated the international loan exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851–1939, which was accompanied by an award-winning catalogue. A generalist in the history of design and decorative arts, Catherine’s scholarly focus is on transcultural connections and nineteenth-century decorative arts. She is now working on reexamining decorative arts to reveal inequities in their creation and ownership.
Monday, February 27, 2023 at 4:30pm | The Automobile as an Aesthetic Aspect of the Built Environment
Miles C. Collier, Founder of the Revs Institute® and Author of The Archaeological Automobile: Understanding and Living with Historical Automobiles
The automobile has always manifested a unique aesthetic, which is not necessarily reflective of the cultural and stylistic environment of the broader culture from which it was made. With the importance of styling as a competitive selling tool, especially in the U.S., the automobile industry has developed an hermetic and independent response to the fashions of the times.
Miles C. Collier will map a fascinating journey through the primitive, rationalist baroque, fantasy, and international styling periods of automobile design. He will directly reference objects in the exhibition Rolling Sculpture: Streamlined Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles: 1930-1941.
Miles C. Collier is a practicing artist, author, philanthropist, renowned automobile collector, and Founder of Revs Institute®, a globally acknowledged car museum and archive. A former race-car driver from a family of car lovers, he has spent what he calls many “grubby-fingered” hours fixing and restoring historical automobiles and thousands more driving them. He is widely recognized for his thought-leadership in the history and significance of the automobile.
He has spent a lifetime developing a deep appreciation for what he considers “one of the most important technological artifacts of the 20th century.” In 2009, he founded Revs Institute in Naples, FL, which has become a globally renowned, not-for-profit institution that houses over 100 rare and unique automobiles that meet rigid standards for historical significance. Revs Institute also serves as one of the world’s greatest collections of automotive resources.
His new book, The Archaeological Automobile: Understanding and Living with Historical Automobiles, is in service of his mission to advance the study and celebration of the automobile. It brings an archaeological point of view to today’s controversial debates about how we understand and treat our automobiles, and how we pass this knowledge to future generations. He aims to foster a new level of understanding of the car, not only as a technological device, but also as an agent for social and economic change, worthy to be considered among the masterpieces of human creativity. In his book, Collier assigns the automobile its rightful place at the cultural center of the contemporary world and argues for its importance as an historical artifact worthy of study and preservation.
Monday, March 13, 2023 at 4:30pm | The Art of Filmmaking
Ric Burns, Emmy Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker
We all love films, but what exactly happens between the camera and the screen? How do tricks of light create universes populated by complicated people, glorious images, and immersive sound? Using clips and stories from his Emmy Award-winning documentary New York, director Ric Burns takes audiences on a journey into the creative process of filmmaking, from script to screen.
Ric Burns is a profoundly powerful storyteller whose thought-provoking and deeply poetic films have garnered a devoted following, making him one of America’s preeminent documentary filmmakers. The winner of six Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards, he has directed some of the most distinguished programs for the award-winning public television series, American Experience and American Masters, including Coney Island, The Donner Party, The Way West, Ansel Adams, Eugene O’Neill, and Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film.
Monday, April 3, 2023 at 4:30pm | Planes, Sails, and Automobiles: Travel, Style and Society in the Interwar Era
Amber Butchart, Dress Historian and Curator
The 1920s and 30s were pivotal decades in the making of the modern world. Through this illustrated talk, dress historian and curator Amber Butchart looks at the changing fashions of the Art Deco era, and considers the links between the new modern lifestyles, travel and technology, and how these developments were impacting styles that were worn across the world, from fashion cities such as Paris to resorts like Palm Beach. From ocean liners to automobiles and aircraft, this was an era when technological advances were allowing people to travel further, faster than ever before. These new modes of transport called for new wardrobes, which in turn became signifiers of a daringly fast, fashionable pace of life. Amber will discuss some of the notable figures that helped to define the fashions of these decades from the rise of Hollywood to the sporting stars who set new records, as well as wider shifts that influenced the style of the era, from women’s political representation to flourishing avant-garde art movements.
Amber Butchart is a curator, writer and broadcaster who specializes in the cultural and political history of textiles and dress. She is the author of five books on the history and culture of clothing, and has written for The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, Financial Times, ArtReview and BBC Culture. She is a regular contributor to Frieze, writing on the politics of dress and design.
Amber researches and presents documentaries for TV and radio, including A Stitch in Time, a six-part series for BBC Four that fused biography, art and the history of fashion to explore the lives of historical figures through the clothes they wore. It was described as “snappy and engaging” by The Guardian, “hugely enjoyable” by The Telegraph and “mesmerizing” by the Radio Times. She is the history consultant and regular on-screen historian for BBC One’s Great British Sewing Bee.
She is a former Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London and teaches cultural and historical studies at undergraduate and postgraduate level at London College of Fashion. She is a regular public lecturer, speaking at institutions from the Tate to the V&A, and from Dubai to Melbourne, Dallas, Florence and Hangzhou.