International Lecture Series

Join us for the 42nd season of the Treasure Coast’s most celebrated arts and humanities lecture series. This series is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Ancient Egypt & the Napoleonic Era: Masterworks from the Dahesh Museum. 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. 

Patrons are invited to attend the lectures at the VBMA or stream them from the comfort of their home.

Presenting Sponsor: Harry and Virginia Van Wormer Lecture Fund

Supporting Sponsors: Kjestine and Peter Bijur, The FHL Foundation, Emily and Ned Sherwood, Caroline and Tommy Vandeventer

Patron Sponsors: Susan Bouma, Kenneth W. Cunningham, Jr. Endowment Fund, Carolyn and William Stutt Endowment for the International Lecture Series

Reception Sponsor:  Wilmington Trust

Standard Series Pricing 
Holmes Great Hall – SOLD OUT
$360 per person for VBMA Members
$415 per person for non-members

Streaming or Leonhardt Auditorium Simulcast
$240 per person for VBMA members
$275 per person for non-members
Streaming/Simulcast Series

Individual Lecture Pricing
Holmes Great Hall – SOLD OUT
$130 per person for VBMA Members
$158 per person for non-members

Streaming or Leonhardt Auditorium Simulcast
$80 per person for VBMA members   
$95 per person for non-members
1/29 Sarah Parcak LA/Streaming 2/19 Robert Wittman LA/Streaming 3/11 Lady Fiona Carnarvon LA/Streaming 4/8 Bernard Fishman LA/Streaming

International Lecture Series Logo

To register for any program, use the links provided, or call us at 772.231.0707 x 116

By entering the Museum, you consent to be photographed and filmed for promotional purposes.

All programs are subject to change.

2024 International Lecture Series

Monday, January 29, 2024 at 4:30pm | Indiana Jones in Space
Sarah Parcak, Space Archaeologist

Dr. Sarah Parcak, 2016 TED Prize winner, and her team at the University of Alabama–Birmingham are pioneers in the field of satellite archaeology—the use of satellite remote sensing to discover archaeological sites more quickly and efficiently. With these methods, Parcak’s team has uncovered seventeen pyramids as well as thousands of lost settlements and tombs around the world, many of which have revealed an increase in looting. She will discuss her work mapping unknown sites, its impact on historic and cultural preservation, and her Global Xplorer platform, a non-profit dedicated to using cutting edge technologies to protect and preserve our shared cultural heritage, for citizen-scientists interested in joining the hunt.

Inspired by her grandfather, an early pioneer of aerial photography, Sarah took an interest in remote sensing while studying Egyptology at Yale. She has worked on archaeological projects across the globe, and she has discovered more than three thousand missing settlements, over one-thousand tombs, and the lost city of Tanis. She also wrote the first textbook on the field of satellite archaeology, Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology, and she is the author of Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past.

Monday, February 19, 2024 at 4:30pm | Art Crime and the FBI: How Masterpieces are Stolen and Recovered
Robert Wittman, Former Senior Investigator and Founder of the FBI’s National Art Crime Team

Join one of the most famous art detectives in the world to hear tales from the trenches of his long career solving art crimes with the FBI. Drawing on cases he worked on personally, Robert Wittman will explore notorious art heists and daring recovery operations, including looted and recovered art and artifacts from Egypt, during this exciting lecture.

Wittman founded the FBI’s National Art Crime Team and served for 20 years as the FBI’s investigative expert. He has been dubbed “The most famous art detective in the world.” Wittman is responsible for recovering more than $300 million in stolen art and cultural property globally. This talk will draw on cases that have made headlines over his long career in law enforcement. Wittman’s career has taken him from Spain to extract $50 million worth of Goya and Brueghel paintings from a Spanish mobster to France to save a priceless Rodin. He has rescued Rembrandts, Renoirs and even the golden armor of an ancient Peruvian warrior king. He will also share his greatest challenge: working undercover to track the criminals behind the century’s largest unsolved art crime, the $500-million-dollar theft from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

Monday, March 11, 2024 at 4:30pm | The Earl and the Pharaoh: The Discovery of Tutankhamun
Lady Fiona Carnarvon, Countess of Carnarvon, The Eighth Countess of Carnarvon

Valley of the Kings, Egypt, November 22, 1922: Lord Carnarvon, his daughter Evelyn, and Howard Carter stood in the half gloom of a passageway they had cleared in front of a doorway. Howard Carter knocked a hole through the doorway and when it was large enough, took the candle from Lord Carnarvon, and stretched his hand in through the opening. “What can you see?” asked Lord Carnarvon unable to wait any longer. “Wonderful things,” replied Carter, hardly able to speak. Thus the Tomb of Tutankhamun is discovered.

Lady Carnarvon shares the story of these two mavericks. Lord Carnarvon was an Edwardian explorer, traveler, and archaeologist who acquired the most outstanding collection of Egyptian Antiquities before the First World War, a time at Highclere familiar to those who admire “Downton Abbey.” Howard Carter was his great friend and colleague and they worked together in Egypt for 16 years, planning their expeditions during weekends spent at Highclere Castle.

Lady Carnarvon curates the Egyptian Exhibition in the cellars at Highclere today and has a unique insight into the treasures and details. The ancient Egyptian civilization extended over 5,000 years and questions she seeks to answer include what was the secret to their success and what can we learn from them today?

Monday, April 8, 2024 at 4:30pm | Journey Up the Nile: The Victorian Grand Tour of Egypt in 3D
Bernard Fishman, Director of the Maine State Museum

Bernard Fishman, Director of the Maine State Museum and past Egyptologist for the University of Chicago, will give a unique visual tour of Egypt as it was known to Victorian travelers in the 1800s, when photography was new and the romance of seeing Egypt was a thrilling, exotic, dangerous, and entirely rare experience.

Using stereoviews, the most popular form of educational photography of the 19th century, Fishman will show, in modern three-dimensional projections, what bold Victorians with time and money saw when they took on the uncertainties and thrills of a trip up the Nile in the 1860s and ‘70s. You’ll learn about the costs, headaches and necessities of the trip, and about the rough but indolent life aboard a sailing dahabiyah. You’ll see Alexandria and Cairo before tourism made them unrecognizable. You’ll see the digging of the Suez Canal, the first archaeology in Egypt and the famous Find of the Royal Mummies, the ruins of Dendera, Karnak, Luxor, Abu Simbel, and other ancient sites, some no longer in existence, and all of them now forever changed. You’ll see what those intrepid explorers saw when they visited the Land of the Pharaohs 150 years ago!