2020 International Lecture Series

Individual simulcast lecture tickets are now available! Tickets are $80 each (Museum members $70). 

William Middleton
Journalist and editor
February 17, 2020 @4:30 pm
THE ENLIGHTENED PATRONAGE OF DOMINIQUE AND JOHN DE MENIL: PARIS, NEW YORK, AND HOUSTON

Dominique and John de Menil, born and raised in Paris, moved to the United States during World War II, settling in New York and Houston, the American headquarters for Schlumberger Limited, the massive oil services firm founded by her father. During six decades of enlightened patronage, the de Menils became two of the most remarkable art collectors of the twentieth century. They befriended great artists—Max Ernst, René Magritte, Alexander Calder, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Andy Warhol—curated important exhibitions, and built a collection of more than 10,000 works of art, from Paleolithic bone carvings to Byzantine idols to Cubist collage to Surrealist sculpture to post-war masterpieces of Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and Minimalism. The Rothko Chapel, inaugurated in 1971, is one of the great spiritual buildings of recent decades and considered by the artist to be the culmination of his career. The museum built to house their collection, the Menil Collection, designed by Renzo Piano and opened in 1987, is considered one of the great small museums in the world.

This talk will focus on the de Menils as American collectors and their decades of commitment to supporting great artists, including Ernst, Magritte, Rothko, Warhol, Cy Twombly, and Dan Flavin.

William Middleton is a journalist and editor who has worked in New York and Paris. He has been the Fashion Features Director for Harper’s Bazaar and the Paris Bureau Chief for Fairchild Publications, overseeing W Magazine and Women’s Wear Daily. He has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, House & Garden, Esquire, Texas Monthly, Travel & Leisure, Departures, and the International Herald Tribune.

Wanda M. Corn
Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History at Stanford University
March 2, 2020 @ 4:30 pm
A SIGNATURE STYLE: GEORGIA O’KEEFE’S ART, CLOTHES, AND HOME DECOR
As a pioneer abstractionist and innovative painter, Georgia O’Keeffe stood on the front lines of modern art in the early twentieth century. She was a prominent member of the circle of artists around Alfred Stieglitz from whom Duncan Phillips, the Washington, D.C. patron of modern art, bought work for his esteemed collection. When O’Keeffe died in 1986, she left behind a lifetime of paintings but also two homes she had carefully reconstructed and imaginatively furnished in northern New Mexico. Her closets were filled with a lifetime of clothes, pieces of which she had sewn for herself or commissioned others to make.

In her talk, Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History at Stanford University, will probe O’Keeffe’s art, homes, and wardrobe to shed new light on the artist’s creativity and brilliance. She will show the ways the artist lived and dressed like she painted, highly valuing abstraction, simplicity, and seriality.

Wanda M. Corn held Stanford University’s first permanent appointment in the history of American art and served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History and acting director of the Stanford Museum. Active as a guest curator, she has produced various books and exhibitions, including The Color of Mood: American Tonalism 1890-1910 (1972); The Art of Andrew Wyeth (l973); Grant Wood: The Regionalist Vision (1983); The Great American Thing, Modern Art and National Identity 1915-1935; Women Building History: Public Art at the 1893 Columbian Exposition (2011); Seeing Gertrude Stein, Five Stories (2011-12); and most recently, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern (2017-2019).

Joe Medeiros
Writer/Producer/Director
March 16, 2020 @4:30 pm
THE UNTHINKABLE THEFT OF THE MONA LISA

It is the greatest little-known art theft of all time. With the most unlikely thief. How did he do it? Why did he do it? And why wasn’t he caught by the police? Step back in time to August 21, 1911: the day the Mona Lisa vanished from the Louvre. Follow the bungled investigation that culminated in the painting’s unexpected recovery in Florence, Italy, in 1913 in the hands of Vincenzo Peruggia, a poor, Italian workman who had kept the Mona Lisa to himself for nearly two and a half years.

In his talk, Joe Medeiros, a leading expert on the theft of the Mona Lisa, will explore the trajectory of this event and how the news reached global audiences, thus making the Mona Lisa a household name.

Joe Medeiros is the former headwriter of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the leading expert on the theft of the Mona Lisa, a subject that he has passionately pursued for more than forty years. He wrote and directed the award–winning documentary about the theft, Mona Lisa Is Missing.

A special screening of Mona Lisa is Missing will be held on Tuesday March 17 at 1:30pm and 7pm. Producer Justine Mestichelli Medeiros and writer/director Joe Medeiros will be on hand for Q & A following each screening.

Ric Burns
Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker
March 23, 2020 @ 4:30 pm
THE ART OF FILMMAKING: NEW YORK

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.

Called “a breathtaking masterpiece of history television,” by The Los Angeles Times, “one of the best documentaries you will ever see,” by The Chicago Tribune and “documentary filmmaking at its best,” by The Wall Street Journal, Burns’ eight-part, seventeen-and-a-half-hour documentary film chronicles the city’s remarkable rise from a tiny Dutch trading post on the edge of the world to its pre-eminence today as the economic and cultural capital of the world. Burns will demonstrate how New York City’s emergence in the twentieth century as the undisputed cultural and economic clearinghouse of the world played a unique role in the development of American culture, mingling and unleashing the extraordinarily powerful and transforming forces of capitalism and democracy as no other city on earth.

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.

2020 International Lecture Series – Vero Beach Museum of Art

Simulcast tickets: $80 ($70 Members)

Simulcast series: $210 ($190 Members)