MoMA Lecture: Gustav Klimt's Adele Bloch-Bauer II

Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918). Adele Bloch-Bauer II. 1912. Oil on canvas. Private collection. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzika
Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918). Adele Bloch-Bauer II. 1912. Oil on canvas. Private collection. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzika

Tuesday, May 5th at 7 p.m.

Get a sneak preview of a new painting on display at the Museum of Modern Art. One of two formal portraits that Gustav Klimt made of Adele Bloch-Bauer, an important patron of the artist, is now on view at MoMA as a special long-term loan from a private collection. Adele Bloch-Bauer was the wife of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a wealthy industrialist in Vienna, where Klimt lived and worked. Completed in 1912, the composition emphasizes Bloch-Bauer’s social station within Vienna’s cultural elite. Her towering figure, in opulent dress, is set against a jewel-toned backdrop of nearly abstract patterned blocks that suggest a richly decorated domestic interior. In 1938, the Nazis took possession of this portrait along with other works of art in the Bloch-Bauer family’s collection (including Adele Bloch-Bauer I, now in the collection of the Neue Galerie, New York). In 2006, after years of legal negotiations, the works were returned to the Bloch-Bauer heirs and subsequently sold to other collections. 

About the Presenter

Larissa Bailiff (PhD, ABD, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University) is a specialist in late 19th-century and early 20th century French art and culture. Formerly an associate educator at MoMA, she continues to give tours and teach online and in-person classes for the museum. Larissa also serves as the coordinator for the Center for Curatorial Leadership’s new Mellon-funded Seminar in Curatorial Practice.

This event is part of Darien Library’s collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Manhattan. Refreshments will be served.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Iraq: Creation of Colonialism

Image courtesy of flickr user soldiersmediacenter
Image courtesy of flickr user soldiersmediacenter

Thursday, May 7th at 7 p.m.

On October 3, 1932, the British Mandate in Iraq ran out and Iraq was admitted into the League of Nations.  This bundle of grievances known as Iraq is a product of World War I/Colonialism; the result of the imperialist agendas of Britain and France in expectation of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Borders were etched in the sand with little regard for tribal affiliations, clannish associations, religious differences and ethnic passions. This talk will trace this progression beginning with the British East India Company's arrival in Basra in 1763.

About the presenter

Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and is a long-time member of the United States Naval Institute. In addition, Mark Albertson teaches history at Norwalk Community College. His courses include: World War I and Iraq:  Creation of Colonialism, Iraq:  A History, Vietnam:  A History, World War I, The Turning Points of World War II, The Great Patriotic War: The Titanic Clash Between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and American Empire: Grand Republic to Corporate State. In May 2005, Mark was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of the state legislature in Hartford for his effort in commemorating the centennial of battleship Connecticut.

Arab Nationalism, Arab Socialism

Image courtesy of flickr user piaser
Image courtesy of flickr user piaser

Tuesday, May 12th at 7 p.m.

Credit for the current Arab Spring has been accorded to President Obama with his 2009 speech in Egypt, or President Bush with his unseating of Saddam in 2003, or President Carter with the Camp David Accords in 1978. Yet, the Western military leader who has done more than three American presidents to change the face of the modern Middle East was Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1798, Napoleon led a French Revolutionary Army into Egypt and the Levant.  With this army came the ideas unleashed by the French Revolution:  Liberalism, Democracy, Republicanism, Socialism, Secularism, Nationalism, Parliamentarianism; ideas that would help to accelerate the demise of an already tottering Ottoman Empire.  This talk will explain this phenomenon in relation to the present situation in the Middle East.

About the presenter

Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and is a long-time member of the United States Naval Institute. In addition, Mark Albertson teaches history at Norwalk Community College. His courses include: World War I and Iraq:  Creation of Colonialism, Iraq:  A History, Vietnam:  A History, World War I, The Turning Points of World War II, The Great Patriotic War: The Titanic Clash Between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and American Empire: Grand Republic to Corporate State. In May 2005, Mark was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of the state legislature in Hartford for his effort in commemorating the centennial of battleship Connecticut.

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum
Ireland's Great Hunger Museum

Tuesday, May 26th at 7 p.m.

Take a trip the Ireland's Great Hunger Museum without leaving town! The mission of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University is to collect, preserve, exhibit and study its collection of art, artifacts and literature relating to the Irish Famine/Great Hunger that occurred from 1845–52. In doing so, it seeks to educate audiences of all ages about the underlying political, social, economic and historic causes to the Great Hunger, and the magnitude of the disaster on Ireland and its people. The museum contains the world’s largest collection of Great Hunger-related art by noted contemporary Irish and Irish American artists as well as a number of period paintings by some of Ireland’s most important 19th-century artists.

About the presenter

Grace Brady is the first Executive Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University which opened to the public in October 2012. She is responsible for overseeing the museum, which houses the largest collection of visual art, artifacts and printed materials relating to the Irish Famine (1845-52), the worst demographic catastrophe of 19th century Europe. Most recently, Brady co-edited “Famine Folios” with Niamh O’Sullivan, Curator of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum (IGHM). These Folios are the first in a series of essays that cover many aspects of the Famine. They are beautifully illustrated with works from the IGHM collection and interdisciplinary in nature by internationally established scholars in history, art history, cultural theory, media history, political economy, literature and music. Brady received her M.A. in Visual Arts Administration from New York University and holds a B.A. in Speech Communications/Theatre Arts from the University of Richmond.

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