Politics, Passion and Peril: Life at the Tudor Court

Wednesday, April 22nd at 7 p.m.

Mixing history and Hollywood, Dr. Ford, a historian of Tudor politics, administration, and the court, will offer insights into the historical context behind the Hilary Mantel books and BBC Series. Her talk will cover topics including the anxiety behind Henry’s quest for a bride and an heir, the nature of politics on the move with the Tudor court on progress, is there a private life at court, and how easy is it to (literally) lose your head.

About the presenter

Lisa L. Ford is Assistant Director of Research at the Yale Center for British Art.  Dr. Ford received her PhD in 2001 from St. Andrews for a dissertation on politics and administration during the reign of Henry VII.  She was part of the AHRC/EPSRC-funded project “Representing Re-Formation: Reconstructing Renaissance Monuments” a study of the 16th and 17th Century tombs of the Howard Dukes of Norfolk and their family. Dr. Ford is currently working on further publications from the Howard tombs project, and a book on the visual and material use of the insignia of the Order of the Garter between the 15th and 19th centuries.

This event is cosponsored with the Darien Arts Center.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Portrait of Henry VIII (Walker Gallery copy)
Portrait of Henry VIII (Walker Gallery copy)

Wednesday, April 29th at 7 p.m.

Transport yourself to Tudor England! Learn about the new BBC period drama through a historical context. Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 to 1547. Please join us as we explore the lives of the six women who shared his life as wives and queens. One king, six queens, and England will never be the same.

About the presenter

Dr. Ramona Garcia has taught European history at the collegiate level.  She has presented conference papers in the U.S. and Great Britain, and has publications in her field of English history, one of which has been included in the Bibliography of British and Irish History (formerly the Royal Historical Society Bibliography).

This event is cosponsored with the Darien Arts Center.

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.

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