Historian's Lecture to Reflect on Contemporary Art History

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 7, 2009 — Art history has often defined itself as a discipline more interested in the historical location of artworks rather than their continuing activity in the present. How, then, does art break free of its past contexts to function in contemporary culture?

Keith Moxey, the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Art History at Columbia University, will address this question in a lecture titled, “Bruegel’s Crows: Some Reflections of Contemporary Art History.” The talk will take place on Thursday, April 9, at 5:30 p.m. in Lawrence Hall 231.

He will examine the shifting emphasis on the ways in which historical artworks provoke responses in contemporary viewers.

The lecture will explore whether the autonomy of the image can be captured in words and, if so, in what language: How does one describe the nature of an artwork’s perennial power?

Moxey is the author of numerous books on the historiography and philosophy of art history, as well as on sixteenth century paintings and prints in northern Europe. His works include “The Practice of Persuasion: Politics and Paradox in Art History,” “The Practice of Theory: Post structuralism, Cultural Politics and Art History,” and “Peasants, Warriors, and Wives: Popular Imagery in the Reformation.”

He has also co-edited several anthologies, including “Art, History, Aesthetics, Visual Culture,” “The Subjects of Art History: Historical Objects in Contemporary Perspective,” and “Visual Culture: Images and Interpretation.”

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

The lecture, sponsored by the Class of 1960 Scholars of the Art Department, is free and open to the public.

For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Public Affairs (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/home/campusmap/

Event: Katie Aldrin