Exhibition and Other Lectures

Curators, scholars, and special guests offer insight into special exhibitions and the DMA's collections.

Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style

Before fashion shows and the rise of fashion photography, consumers kept up with the latest styles through printed publications that included fashion plates, or hand-colored illustrations depicting the latest modes. In her book Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style, fashion historian April Calahan traces the evolution of style from the court of Marie-Antoinette to the Jazz Age through a carefully curated selection of two hundred rarely seen fashion plates.

November 3, 2016
Horchow Auditorium

From the Kitchen Table

How can thinking like a designer turn passion into innovation and common problems into uncommon solutions? Paul Manno is a Design Director and Principal with Gensler, a global design firm tackling everything from rethinking the uninspiring workspace to envisioning a more sustainable built environment. In this introduction to design thinking, Manno discusses how big ideas can develop from humble conversations around the kitchen table.

May 20, 2016
Horchow Auditorium

The Person Himself: Irving Penn’s Ethnographic Studies

The Art Institute of Chicago is home to the Irving Penn Archives, one of the world’s leading collections of photographs and memorabilia about the artist. Natasha Derrickson, former Collection Manager in the Department of Photography and Archive Assistant in the Ryerson and Burnham Archives, discusses the materials contained in the archives and what they reveal about Penn's life and work.

Saints, Sinners, and the In-Between

Are virtues and vices all relative? What do artworks reveal about the moral systems of their time? Dr. Jean Kazez, Adjunct Assistant Professor in Philosophy with Southern Methodist University; Dr. Amy Freund, Assistant Professor and The Kleinheinz Family Endowment for the Arts and Education Endowed Chair in Art History with Southern Methodist University; and DMA Manager of Interpretation Andrea Severin Goins discuss works in the DMA's collection that shed light on the good, the bad, and the middle ground of various moments in history.

February 19, 2016
Horchow Auditorium

Music, Love, and Leisure in the Dutch Golden Age

The music paintings of Johannes Vermeer and his contemporaries reflect a cultural and artistic heritage inextricably linked to music making. Steeped in symbolism, this subset of Dutch genre painting reveals the influence of music on nearly every element of daily life in 17th-century Netherlands, from social classes to gender norms and religion. Betsy Wieseman, Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings at the National Gallery, London, speaks about the lasting impact of music paintings from this period and contextualize Vermeer's music paintings within his larger body of work.

Late Night Talk: Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty

Merry Foresta, guest curator for the Smithsonian American Art Museum's exhibition Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty, takes a deeper look at this presentation of 140 works by one of America's best-known photographers. From his fashion photography featured in Vogue to his New York street scenes, portraiture, and travel photography, Penn completed a body of work spanning multiple genres, five continents, and nearly seventy years.