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Art historian Thomas Crowe to launch
fine arts lecture series
February 22, 1999

How do the traditional arts survive and play their hand in a culture that is saturated with images? Award-winning art historian Thomas Crow will explore the issue in the first of a new

series of spring lectures and master classes offered by the Department of Art and Art History and the Institute for Teaching and Learning.

"The Persistence of Painting in a Mediated Era" will take place on Thursday, February 25, at 7 p.m. in the Konover Auditorium of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

Crow will examine the work of three contemporary artists, Gerhard Richter, Ross Bleckner, Christopher Wool, in relation to the continuing vitality of the painted image within a media- and image-saturated environment.

In the preface to his book Modern Art in the Common Culture (1996), Crow writes that many historians of art believe that "fine art, as it is traditionally understood, trades on elitist presumptions; a postmodern outlook can afford no exclusion of the Hollywood films, television productions, glossy advertisements, computer graphics, and all the other enticing visual products of the age."

Yet, says Crow, "there are certain facts ... that fit awkwardly within this new orthodoxy."

Crow received his bachelor's degree from Pomona College, Claremont, Calif., and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has since taught at the University of Chicago, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, the University of Sussex, U.K.

He now teaches at Yale University, where he is Robert Lehman Professor of the History of Art.

Crow is author or coauthor of six books. He is a contributing editor for the magazine Art Forum and served on the editorial board of the publication Art History from 1994-1997.

His awards include the Eric Mitchell Prize in 1986 for the best first book in the history of art, the Charles Rufus Morey Prize of the College Art Association for the most distinguished book in history of art, and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship.

He has been named a Getty Research Institute Distinguished Getty Scholar for 1999-2002.

Other speakers in the series are multimedia video artist Mary Lucier, described as "one of the second wave of the first generation of video pioneers", who will speak on March 25, and painter and Columbia University professor Gregory Amenoff, whose work has been called "an allegorical psychodrama" with skies "wilder than that of van Gogh's." Amenoff will speak April 15.

In addition to the lectures, each of the speakers will offer master classes for selected students.