Lecture Series in conjunction with J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate

Warm up with afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches and scones, and then enjoy an engaging lecture on one of many subjects relating to J.M.W. Turner and his work. A magnificent lineup of speakers will explore Turner’s world from several different angles, including his travels, techniques, and the time in which the artist lived. Tea and lectures will take place in the dining room at Latitude 41° Restaurant. We encourage participants to stop by the Collins Gallery in the Thompson Exhibition Building to visit (or re-visit!) the show beforehand.

January 14: Turner’s Inhabited Landscapes – SOLD OUT

tea with turner

Alexis Goodin will explore the significance of the human figure in Turner’s landscapes. More than markers of scale, Turner’s figures contribute to compelling narratives that reveal social, cultural, and political concerns of Turner’s day. Goodin will discuss works in the exhibition as well as paintings in the Clark collection that reveal how Turner’s figures enrich and complicate his landscape paintings.

Alexis Goodin is the Clark’s Curatorial Research Associate and is responsible for researching collections and developing special exhibitions. She recently curated Turner and Constable: The Inhabited Landscape (2018-2019) and authored the accompanying booklet, Turner and Constable at the Clark (2018).

January 21: Turner and Switzerland – SOLD OUT

Constance McPhee will explore Turner’s repeated visits to Switzerland, focusing on four seminal trips that he made to the area around Lucerne in the 1840s. Switzerland’s terrain and history were central to Turner’s artistic imagination, and its mountains and lakes offered him life-long inspiration. Using The Metropolitan Museum’s The Lake of Zug, 1843 as a touchstone, this talk will consider how the artist’s travel sketches offer fascinating windows into his process and supported masterful finished watercolors now regarded as highpoints of British art.

Constance McPhee is a curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has curated exhibitions on Samuel Palmer (1805–1881): Vision and Landscape (2005), Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine (2011) and The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design (2014). Currently she is building the department’s British drawings holdings and planning a related exhibition.

January 28: Why Turner? – SOLD OUT

tea with turner

Artist Ellen Harvey, who contributed to the Mystic Seaport Museum’s recently published book Conversations with Turner, in connection with the current exhibition, will be discussing her own work, its relationship to J.M.W. Turner, and why she considers Turner’s work to be relevant to many issues that we face today. In addition to talking about ARCADE/ARCADIA, a mirrored reproduction of Turner’s Gallery that she produced for the opening of Turner Contemporary in Margate, U.K., she will discuss other themes that preoccupied Turner, such as the relationship between the picturesque and the sublime, the impact of technological innovation, our place in the landscape, and the role of the artist.

Ellen Harvey is a British-born artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She is a 2016 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the Visual Arts and a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program. She has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and internationally and was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Her new project, Ellen Harvey and J.M.W. Turner: The Disappointed Tourist, will be opening at Turner Contemporary in the UK in the summer of 2020. www.ellenharvey.info

February 4: Turner and Industry – SOLD OUT

Glenn Adamson, a historian and curator specializing in craft and design, will offer thoughts on Turner’s work in the context of the industrial revolution. He lived during one of the greatest periods of transformation in history, one with certain parallels to our own. His paintings sometimes captured the awe-inspiring power but also the trauma of these shifts. 

Glenn Adamson, Senior Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, he has previously been Director of the Museum of Arts and Design; Head of Research at the V&A; and Curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee. Adamson was the co-curator of Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years at MAD (2016); curator of Beazley Designs of the Year, at the Design Museum in London (2017); and co-curator of Things of Beauty Growing: British Studio Pottery, at the Yale Center for British Art (2017). https://www.glennadamson.com/

February 11: From Mystic to New York: A Close Look at the Frick Turners – SOLD OUT

With Susan Grace Galassi

After examining Joseph Mallord William Turner’s watercolors of the 1820s on view in the Collins Gallery at Mystic Seaport Museum, we travel to New York to look in depth at two of the artist’s masterpieces in oil from the mid-1820s, both centerpieces of The Frick Collection’s West Gallery. These luminous harbors of Dieppe and Cologne reveal Turner’s preoccupation with Continental subjects following Napoleon’s defeat and the lifting of travel bans. They also showcase the artist’s technical experimentation in which he brought qualities of the watercolor medium into oil paint, arousing the ire of critics and leading to a turning point in his art.

Susan Grace Galassi is curator emerita of The Frick Collection. In 2017, she was co-curator with Ian Warrell and Joanna Sheers Seidenstein of Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages Through Time.

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