The Newport Art Museum’s annual Winter Speaker Series returns Saturday, January 25th for its 92nd season. The series will include six lectures on a variety of topics and will run Saturdays at 2 pm, January 25 – February 29, in the Museum’s Griswold House at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Returning speaker Darrell West of The Brookings Institution will kick off the series with his talk, “Politics 2020: What to Watch for in the Upcoming Election.” Other topics include exploring cultural identity and historical memory through documentary filmmaking, Andy Warhol and his recent retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the roots of American folk art traditions, the ten restaurants that changed America, and a fascinating look at cutting-edge neuroscience technology.
Each lecture will be followed by tea and light refreshments. Sponsors of the series include Lockett Ford Ballard, Jr., Johanna and Ronald Becker, Mary Jennings, Cynthia Sinclair, Kathleen Shinners and The Hope Foundation. Generous support for this series is also provided by The Cliffside Inn and The Attwater.
Tickets to the Winter Speaker Series are now on sale and available at www.newportartmuseum.org. For individual lectures, tickets are $20 ($15 for Newport Art Museum members). Those who wish to attend the entire series can purchase a series subscription for $100 ($75 for Museum members), which will gain the subscriber access to six lectures for the price of five.
January 25 at 2 pm:
Darrell West, Director of Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution
Politics 2020: What to Watch for in the Upcoming Election
The 92nd Annual Winter Speaker Series launches with the ever-engaging Darrell West, whose position at the Brookings Institute affords him access to the National political scene from the inside. He will discuss the current political climate with an eye towards the 2020 election. What are the issues, candidates, and prospects? How will Trump approach his reelection effort? What role will domestic and international events play in the campaign? How should people prepare themselves for what could be a very volatile year?
February 1 at 2 pm:
Documentary Filmmaker and multimedia installation artist
The Documentarian: Telling Global Stories
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Julie Mallozzi explores cultural identity, historical memory, and social justice issues through her thought-provoking films and transmedia work. She is drawn to personal stories of individuals “repurposing” cultural traditions to address contemporary social issues. Join us as she takes us to China to uncover her family’s involvement in Chinese history, to Massachusetts to document Cambodian-American teens coming of age, and to a diverse group of Boston residents using indigenous restorative justice practices to heal from trauma. Learn about Mallozzi’s artistic process, how she selects her subjects, what intrigues and inspires her, and how her career has evolved to satisfy a deepening desire to further social justice causes.
February 8 at 2 pm:
Senior Curatorial Assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again
Few American artists are as ever-present and instantly recognizable as Andy Warhol (1928–1987). Through his carefully cultivated persona and willingness to experiment with non-traditional art-making techniques, Warhol understood the growing power of images in contemporary life and helped to expand the role of the artist in society. “Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again” at the Whitney Museum of American Art was the first Warhol retrospective organized by a U.S. institution since 1989, and reconsidered the work of one of the most inventive, influential, and important American artists. Built on a wealth of new materials, research and scholarship that had emerged since the artist’s untimely death in 1987, the exhibition revealed new complexities about the Warhol we think we know, and introduced a Warhol for the 21st century.
February 15 at 2 pm:
Former Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at the American Folk Art Museum
A Nation of Makers and the Invention of Folk Art
The early American republic was a nation of makers. With an exuberance that was fueled by revolutionary fervor, enlightenment philosophy, and natural genius, the lives of Americans were filled with objects and artworks made by their own hands. Join us as we examine the roots of folk art; expressions created before the establishment of museums of art, widely enjoyed and considered a natural part of the “furniture of a house” rather than an elite art meant for the privileged few. The art and artists were themselves part of a story that was unfolding, but as art that continued to be conceived and appreciated outside museums, the public record has largely been lost. We’ll hear how the slow recovery of these histories was facilitated by two unlikely forces that aligned in the early years of the twentieth century: the colonial revival, a movement to recover a legitimate American heritage, and modernism, a desire on the part of the avant-garde to find a specifically American precedence for their own art.
February 22 at 2 pm:
Paul Freedman, Author and Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale University
The Ten Restaurants That Changed America
“Is there such a thing as an American cuisine?” “If so, what is it?”
What were the restaurants in America that most influenced food trends and how we dine out socially?
Freedman’s top ten selections weren’t limited to the “best” restaurants, but rather on those that had the most impact. So, alongside such iconic establishments as Chez Panisse in Berkeley or Delmonico’s in New York, sits the roadside chain restaurant Howard Johnson’s, and Schrafft’s, a place that catered to women unescorted by men. Freedman suggests that three things historically characterize food in our country: regionalism (which Rhode Island has preserved better than most), modernity (processed foods, convenience, supermarkets) and variety (both in the proliferation of products and flavors and the popularity of international restaurants). Join us for an entertaining and illuminating look at the evolution of the American palette, the culture of dining out, and what “American Cuisine” might really mean.
February 29 at 2 pm:
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Brown University
Wired and Rewired: On the Cutting Edge of Neuroscience
Our brains have evolved to enable flexible behavior in a dynamic and uncertain world. The neural computations necessary to perceive, process, and act within one’s environment are dynamic, changing across time, space, and social contexts. Such complex brain circuit interactions define what it is to be human. But what happens when traumatic brain injury or severe mental illness interrupts or prevents this circuitry from working properly? In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that nearly 300,000 people currently live in the U.S. with spinal cord injury, including 11% completely unable to move, and 9.6 million adults suffer from mental illness sufficiently significant to disrupt everyday life.
Join us for a rare and fascinating peek into the Brown University neuroscience lab, where cutting-edge and life-altering neurotechnological developments designed to work in synergy with the brain are being piloted to restore agency to those suffering from spinal cord injuries and severe mental illness. Just imagine if reanimating paralyzed limbs was possible…
About the Newport Art Museum
Founded in 1912, The Newport Art Museum is one of the oldest continuously operating and most highly regarded art museums and schools of its kind in the country. The Art Museum offers a provocative diversity of creative voices in its historic Newport setting. Visitors can expect treasures from its permanent collection featuring American art from the late 19th century to the present, as well as programmed exhibitions of contemporary art. Dedicated Museum docents are available to offer guided tours of the campus and educate visitors on the architecture, artwork and history of the Museum. Artist Talks, film screenings, lectures and musical performances are scheduled throughout the year.
The Museum operates on a three-building campus, the main building being National Historic landmark, the John N.A. Griswold House. It was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, completed in 1864 and remains the premier example of American “Stick-Style” architecture. Richard Morris Hunt went on to design Marble House, The Breakers, Ochre Court, Belcourt Castle, and other landmarks in Newport and New York, including the base for the Statue of Liberty. Adjacent to the Griswold House is the Cushing Building, built in 1919, featuring two rotating galleries as well as the Cushing Memorial Gallery dedicated to the artist Howard Gardiner Cushing. Completing the three-building campus is the Art Museum’s art school, the Coleman Center for Creative Studies, which offers year-round art classes, camps and workshops, incorporates the Museum’s collection into its curriculum and focuses on art fundamentals as well as design, digital studies and continuing education for artists of all ages and interests. The Newport Art Museum is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursdays April – December until 7 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm, and from 10 am to 8 pm every second Thursday of the month for the Art After Dark programming. The Museum is closed to the public on Mondays. Museum membership levels and benefits, art school classes and registration, exhibition schedules, public programming, and more can be found at www.newportartmuseum.org. Phone: (401) 848-8200.