Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Salon Thursdays at the Dahesh

It looks like the season has started – we just received word from the Dahesh Museum of Art Gift Shop with the schedule of their third season of Salon Thursdays.  These wonderful events are completely free to the public, and start at 6:30 PM.  They are conducted in the lovely gift shop itself, located at 145 Sixth Avenue, on the corner of Dominick Street, one block south of Spring Street.  The events are wheelchair accessible.

Since opening its richly appointed gift shop in 2012, the Dahesh has used the new location as a home for Salon Thursdays lectures, featuring both history and insight from leading arts scholars.   Attendees can also look through the new store, which includes beautiful things for the home, reproduction prints and posters, and an impressive collection of scholarly books on the Classical tradition.

The 2013 Autumn/Winter Salon Thursdays looks as if the new season is even more ambitious than the last.  Next on the calendar are:

Thursday, October 3: Exhibiting Biblical Art in the Age of Spectacle -- In recent years, the idea that modernity is defined by secularity has begun to break down. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the continued relevance of religious subject matter in modern art, but also in the relationship between religion and the practices of exhibition. Using examples like the World’s Fairs, Holy Land reconstructions, and the evolution of the modern gallery, Sarah Schaefer explores the ways in which religion and exhibition have informed each in the past two centuries.

Sarah Schaefer is a PhD Candidate in Art History at Columbia University, and a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the 2013-2014 academic year. She previously worked at the Morgan Library and Museum, and has presented her work in New York, Los Angeles, England, and Germany. Her dissertation examines the biblical art of Gustave Doré, arguing that these images were significant for negotiating modern forms of biblical representation.

Thursday, November 7:  Seeing through Paintings -- How does one restore an art work from the damages of time or natural disaster?  How can collectors distinguish a real work of art from a fake?  Artists, collectors, museums, and galleries often call on conservator Rustin Levenson. Find out what she does and how she does it during her illustrated talk, and stay for a book signing.

Rustin Levenson is the President and Founder of Rustin Levenson Art Conservation Associates of New York and Miami: she has B.A. Wellesley College; a Diploma in Paintings Conservation, Fogg Art Museum, and Harvard University. She served on the Conservation staff of the Fogg Museum (1969-1973), the Canadian Conservation Institute (1973-1974); The National Gallery of Canada (1974-1977); and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1977-1980). She has co-written with art historian, Andrea Kirsh, Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies and written chapters for The Expert vs. the Object.

December 5:  The Other Orient: China in the Nineteenth Century -- If China had represented the “Orient” in the eighteenth century, the Islamic world usurped that role in the nineteenth. But, throughout the nineteenth century, the interest in China and Chinese art remained vivid, yet the meaning they held for the West changed. This changed meaning, in the larger context of nineteenth-century Orientalism, is the focus an illustrated lecture by the distinguished scholar Dr. Petra Chu, PhD.

Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu, PhD is Professor of Art history and Museum Studies at Seton Hall University where she co-Founded and directed the MA Program in Museum Professions., She has two doctorates one from Columbia University, NY and the other from Utrecht University, Holland. The recipient of numerous fellowship and awards, and was most recently named a Fellow Getty Research Institute. She helped found and served as Managing Editor for Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide ( and was the president and board member of the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art.  Among her many publications,  Twenty-First-Century Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Art  (co-edited with Laurinda S.Dixon) is considered a landmark in art history.

Your correspondent is a great believer in the Dahesh and its mission.  It is the only institution in the United States devoted to academic art of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The genesis of the collection was assembled by Salim Moussa Achi (1909-1948), who envisioned a museum of academic European art.  Perhaps one day the dream will become a reality once again.  For the past several years the Dahesh has been a museum without walls, as significant portions of this important collection have traveled the world in various shows and exhibitions.  In conjunction with the new store location, the Dahesh has completely revamped their Web site, and readers are urged to visit it to learn about the collection and travelling shows:  For further details about Salon Thursdays and the gift shop, call the Dahesh at 212.759.0606.

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