Bernini’s Rome: Art and Architecture of the Baroque

Marines’ Memorial Theatre, San Francisco

5 lectures and 1 performance. Enjoying the patronage of Popes and the wealth of the resurgent Counter-Reformation Church, Bernini used his immense talents as an architect, painter, and especially as a sculptor to help define the unique visual style of the Baroque Age. In seventeenth-century Rome, designed by far-sighted urban planners in the shape of a star, Bernini and his collaborators and rivals restored a monumental grandeur to the Eternal City that still survives.

Friday, April 26, 2013, 7:30 to 10 pm

Bernini’s Rome.

Theodore Rabb (History, Princeton)

No city has had as many Golden Ages as Rome. The decades when it was transformed by Bernini and his contemporaries became at least Rome’s third experience of an astonishing outburst of creativity. During these years its people transformed the physical appearance of the city, as well as the esthetics of European art and architecture; they confronted new ways of exploring nature; and they struggled to make their way as the greatest powers of the day vied for control of the volatile city. The lecture sets the scene for the closer look at some of the achievements of the time that will occupy the rest of the program. Putting in context the leading figures in the church, in politics, in the arts, and in the world of ideas, it also suggests how people made a living, and how the nature of patronage and authority helped shape this Golden Age.

20-Minute Intermission

Performance: Performance: Music of Girolamo Frescobaldi (harpsichord), and Giulio Caccini.Corey Jamason (harpsichord), with lutenist Richard Savino and soprano Céline Ricci. Introduced by Kip Cranna.

Saturday, April 27, 2013, 10 am to noon and 1:30 to 4 pm


Bernini and Borromini: Architecture, Patronage and Power in Baroque Rome.
Max Grossman 
(Art History, University of Texas, El Paso)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, the two most celebrated architects of seventeenth-century Rome, promoted completely different architectural visions at a time when the Catholic Church was struggling to redefine and reassert itself in the face of the Protestant threat. Bernini, the charming courtier and eminent sculptor, embraced a refined and purified classicism that he first employed in the facade of Santa Bibiana and later culminated in his monumental colonnades for St. Peter’s Square. Borromini, the irascible and melancholic scholar-architect, developed a highly idiosyncratic style that relied upon advanced geometrical calculations and radical experimentation. His first independent commission, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, and subsequent projects, especially Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, represented an iconoclastic alternative to Bernini’s minimalist Renaissance-inspired designs. In spite of their early collaboration, the two men became locked in a bitter competition for the patronage of popes and cardinals that spanned their careers.

20-Minute Intermission

Theatrical Sculptor: Bernini’s Appeal to the Senses.
Deborah Loft 
(Art History, College of Marin)

Bernini’s range as an artist was all-inclusive. He seems to have drawn no lines between his work as a theatrical designer, architect, sculptor, and (when time permitted), painter. More than any sculptor before him, he presented his marble works in settings which made use of the surrounding spaces (whether created by him, or the actual street-spaces of Rome) in a way that communicated with the space of the viewer. While his stage designs survive only in vivid descriptions, a parallel love of illusionism informs his sculptural works, with their mixed materials, and balance of classical idealism and emotional and fleshly realism. He also went beyond previous sculpture in finding ways to invest a static medium with the effect of dramatic motion. As a devout Catholic, he used these means to inspire devotion in others. The fortunate synchronicity of his talents with Counter-Reformation-era patronage provided the support for his ambitious projects.

Lunch Break. Program resumes at 1:30 pm.

From Rome to Paris: Bernini and the Renaissance of Empire in the Age of Louis XIV.Thomas Dandelet (History, UC Berkeley)

This presentation focuses on Bernini as a central protagonist of the Imperial Renaissance in France. More specifically, it will look at Bernini’s close relationship with the court of Louis XIV and the role he played in forging the imperial image of the Sun King. As the French monarchy increasingly cast itself as the successor to ancient Rome, it looked to the Rome of its own day for artistic inspiration and models. Bernini was central to this project as the French king brought him to Paris with the hope of putting him to work on his many projects. While many of the Roman artist’s ideas and projects for Louis XIV were never realized or co-opted by French artists, they nonetheless exercised a major influence on his imperial imagery and architecture.


Let Them Eat Obelisks: Kircher, Bernini, and the Egyptian Monuments of Papal Rome
Daniel Stolzenberg
 (History, UC Davis)

Bernini’s obelisks in Piazza Navona and in front of Santa Maria sopra Minerva are among the landmark features of Baroque Rome. This lecture reconstructs the fascination with Egypt in the Eternal City and Bernini’s relationship to one of the most interesting and flamboyant figures of mid-seventeenth century Rome: the Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher (1602-80).  Kircher’s claims to have probed the mysteries of nature, collected the world in his museum, and unlocked the secrets of the hieroglyphs–and his many other efforts at creating learned spectacle in the city–help us to understand how the inhabitants of Bernini’s Rome understood the meaning of these famous public sculptures and more generally the culture of Rome in the age of Bernini.

Panel Discussion with all presenters

4 pm. Conclusion


Clifford (Kip) Cranna (PhD, Musicology, Stanford) is Director of Musical Administration at SF Opera. He has served as vocal adjudicator for numerous groups including the Metropolitan Opera National Council. For many years he was Program Editor and Lecturer for the Carmel Bach Festival. He lectures and writes frequently on music and teaches at the SF Conservatory of Music. He hosts the Opera Guild’s “Insight” panels and intermission features for the SF Opera radio broadcasts, and has been a Music Study Leader for Smithsonian Tours. In 2008 he was awarded the SF Opera Medal, the company’s highest honor.

Thomas Dandelet (PhD, History, UC Berkeley) is Associate Professor of History and Italian Studies, UC Berkeley. He also taught at Princeton and Bard College. His awards and prizes include fellowships from Guggenheim (2008), National Endowment for the Humanities (1998), Spanish Ministry of Culture (1997), Mellon (1994), and Fulbright (1992); the Roland Bainton Prize for best new book in history (2002), and the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (1999-2000). Selected publications includeSpain in Italy, Politics, Society, and Religion 1500-1700, Ed. with John Marino, 2006-07; “Between Courts: The Colonna Agents in Italy and Iberia, 1555-1600,” in Your Humble Servant. Agents in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800, Ed. Marike Keblusek et al, 2006; “Rome, 1592: An Introduction to A Newly Discovered Parish Census,” in Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, 2006; “The Spanish Economic Foundations of Renaissance and Baroque Rome,” in Beyond Florence: Rethinking Medieval and Early Modern Italy, 2003; “Politics and the State System after the Habsburg-Valois Wars,” in Early Modern Italy, 2002; Spanish Rome, 1500-1700, 2001.

Max Grossman (MA/PhD, Art History, Columbia University) is Assistant Professor of Art History at University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). He formerly taught at San Jose State and Stanford Universities. After seven years in Tuscany, he completed his dissertation on the civic architecture, urbanism and iconography of the Sienese Republic in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance. His research focuses on the political iconography of the Sienese commune, as manifested in painting, architecture, sculpture, coinage, seals, and manuscripts. In addition, he is studying the development of the Italian civic palace, from its origins in the 12th century through the Quattrocento, challenging and revising accepted paradigms while forming a new critical apparatus for interpreting the architecture and urbanism of medieval and Renaissance city-states. He has just completed an article, “A Case of Double Identity: The Public and Private Faces of the Palazzo Tolomei in Siena,” and is now starting work on a book, History, Myth and Ideology: The Question of Siena’s Origins.

Corey Jamason (harpsichord) is an active soloist and chamber music collaborator. The LA Times recently stated, “Jamason’s clear-headed performance of the Italian Concerto rang in our ears. . . . navigated easily through the work’s contrapuntal maze and gave it the careful, due balance of objective detachment and lofty passion.” He has collaborated with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Wieland Kuijken, Eva Legêne, Joseph Silverstein, and Marion Verbruggen, and he appears frequently on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. He has performed with the SF Symphony, LA Opera, American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, El Mundo, and Camerata Pacifica. Festival appearances include the Berkeley, Bloomington, Bach Aria, San Luis Obispo Mozart and Norfolk festivals. He received degrees from Yale, where he was a student of Richard Rephann; SUNY–Purchase; and Indiana University. Recent recordings include performances with the violinist Gilles Apap, El Mundo and American Bach Soloists. In 2007 he was named director of the SF Bach Choir, becoming the 3rd director in the choir’s 76 year history. With Jeffrey Thomas, he is co-director of the American Bach Soloists Summer Academy. Jamason also co-directs Theatre Comique, an ensemble specializing in the recreation of early American Music theatre.

Deborah Loft is Art History Professor at College of Marin, where she has received the Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition, she has worked on the curatorial staff of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and lectured at a variety of Bay Area museums and institutions, including the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, where she gave a lecture on Bernini’s Head of Medusa in 2012. Her long-standing interest in the artistic interaction of European cultures has led her to do research in Italy, on the complex ethnic and artistic history of that country. Her wide-ranging interests include the theater, where she has worked as a costume designer.

Theodore Rabb, Emeritus Professor of History, Princeton, is a specialist in Renaissance and Early Modern European History. He has edited the Journal of Interdisciplinary History since 1970. Publications include Enterprise and Empire (1967); The Struggle for Stability in Early Modern Europe (1975);Renaissance Lives (1993, 2000); Jacobean Gentleman (1998); The Last Days of the Renaissance (2006); and The Artist and the Warrior (2012). In 1993 PBS broadcast the series, Renaissance, for which he was principal historian, and which was nominated for an Emmy. He has lectured widely, and has written for many publications, including Past & PresentTimes Literary SupplementThe Art Newspaper, and New York Times. His public service has encompassed working closely with community colleges and chairing both the National Council for History Education and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Céline Ricci studied in Paris with Ana Maria Miranda and at the prestigious London Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Selected by conductor William Christie for Les Jardin des Voix, she was named one of opera’s promising new talents in 2005 by Opernwelt. Opernwelt singled out her performance as Arbace in Terradellas’ Artaserse as a “tour de force,” her coloratura abilities “equal to those of Cecilia Bartoli” She appears frequently for the prestigiousLes Arts Florissants. Her discography includes Cirque (2011) and a CD of French melodies (2012). Recent operas include Angelica in Handel’s Orlando(Sacramento Opera), Clitia in Handel’s Teseo (Göttingen-Handel Festival), Handel’s Athalia (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra), Purcel’s Dido and Aeneas(numerous companies). Collaborating conductors include Nicolas McGegan, Hugo Reyne, Friedmann Layer, P. Cohen-Akenine, Enrique Mazzola, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Martin Haselbock, Martin Gester, Timm Rolek. Ricci has toured in Berlin, London, Brussels, Israel, and Barcelona, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Moscow, and St. Petersburg.

Richard Savino (Doctorate, SUNY) lectures at SF Conservatory of Music, directs ensemble El Mundo, and is Professor of Music at CSU Sacramento. His instructors included Andres Segovia, Oscar Ghiglia, Albert Fuller and Jerry Willard. Recordings include guitar music of Johann Kaspar Mertz, Paganini. Giuliani, Santiago de Murcia, Barbara Strozzi, Biagio Marini and Giovanni Buonamente; Venice Before Vivaldi, a Portrait of Giovanni Legrenziand Villancicos y Cantadas; music by the Boccherini Guitar Symphonia and Op. 30 Concerto for Guitar by Mauro Giuliani; Music Fit for a King; andBaroque Guitar Sonatas (1696) of Ludovico Roncalli (2006–07). Savino received a Diapason d’Or from Compact (Paris) and a 10 du Rèpertoire (Paris). He is a principal performer with the Houston Grand Opera, New York Collegium, Portland Baroque Orchestra, SF Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Colorado, Dallas Opera and Glimmerglass Opera. From 1986–98 he directed the CSU Summer Arts Guitar and Lute Institute, and he has been Visiting Artistic Director of Aston Magna Academy and Music Festival at Rutgers. Presently director of the Grammy-nominated ensemble El Mundo, Savino is also an avid writer, published by Cambridge University Press, Editions Chantarelle and Indiana University Press.

Daniel Stolzenberg (PhD, History, Stanford) is Assistant Professor of History at UC Davis. He specializes in European science and scholarship between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, with a particular focus on Rome. He is the author of Egyptian Oedipus: Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity (Chicago, 2013), which examines a Jesuit scholar’s famously quixotic effort to explain the Egyptian hieroglyphs in the seventeenth century, long before the discovery of the Rosetta stone. He is also the editor of The Great Art of Knowing: The Baroque Encyclopedia of Athanasius Kircher (Stanford, 2001) and has published numerous articles. He is currently working on a history of Orientalist scholarship in Rome from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

Humanities West Restoration London release 2_22_13
Humanities West Restoration London release 2_22_13

Charles II: Phoenix of Restoration London

Marines’ Memorial Theatre, San Francisco

5 lectures and 1 performance. The restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660 energized London to escape the long shadow of civil war and Puritanism. Although battered by plague and a contested political and religious landscape, Restoration London burst with creative energy. Fueled by the Merrie Monarch’s patronage, the Court at Whitehall became a great cultural center of Europe, providing non-stop intrigue and entertainment. Theatres reopened and women appeared on stage for the first time; accomplished musicians gave the first public concerts. Restoration London also spawned a thriving public sphere, with Court antagonists spewing forth in coffee houses, clubs and newspapers, much to the Court’s chagrin. This artistic (and sometimes lusty) exuberance was matched by scientific and architectural advances, spurred by Charles’s sponsorship of the prestigious Royal Society for Improving Natural Knowledge – a superior example of the Restoration club. In planning the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666, club luminaries fostered not only a more rational and spacious city, but the first political parties, first relatively free press, public patronage of the arts, an explosion of scientific knowledge, and other hallmarks of modernity. It may be that Restoration London invented the Modern world.

Humanities West Board Fellow Dimitrios Latsis has archived selected program materials, including audio of lectures and performances if available, at the non-profit Internet Archive here.

Friday, 7:30 to 10 pm


Power, Pomp and Pleasure in the Restoration Court.
Robert Bucholz
 (History, Loyola U Chicago)

We might be tempted to think of the Restoration Court as the equivalent of the White House or Buckingham Palace, but it was much more than that. Charles II’s household was not merely the seat of government, but the social and cultural center of England, its Bloomsbury and Carnegie Hall, the corner of Hollywood and Vine, People magazine and American Idol, the round table of the Algonquin Hotel and the greatest frat party in history. This lecture addresses the personality and predilections of the Merrie Monarch, his cultural and social patronage, and why the Restoration Court became synonymous with scandal and fun: in the words of Walter Bagehot, “the focus where everything fascinating gathered and where everything exciting centred.”

20-Minute Intermission

Performance. Music of Seventeenth-Century London

Saturday   10 am to noon     1:30 to 4 pm


London in the Reign of Charles II.
Tim Harris
 (History, Brown University)

The reign of Charles II was a period of recovery and resurgence for London. But it was also a period of coming to terms with the past, of dealing with the legacy of the mid-century revolution. London had led the resistance to the Stuart monarchy and been a hotbed of Puritan radicalism. As the Good Old Cause died an inglorious death, Londoners welcomed back their king in 1660 amidst widespread jubilation, but what sort of monarchy did they want and what would they do if they felt that Charles II was going down the same road as his father Charles I? Professor Harris explores the political and religious divisions that were to tear Restoration London apart, divisions that were to crystallize around the formation of the first political parties in the modern world.

20-Minute Intermission

How I Learned to Love Restoration Theater.
Blair Hoxby
 (English, Stanford)

The Restoration stage is a bundle of contradictions. Plays written by Shakespeare’s generation were now performed in modern, indoor theaters with actresses (rather than boys) playing the female roles. A new age demanded new theater. Shakespeare’s romantic comedies gave place to the libertine sex comedies of authors such as Aphra Behn. His tragedies were overshadowed by heroic plays written according to the rules of Aristotle. What these brutal comedies and high-flown tragedies have in common is their commitment to the passions: their belief that the experience of desire and aversion, joy and despair define us as humans. Restoration theater lays bare human motivation with an objectivity that we still find bracing. But after fifteen years of trying to improve on Shakespeare, some authors began to suspect that he would not again be equaled.  Thus the Restoration also prepared the ground for the cult of Shakespeare that would soon sweep the world.

Lunch Break at noon. Program resumes at 1:30 pm

Mistresses, Maidens, and Noble Pictures in Restoration England, 1660-1685.  Julia Marciari-Alexander (Deputy Director, San Diego Museum of Art)

This lecture examines some of the spectacular portraits of the most famous women at the court of Charles II of England. These paintings were highly significant within the cultural production at the Restoration court, and, as objects, they reflect both the spirit of the age as well as the individual characters of the women portrayed. These works range from sumptuous full-length oil paintings to intimate, jewel-like miniatures and are among the most beautiful images produced in England between 1660 and 1685. They were – and have since been – collected and displayed with pride in important houses in Great Britain and abroad. By considering the life stories of these remarkable women, Dr. Marciari-Alexander assesses the ways in which these women and their portraits can inform our 21st-century understanding of Restoration culture and the role visual art played in the shaping of this early modern society.

How Strong Coffee and Free Conversation Restored London after Plague and Fire.
 Bucholz (History, Loyola U Chicago)

As the Restoration Court began to decline into insolvency and political isolation, Restoration London saw the rise of new forms of sociability and patronage. Coffee houses, clubs and pleasure-gardens offered all that the Court could (food, drink, entertainment, conversation and networking) without the formality or constraint of a court. These venues promoted free conversation abetted by the rise of the newspaper and essay magazine. The government’s failure to control these new media enabled the dissemination of new ideas in politics and science. Puritan preachers argued that the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666 were punishments for Restoration London’s obsession with pleasure and freedom of speech. But rather than repent, the men who forged these ideas in clubs and coffee houses rebuilt London as a rational and imperial capital. Its symbol was Sir Christopher Wren’s new St. Paul’s Cathedral: baroque yet neo-classical, imposing yet welcoming, everything the new, modern city needed in its parish church.

Stretch break

Panel Discussion with Written Questions from the Audience

Conclusion: 4:00 pm


Robert O. Bucholz (Professor of History, Loyola University Chicago) has authored The Augustan Court: Queen Anne and the Decline of Court Culture(Stanford, 1993); with Sir John Sainty, KCB, Officials of the Royal Household 1660-1837, 2 vols. (Institute of Historical Research, London, 1997-98); and, with Newton Key, Early-modern England 1485-1714: a Narrative History(Blackwell, 2003). He has taped several series in The Great Courses, all rated highly: History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts; Foundations of Western Civilization II: A History of the Modern Western World; London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World. His particular interests include early modern Britain, the British Court and Royal Household 1660-1901, and early modern London. His latest projects are Londoners: a Social and Cultural History of the Metropolis 1550-1750 with J.P. Ward (Cambridge, in press) and Power, Pomp and Pleasure: a Political, Social and Cultural History of the British Court 1660-1901 (Oxford, forthcoming).

Tim Harris (PhD, Cambridge) is Munro-Goodwin-Wilkinson Professor in European History, Brown University). A social historian of politics, his books include London Crowds in the Reign of Charles II (1987), The Politics of Religion in Restoration England (1990), Politics Under the Later Stuarts(1993), Popular Culture in England, c. 1500-1850 (1995), The Politics of the Excluded, c. 1500-1850 (2001), Restoration: Charles II and His Kingdoms 1660-1685 (2005) and Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy, 1685-1720 (2006). Recipient of grants and fellowships from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, British Academy, Folger Shakespeare Library, Institute for Advanced Study Princeton, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Huntington Library, Mellon Foundation, and National Endowment for the Humanities, he has also held visiting fellowships at Wolfson College, Oxford and at Merton College, Oxford, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and taught at the Folger Shakespeare Library. He edits the book series Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History for Boydell Press and is on the editorial board of the journal History of European Ideas. His study of the Early Stuarts and the Origins of the Civil War is forthcoming at Oxford.

Blair Hoxby (PhD, Yale) is Associate Professor of English at Stanford University. He is the author of Mammon’s Music: Literature and Economics in the Age of Milton (2002), and he is editing a new collection entitled Milton in the Long Restoration. He has published numerous articles on the Restoration stage and, more generally, on tragedy and tragic opera before Mozart.  This research should be appearing soon in two books, What Was Tragedy? 1515-1795 and Reading for the Passions: Performing and Interpreting Tragedy and Tragic Opera in the Neo-classical Order.

Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as a “master of the scoreʼs wandering and acrobatic itinerary,” Joshua Lee (viola da gamba) performs with some of the world’s leaders in early music. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and the Longy School of Music, Josh is the founder of Ostraka, and he has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carmel Bach Festival, Musica Angelica, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Les Délices, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Josh’s performances have been heard on National Public Radio’s Performance Todayand Harmonia, and he has recorded for Dorian, Koch International and Reference Recordings. In 2011 Josh toured the US and South America forThe Infernal Comedy starring acclaimed actor John Malkovich, and in 2012 Josh directed the fourth Viola da Gamba Society’s Young Playersʼ Weekend.

Rita Lilly (soprano) has appeared as featured soloist with American Boychoir, American Classical and American Symphony Orchestras, Artek, Bachworks, Bach Aria Group, Clarion Music Society, Collegium Antiquum, Concert Royal, Rebel, and the NY Consort of Viols. In the Bay area, Ms. Lilly has been a soloist with AVE, Albany Consort, American Bach Soloists, Bay Choral Guild, Berkeley Early Music Festival, California Bach Society, Chora Nova, City Concert Opera, Magnificat Baroque Ensemble, Musicsources, New Music Works, SF Concert Chorale, SF Renaissance Voices, and Sacramento Baroque. She toured the US and abroad with Waverly Consort. She was featured on WNYC, WNCN, NPR, and Radio-Canada live broadcasts. She made her NY Weill Recital Hall debut in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Collegium Antiquum. Her recordings include three on EMI; Handel and Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus on Musical Heritage; Scarlatti’s St. Cecilia Mass on Newport Classic; Sowerby’s Medieval Poem on Naxos; a German Baroque Christmas on Musicmasters and Orff’s Carmina Burana.

Patricia Lundberg, PhD is Emerita Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Indiana University Northwest and Executive Director, Humanities West. At IU Northwest she also served as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as well as interim Dean and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining Humanities West she served as Founding Executive Director of the Center for Regional Excellence and the Center for Cultural Discovery and Learning. Her doctorate is from Loyola University Chicago, where she also earned a BA Summa Cum Laude and a Masters in English. She is the recipient of several grants and awards and has post-doctoral training from Harvard in leadership.

Julia Marciari-Alexander is Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at The San Diego Museum of Art. Earlier, she was Associate Director for Exhibitions and Publications at the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA). A specialist in the arts and visual culture of Britain and France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, she holds a PhD in History of Art (Yale) and a MA in French Literature (NYU). In 2001, she curated, with Catharine MacLeod of the National Portrait Gallery, London, Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of Charles II and edited the exhibition catalogue. In 2007, she curated, with David Scrase (Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge), Howard Hodgkin Paintings 1992-2007, named one of the ten best exhibitions of 2007 by Time. She publishes regularly and has organized and managed numerous exhibitions, among them Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman with the Cincinnati Art Museum, the San Diego installation of which LA Timescritic Christopher Knight named one of his top ten California exhibitions of 2011.

Gilbert Martinez (harpsichord) is Artistic Director of MusicSources, Center for Historically Informed Performance Inc. in Berkeley. In five years as director, he has expanded MusicSources’ concerts into an international series featuring scholars, performers and students from around the world. He studied harpsichord with MusicSources Founder Laurette Goldberg at the SF Conservatory of Music, and subsequently went to Italy to study briefly with Alan Curtis. Mr. Martinez was named assistant conductor to Alan Curtis in the critically acclaimed Berkeley West Edge Opera production of Handel’s “SERSE.” On the MusicSources Concert Series he recently conducted a reconstruction of a Spanish Renaissance vespers service, with music for double and triple choirs of Tomas Luis de Victoria and contemporaries. This coming season he will be performing the complete oeuvre for harpsichord of Jean-Philippe Rameau in concerts in Southern California and Canada. More conducting projects will include Monteverdi’s “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” and Scarlatti’s “La Guiditta.” More of his activity can be seen at


Paris: American Expatriate Genius

5 lectures and 2 performances. Postwar Paris, with its tolerant and cosmopolitan atmosphere (and its low cost of living), attracted a startling number of America’s cultural icons to live and work among the European avant-garde in a moveable feast of creativity. The exhilaration of Paris in the 1920s and 1930s inspired talented American expatriates crossing national, cultural, and artistic boundaries to create innovative modern forms of their art. Gertrude Stein’s “Une generation perdue” living on the edge, this generation of American artistic geniuses exuberantly and profoundly influenced literature, art, filmmaking, music, dance, and theater, reshaping twentieth-century American culture.

Friday: 7:30 to 10 pm


Paris and the Making of the Modern in the Arts.
onald W. Faulkner. (Director, NY State Writers Institute)

Despite the disastrous impact of the Great War on Europe, Paris became a center for the making of “the modern” in the arts. In the visual arts, expatriates Picasso, Man Ray, and Juan Gris made great art alongside the Frenchman Matisse. In literature major expatriate artists such as Stein, Hemingway, and Joyce encountered Paris-born literary movements like Dadaism and surrealism. A cluster of collaborators including Diaghilev, Stravinksy, Nijinsky, and Debussy dominated theater, music, and dance. Creativity abounded in jazz, film and the architecture of designs in clothing, furniture, and everyday appliances. Paris in the early twentieth century was a receptive and influencing ground for energy, innovation, and the cross-fertilization of ideas. Professor Faulkner paints a portrait of an open city, a living and vibrant culture, and the people, especially from America, who came there to change the world of art and in the process change themselves.

20-minute Intermission

Performance: Virgil Thomson’s Portraits.
Luciano Chessa
 (SF Conservatory of Music)

introduces us to Virgil Thomson through his direct experience working on Thomson’s music for Chessa’s new opera A Heavenly Act, a contemporary homage to Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts. A Heavenly Act and Four Saints share a Gertrude Stein libretto, and both were presented by SFMOMA with the Ensemble Parallèle at the Novellus Theater of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in August 2011. Chessa performs some of Thomson’s chamber scores for piano, as well as music that influenced Thomson (Erik Satie’s Le Piège de Méduse) and music that Thomson influenced (Chessa’s Saint Teresa I’s Aria from A Heavenly Act). With Heidi Moss (soprano) and Benjamin Kreith (violin).

Saturday, 10 am to noon and 1:30-4:30 pm.


America is my country and Paris is my hometown.” Gertrude Stein: Transatlantic Artist, Mentor, and Muse.
Wanda M. Corn
 (Art History, Stanford)

Though she visited her native land only once during four decades of expatriation in France, Gertrude Stein led a bi-continental life. Never assimilating fully to her adopted country, she built a reputation as an accomplished American writer, collector, and doyenne in Paris. She became a major cultural conduit between young American writers, artists, and composers and their European counterparts. Between the two world wars, Americans eagerly sought Stein’s approval and the benefit of her international connections. This lecture focuses on Stein’s rise to prominence in Paris and on her American admirers and protegés, including Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Carl Van Vechten, and Virgil Thomson.

20-minute intermission

“Becoming a Modern Artist”: the Paris Angle.
Deborah Loft (Art History, College of Marin)

Paris in the Twenties and Thirties was a magnet for many gifted American visual artists, and had a defining effect on some. Arriving in a Paris which was intrigued by American culture, they found new stimulation, support, and freedom for their work and their lives. The experience of each artist was strongly individual. As a way of exploring a spectrum of experiences, identities, and visual media, we will explore the role which Paris played in the art of Man Ray, Loïs Mailou Jones, and Isamu Noguchi, with a briefer look at others who made the journey.

12 noon Lunch Break. Program resumes at 1:30 pm.
Paris Portraits.
Laura Sheppard (actress) brings to life the voice of Harriet Lane Levy, a popular San Francisco culture and drama critic for the literary journal The Wave and later for The Call. In 1907 she moved to Paris with Alice B. Toklas and found herself immersed in a strange and vibrant world. In her sparkling Stories of Picasso, Matisse, Gertrude Stein, and Their Circle, Levy tells of her initiation into the Parisian lifestyle and salons of the Steins (Gertrude and brother Leo, Michael and wife Sarah), the rivalry between Picasso and Matisse, wild nights in Montmartre, and her own discoveries as a single woman abroad. Her portrait of Paris is simultaneously grand and intimate. Harriet’s paintings, including The Girl with Green Eyes by Matisse and Scène de Rue by Picasso, are at SFMOMA. This salon performance is directed and designed by Suzanne Stassevich. PianistKaren Rosenak provides accompaniment, playing the music of Erik Satie and other composers of that era.

At Home Far Away: African Americans in Paris.
Tyler Stovall (History, UC Berkeley)

Dean Stovall considers the history of black American expatriates in Paris during the twentieth century. Starting with the first world war, he discusses how African Americans were able to create a sense of community, and ultimately of tradition, in the French capitol. Dean Stovall considers two periods in particular. The first, the 1920s and 1930s, looks at the arrival of jazz in Paris and the establishment of a community of black performers in Montmartre, paying particular attention to Josephine Baker and Bricktop as icons of that community. The second focuses on the 1950s and 1960s, exploring the colony of writers and political activists centered around Richard Wright on the Left Bank. Both the civil rights movement at home and the Algerian war in France forced expatriates to rethink their lives in Paris.


A Literary Revolution: The Expatriate Press in Paris.
Donald W. Faulkner (Director, NY State Writers Institute)

Few American (or English-speaking) writers in Paris in the 1920s and 30s would ever have been discovered, let alone read, were it not for the small presses there. Only San Francisco’s publishers in the 1950s through the 70s (and some would say still) rival the small press revolution in Paris in the 20s. Many know of Sylvia Beach’s work at Shakespeare and Company to publish James Joyce’sUlysses, but few realize that outside of F. Scott Fitzgerald virtually no American expatriate in Paris had any hope of getting published in the United States. Professor Faulkner profiles writers Hemingway, Djuna Barnes, Kay Boyle, Stein, Eliot, Pound, and Henry Miller; and publishers like Nancy Cunard and The Hours Press, Caresse and Harry Crosby and The Black Sun Press, William Bird and Three Mountains Press, Maurice Girodias and Obelisk Press, and Sylvia Beach. In Paris, the lack of censorship and the access of writers to their publishers made American literature in the twentieth century.

Concluding Panel Discussion        

Conclusion: 4:30 pm


As a composer, conductor, pianist, and musical saw/Vietnamese dan bau soloist, Luciano Chessa has been active in Europe, the US, and Australia. Recent compositions include A Heavenly Act, an opera with video by Kalup Linzy commissioned by the SFMOMA and premiered by the Ensemble Paralléle. As a music historian Chessa completed Luigi Russolo Futurist. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult, the first monograph on the Futurist Russolo’s Art of Noise, out on UC Press in March 2012. Chessa’s Futurist expertise resulted in an invitation from New York’s PERFORMA to direct/conduct the first reconstruction of Russolo’s earliest intonarumori orchestra. The production was hailed by The New York Times as one of the best events in the arts of 2009; in March 2011 Chessa presented it in a sold out concert for Berliner Festspiele-Maerzmusik Festival; in December 2011 Chessa conducted it with the New World Symphony as part of Art Basel|Miami Beach.

Wanda Corn, PhD, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita of Art History, Stanford University, curated a 2011 exhibition and book–Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories–for the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Her museum exhibitions and books include The Color of Mood: American Tonalism 1990-1910 (1972); The Art of Andrew Wyeth (1973); and Grant Wood: The Regionalist Vision (1983). In 2005-06, she transformed her major study, The Great American Thing: Modern Art and American Identity, 1915-35 (UC Press, 1999), into a museum exhibition. Dr. Corn’s scholarship on transatlantic modernism focuses on the exchanges and interdependencies of modern artists in Paris and New York, conceptualizing an Atlantic rim ofavant-garde culture. She has just completed a book on the decorations woman artists made for the 1893 Woman’s Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

New York State Writers Institute Director Donald W. Faulkner, an authority on Lost Generation and Beat Generation writers, is a featured commentator in the PBS documentary “Paris: The Luminous Years,” and in the A&E Biography/Crisman Films documentary, “The Lost Generation.” Faulkner has published two collections of poems, and has edited four books of writings by eminent literary critic Malcolm Cowley, including The Portable Cowley, The Penguin 20th Century Classics Edition of Exile’s Return, and Malcolm Cowley on New England Writers and Writing. He is a former director of the University at Albany’s Center for Arts and Humanities, and an associate professor of English. In addition to being the interviewer-of-record for more than 1,000 hours of Writers Institute archive recordings of visiting writers, and the host of more than 100 on-stage interviews, Faulkner is the director and executive producer of films made from archive materials. Faulkner is currently at work on a memoir of his Writers Institute experiences.

Violinist Benjamin Kreith recently spent several years in Montana playing and teaching as a member of the Cascade Quartet and concertmaster of the Great Falls Symphony. He has performed as a guest artist with the Ying and Muir Quartets and premiered solo works at the festivals in Strasbourg and Marseille. Kreith helped to found the Ensemble CGAC in Santiago de Compostela, which worked with distinguished composers including Francisco Guerrero and Magnus Lindberg. His live recording of Christian Lauba’sKwintus for violin solo is available on the Accord/Universal CD Morphing.

Deborah Loft is Art History Professor at College of Marin, where she has received the Distinguished Teaching Award. Prior to that, her work at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco included assisting Wanda Corn on the exhibitions The Color of Mood: American Tonalism 1890-1910 (1972) andThe Art of Andrew Wyeth (1973). She has taught and lectured at Bay Area museums, including the Getting to Know Modern Art series at SFMOMA. She has taught art history at the Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, where she has also taken painting classes using plein-airtechniques. On her many visits to Paris, she has made a special point of exploring the neighborhoods where artists of various generations lived, in order to have a better sense of their daily milieu and artistic motifs.

Kerrin Meis received her MA at UC Berkeley.  After lecturing at SF State University for many years, she is currently teaching Art History classes for the Emeritus program at the College of Marin and at Book Passage in Corte Madera, where she recently concluded a class: Innocents Abroad: American Artists in Europe and classes on artists working in the South of France . Classes for the OLLI program at Dominican University have included The Art of Islam, Early Medieval Art and The Art of Anatolia: her focus is on the interaction among artists of different cultures made visible in the recurrence of certain symbols and motifs in architecture, painting and sculpture. Kerrin has led travel/study programs in France.

Heidi Moss (Soprano) relocated to the Bay area from NYC in 2003 and has performed with area companies such as West Bay Opera, Pocket Opera, Livermore Opera, Fremont Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Sacramento Choral Society, and the San Francisco Lyric Opera. She also has been a part of the San Francisco Opera family as Rosina in their outreach production ofThe Barber of Seville and with the Adler Fellows in a premiere of Gang Situs opera The Grand Seducers. This past year, she also worked with composer/benefactor Gordon Getty to record his new opera Usher Housewith both the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra. She was also thrilled to be a part of Ensemble Paralelle and SF MoMA’s groundbreaking production of 4 Saints in 3 Acts in August of 2011.

Karen Rosenak (Pianist) is an almost-native of the Bay Area. She was a founding member and pianist of the Empyrean Ensemble and EARPLAY, two Bay Area new music ensembles. She studied modern piano with Carlo Bussotti and Nate Schwartz, and fortepiano with Margaret Fabrizio. She is currently a full-time senior lecturer at UCB, where she has taught since 1990, and serves on the Board of the Noe Valley Chamber Music series.

Laura Sheppard (Actress) trained professionally in theater and dance and received her BFA in acting from Boston University’s School of Fine Arts. She has extensive background in experimental theater and had her own company, Gestural Theatre, in Boston for many years. Her solo show, Still Life with Stein, based on the writings of Gertrude Stein, toured to festivals in the US and Europe. She has worked as an events producer for over twenty-five years and produced the Earth Day Celebration and Ceremonies in Times Square (1990, New York City) and the Jewish Music Festival (JCCEB and Bay Area locations 1998, 1999). Since 2000 she has worked as Director of Events at the Mechanics’ Institute, San Francisco, where she presents author events and cultural programs. She continues to create and perform dramatic readings inspired by writers and great literature.

Suzanne Stassevitch (Designer, Director) developed an interest in theatrical productions based on literature and poetry while studying at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. She later received her MA in theater and directing from San Francisco State College. She worked with the San Francisco Opera for twenty-two years as head of wardrobe and was costume supervisor for many productions abroad. Suzanne collaborated with Laura Sheppard in 2007 as a directing consultant and as set and costume designer for the remounted production of Still Life with Stein. In 2008 she directed a staged reading of stories by William Saroyan for A Salute to Saroyan at the Mechanics’ Institute Library. Suzanne continues to pursue a lifelong passion for costumes and textiles with her own work. She is a member of the board of the Textile Arts Council at San Francisco Fine Arts Museum.

Tyler Stovall is a professor of French history and Dean of the Undergraduate Division at UC Berkeley. He has written several books and articles on the subject of modern French history, focusing on race, labor, colonialism and post-colonialism. Major publications include The Rise of the Paris Red Belt (1990), Paris Noir:  African Americans in the City of Light(1996), and The Color of Liberty: Histories of Race in France (co-edited with Sue Peabody, 2003).  A new book, Paris and the Spirit of 1919: Consumer Struggles, Transnationalism, and Revolution, is forthcoming from Cambridge in 2012. Professor Stovall is currently working on a textbook entitledUniversal Nation:  a transnational history of modern France. He serves on the Humanities West Board of Directors.


Is Piracy the Second Oldest Profession?

Marines’ Memorial Theatre, San Francisco

A Special Sunday Afternoon Program to launch our Season at Marines Memorial Theatre near Union Square

3 lectures and 1 performance. Piracy on the high seas is the stuff of ancient legends and today’s headlines. Homer and Thucydides told of pirates roaming the Mediterranean. Julius Caesar himself was ransomed. Augustus Caesar’s fleets vanquished them and the Byzantines kept them at bay. The Ottoman Turks unleashed the Barbary Coast pirates, while European rivals in trade and at war preyed on one another through state sponsored privateering. The long history of piracy has been immortalized, and sometimes romanticized, in the world’s artistic heritage.

Sunday: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Hurrah for the Pirate King?
Ian Morris
 (Classics, Stanford University)

From The Pirates of Penzance to Pirates of the Caribbean, pirate kings and their crews have been presented as lovable outlaws, but real pirates are among history’s nastiest parasites. Pirates have always been with us, but when we look at the three Golden Ages of piracy—the 1st century BC in the Mediterranean, the 16th-17th centuries AD in the Caribbean, Atlantic, Mediterranean, and South China Sea, and our own century in the Indian Ocean—we see a pattern. Piracy takes off when maritime trade is rich but security is low. So long as it is cheaper for governments to ignore piracy than fight it, it flourishes; but as soon as a government—Rome in the 1st century BC, Britain in the 18th AD—decides fighting  piracy is cheaper than ignoring it, it collapses. There are some lessons for our own times in this history.

Liberty’s Stepchildren:  Pirates, Piracy, and the Making of the Modern CaribbeanTyler Stovall (History, UC Berkeley)

From Errol Flynn to Johnny Depp, popular culture has closely identified piracy with the Caribbean in the era of European colonial rule over the Americas.  Dean Stovall takes another look at this relationship, exploring how certain key themes in the history of piracy resonate with the shape of Caribbean society and culture during the modern era.  In particular, he considers how the pirates represented a certain idea of freedom, and what that meant in a region whose history has been so fundamentally shaped by bondage and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  He suggests that piracy has represented not only an alternative to Caribbean slavery, but also that its vision of freedom has important affinities with the character of political independence in the region during the modern era.


Piracy: From History to Fiction to Terrorism.
Andrew Jameson
 (USC, UC Berkeley and Harvard)

Piracy entered a new phase in the seventeenth-century when pirates became popularized as romantic ‘outlaws’ of the seas. Yet contemporary sea piracy flourishes as a real threat to the world’s economy, with the open seas essentially beyond the jurisdiction of maritime governments. Terror has gone to sea, with an unprecedented increase of piratical hijackings not seen since the eighteenth century, especially along the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. Professor Jameson himself was a lecturer on a cruise ship attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa.

Performance.  Skip Henderson and the Starboard Watch. (Oakland)

Concluding Panel Discussion 


Skip Henderson plays regularly in Oakland with his band The Starboard Watch. He is a fountain of knowledge, and some of his own compositions were picked up by Disney for the movies Pirates of the Caribbean. YouTube videos of Skip are here and here.

Andrew G. Jameson is Professor of Bibliography, University of Southern California (PhD, History, Harvard; doctorate, History, The Sorbonne, Paris; MS, Library Science, Simmons; Archival Management, Radcliffe). Prior to USC, Professor Jameson taught Byzantine, Near Eastern, and African history at Harvard and UC Berkeley. He is Director Emeritus of Books for Asia of The Asia Foundation and President Emeritus of The Academy of Art SF. He was advisor to the National Libraries of Nigeria and China, visiting professor at Bosphorus University and advisor to the library of the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul-Constantinople. He serves on Harvard’s Graduate Council, as a trustee of the William Saroyan Foundation, and as historian of the Bohemian Club of SF. He belongs to the Explorers Club of New York, having climbed Mounts Kilimanjaro and Cameroon and trekked the Sahara with the Tuareg. A World War II infantry veteran, he earned a Bronze Star with Cluster and a Purple Heart with Cluster in the Battle of the Bulge.

Ian Morris (Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics and Professor of History, Stanford) is an archaeologist and historian who has dug in Britain, Greece, and Italy. He has published eleven books. The latest, Why the West Rules—For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future, examines eastern and western history from the Ice Age into the twenty-first century, and was named as one of the best books of 2010 byThe EconomistForeign AffairsNewsweekThe Independent, and theLondon Evening Standard. At Stanford he has served as Chair of the Classics Department, Senior Associate Dean of the School of Humanities
and Sciences, Director of the Archaeology Center, and Director of the Social Science History Institute, and in 2009 he won the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. From 2000 through 2006 Morris directed Stanford’s excavations at Monte Polizzo, an indigenous town in Sicily, uncovering new evidence about the transformation of Mediterranean societies in the seventh and sixth centuries BCE.

Tyler Stovall is a professor of French history and Dean of the Undergraduate Division at UC Berkeley. He has written several books and articles on the subject of modern French history, focusing on race, labor, colonialism and post-colonialism. Major publications include The Rise of the Paris Red Belt (1990), Paris Noir:  African Americans in the City of Light(1996), and The Color of Liberty: Histories of Race in France (co-edited with Sue Peabody, 2003). A new book, Paris and the Spirit of 1919: Consumer Struggles, Transnationalism, and Revolution, is forthcoming from Cambridge in 2012. Professor Stovall is currently working on a textbook entitledUniversal Nation:  a transnational history of modern France. He serves on the Humanities West Board of Directors.