This Valentine’s Day, what better way to celebrate love than by learning about art from Aphrodite’s birthplace? The UMW Galleries will host a talk about prehistoric art from Cyprus at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14 in Combs Hall, room 139. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, is said to have landed in Cyprus after being formed from the foam of the sea.
In addition, the galleries will offer an art lecture series this spring featuring talks at 2 p.m. on four Sundays—Feb. 6, March 13, March 27 and April 24—in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery. Admission is free to all of the lectures, but preregistration is required for the Sunday afternoon talks, which will relate to art collecting or to works on display at the galleries. Here are brief descriptions of the lectures:
• The Feb. 6 lecture, “Why Draw?”, will feature Joann Moser, senior curator of graphic arts at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, who will discuss works from the Smithsonian permanent collection to enhance appreciation for how versatile and expressive the pencil can be in the hands of a skilled artist. Moser’s talk, which opens the spring lecture series, will provide historical context for the “Shades of Gray: Drawings in Graphite” exhibit on display at the Ridderhof Martin Gallery through February 25.
• The Feb. 14 lecture, “Prehistoric Cyprus: An Introduction and an Appraisal,” will be presented by Stuart Swiny, director of the Institute of Cypriot Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York. The Alfred Levitt Memorial Lecture on Prehistoric Art will highlight some of Cyprus’ remarkable artistic achievements and architectural remains.
• The March 13 lecture, “The Anatomy of a Painting,” will feature Stephen Bonadies, chief conservator and deputy director for collections and facilities management at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, who will discuss art conservation insights and issues.
• The March 27 lecture, “Image Problems: South Asian Art and the Origin of the Buddha’s Image,” will be presented by Robert DeCaroli, director of the art history program at George Mason University, in conjunction with the exhibition “Beyond the Silk Road: Asian Art from the Permanent Collection.”
• The April 24 lecture, “In the Collector’s Eye: Connoisseurship in Decorative Arts,” will feature Kyra M. Swanson, assistant curator and registrar for the UMW Galleries, whose specialty is in decorative arts. Swanson will discuss collectors’ issues, such as how to tell a genuine antique from a reproduction.
Anne Timpano, director of the university galleries, said the lecture series is an exciting new event for the galleries. “As far as I know, it is the first time we have presented a lecture series, per se,” Timpano said. “The purpose of the lecture series is to try to engage the community more.”
The Sunday talks require preregistration due to limited space in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery. To register for these lectures, go to www.umw.edu/galleries for a registration form or call (540) 654-1013. The Feb. 14 evening lecture on Cyprus does not require preregistration because of the larger size of Combs Hall, Room 139.