This week’s Elections seminar with Professor Lyn Ragsdale has a new time! The October 29 and November 5 sessions of the course remain at 6:30. Please contact us with any questions. Learn more here.
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The Lure of the Hudson River Valley Its Architecture, History, and Art An Armchair Journey
In preparation for the Houston Seminar’s study tour of the Hudson River Valley in mid October, we offer three lectures on the architecture, history, and art of this region. Enrollment is open both to those participating in the tour and to those not participating. Pre-lecture hors d’oeuvre and beverages will be served.
September 18: Stephen Fox, “From Rural Farmhouses to Industrial Cities”
The Hudson River Valley is a rich repository of American urban, rural, and recreational architecture. Settled by Europeans in the 17th century, this was a fertile agricultural area. After the opening of the Erie Canal, prosperous industrial cities developed as did rustic resorts and country places for New York elites. Thus, the region possesses significant architecture that complements the artistic, literary, and scenic significance of this American Heritage River.
Stephen Fox is a fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas and a lecturer in architectural history at Rice University and the University of Houston.
September 25: Robert Lifset, “From the Dutch to the Environmentalists: A Short History of the Hudson River Valley”
Over the past 380 years, the Hudson River Valley has been a breadbasket, a center of industry, and an environmental treasure. It has been a military asset, a fishery, and a refuge from New York City. The valley has welcomed near-penniless immigrants as well as America’s wealthiest families. And it inspired America’s earliest literary and artistic movements. This talk will examine the history of a fiercely contested landscape of breathtaking beauty.
Robert Lifset is a research assistant professor of history at the University of Houston. He recently earned a doctorate at Columbia University, where his dissertation examined environmental issues in the Hudson River Valley.
October 2: Emily Ballew Neff, “American Painters of the Hudson River School”
There was, in fact, no “school” along the Hudson River; nevertheless, the name is used to describe romantic landscape painting in the United States from the 1820s until it was supplanted by newer styles, such as Impressionism. In this session, Emily Neff will discuss the art of Thomas Cole, Thomas Doughty, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey, Thomas Moran, and Albert Bierstadt, among others, and will explore the dominant role of romantic landscape painting in 19th-century American art.
Emily Ballew Neff, curator of pre-1940 American painting and sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, holds a doctorate. in the history of art from the University of Texas at Austin. Exhibitions she has curated include “The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890–1950” and “ John Singleton Copley in England.” Ms.Neff has received many prestigious fellowships, and she is the author of The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890–1950 (Yale University Press, 2006).
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