March 18, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WIDELY INFLUENTIAL ART CURATOR
TO OFFER PUBLIC LECTURE ON VAN GOGH
Varnedoe's MoMA Exhibitions
Among the Most Provocative
Examinations of Modern Art in the Late 20th Century
Editor's note: Photographs of
Varnedoe and of the Van Gogh painting he will discuss are available
below, or you may call (413) 585-2190 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Download Varnedoe photo Download Van
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.--Kirk Varnedoe,
a charismatic speaker and arguably one of the most important
art curators of the late 20th century, will discuss "Van
Gogh's 'Postman': The Portraits of Joseph Roulin" in a free,
public lecture at Smith College.
Varnedoe will speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 8, in Wright Hall
Auditorium. The venue is wheelchair accessible.
As the longtime chief curator of painting and sculpture at the
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Varnedoe organized major, widely
admired retrospective exhibitions of the works of Jackson Pollock,
Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly, as well as historical examinations
of the works of Van Gogh and Rodin. His 1984 exhibition "Primitivism
in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern"
and his 1990 exhibition "High and Low: Modern Art and Popular
Culture" were seminal events that continue to generate debate
and admiration among artists, curators and cultural critics.
Van Gogh's "Postman," which Varnedoe acquired for MoMA,
is believed to be the most expensive painting purchased by the
Described in a recent New Yorker profile as a speaker whose "fluency
never seems rehearsed" and whose thoughts "come across
with the headlong intensity and conviction of something voiced
for the first time," Varnedoe has lectured in distinguished
venues throughout the world. He is currently Professor of the
History of Art, School of Historical Studies, at the Institute
for Advanced Study, Princeton.
The author of more than 18 major books, Varnedoe has received
numerous distinctions and honorary degrees. In 1984 he was awarded
a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, popularly known as "the
genius grant," which resulted in his 1990 book "A Fine
Disregard: What Makes Modern Art Modern."
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Varnedoe was born in Savannah, Ga., and graduated from Williams
College, where he majored in art history and was a first-string
defensive lineman on two winning football teams. He received
his masters and doctoral degrees in art history from Stanford
University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences and an officer of the French government's Ordre des
Arts et Lettres.
Varnedoe's appearance at Smith is sponsored by the Department