The Daniel H. Silberberg Lectures

The Daniel H. Silberberg Lectures, the longest running lecture series at the Institute of Fine Arts, is planned and coordinated by the Graduate Student Association. Art historians, archaeologists and conservators, specializing in a variety of periods and genres are invited to share their latest research with the IFA community and the public. 

The Silberberg lectures are held on selected Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in the Institute's first floor Lecture Hall at 1 East 78th Street. The lectures are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come first-served basis.

2015-2016 Theme: Scapes

Coordinators: Charlotte Healy, Riad Kherdeen, and Johanna Sluiter

The history of art and architecture has a long and complicated relationship with landscape. Traditionally valued in the East as the highest form of painting, the genre was largely marginalized in Western art until the advent of Romanticism in the early nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, as artists moved away from mimetic representation towards abstraction, conceptualism, and eventually installation, land art, and performance, focus similarly shifted from the illusionistic space of nature to the real space of the gallery/site. Michel Foucault diagnosed this pervasive condition in 1967, asserting, “The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space.” More concretely, the organization of space and the role of land- and cityscapes have always been of primary concern in the realm of architecture and urban design.

The 2015-2016 Daniel H. Silberberg Lecture Series will not only explore this complex history of landscape in art and architecture, but also examine various historical and theoretical approaches to considering space, place, and location in the study of art, architecture, and design. We have taken landscape’s suffix “-scape” – both an anagram and synonym of “space” – to encompass ideas of space, place, and location real and imagined, physical and conceptual, durational and unchanging. IFA professor Jonathan Hay devised the terms “imagescape” and “surfacescape” in order to better characterize Chinese paintings and decorative objects. What are some of the other “-scapes” of art history and how do we describe, theorize, envision, create, measure, map, navigate, and move through them? What tools and methods are at our disposal for critically evaluating space, place, and location in artistic and architectural practice?

October 13, 2015
Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture & Design, and Director, Research & Development,
The Museum of Modern Art
Title: Constrain, Hack, Annihilate, or Stun: The Singular Relationship Between Design and Violence
Check back for RSVP information

November 10, 2015
Christine Poggi, Professor of History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
Title: Projections: Mona Hatoum’s Cartographic Practice
Check back for RSVP information

December 3, 2015
W. J. T. Mitchell, Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English and Art History, University of Chicago
Title: Method, Madness, and Montage: Aby Warburg to John Nash
Check back for RSVP information

February 9, 2016
Heghnar Watenpaugh, Associate Professor of Art History, University of California, Davis
Title: Palmyra 1915-2015: Historic Preservation, Urbanism, and Violence
Check back for RSVP information

March 8, 2016
André Dombrowski, Associate Professor of History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
Title: Monet's Seascapes and the Tides of History
Check back for RSVP information

April 5, 2016
Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts, Harvard University
Title: Strolling Time: Drawing in Eighteenth-Century Paris
Check back for RSVP information


April 21, 2015
Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University

March 24, 2015
Carol Armstrong, Professor, History of Art, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Yale University

February 10, 2015
James Elkins, ​E.C. Chadbourne Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
The End of the Theory of the Gaze

December 2, 2014
Joshua Shannon, Associate Professor, Contemporary Art History and Theory, University of ​Maryland
Photorealism: A History of Surfaces
Watch this lecture onlineOpen link in new window

October 21, 2014
Zirwat Chowdhury, Visiting Assistant Professorof Art History and Humanities, Reed College
Architecture between Caricature and Failure

April 22, 2014
Alessandra Russo, Associate Professor, Columbia University
Untranslatable Images?

April 1, 2014
Julia Bryan-Wilson, Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Feminist Figuration

March 11, 2014
Eva Hoffman, Assistant Professor, Tufts University
Connections Far and Wide: Translating Art and Culture in the Medieval Mediterranean World (working title)

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Kaja Silverman, Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Professor of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania
Unstoppable Development

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Michael Ann Holly, Starr Director Emeritus of the Research and Academic Program, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Painted Silence.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Marie-Helene Girard, Visiting Professor of French, Yale University
"Un autre monde très lointain et très inconnu": British Painters in Paris in 1855

February 12, 2013
Christiane Gruber, Associate Professor of Islamic Art, University of Michigan
Violence's Vestiges: The Martyrs' Museum in Tehran 

April 9, 2013
Richard Clay, Senior Lecturer in the History of Art and Co-Director of the Heritage and Cultural Learning Hub, University of Birmingham (U.K.)
Iconoclasm and Violence in Revolutionary Paris, 1789-1795
Watch this lecture onlineOpen link in new window

May 7, 2013
Robert Hayden, Professor of Anthropology, Law and Public & International Affairs and Director, Russian and East European Studies, University of Pittsburgh
Intersecting Religioscapes: A Comparative Approach to Trajectories of Change, Scale, Competition, Sharing and Violence in Religious Spaces
Watch this lecture onlineOpen link in new window.

January 31, 2012
Stanley Abe, Associate Professor of Art History, Duke University
The Modern Moment of Chinese Sculpture

February 28, 2012
Zainab Bahrani, Edith Porada Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology, Columbia University
The Double: Difference and Repetition in Ancient Art

March 6, 2012
Michelangelo Sabatino, Associate Professor (and History-Theory Coordinator) at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, University of Houston
PRIDE IN MODESTY: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy

March 27, 2012
Francesco de Angelis, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University
Looking for Justice: Space, Images, and Attention in the Forum Augustum in Rome 

April 3, 2012
Michael Leja, Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania  
Cubism in Bondage:  Morgan Russell's Synchromism

Sign up to our mailing list

If you wish to receive information on our upcoming events, please click hereOpen link in new window

Follow us!