Authors & Speakers

Woven Mulberries, Abandoned Oaks, and Gilded Larches: Exploring the Tree in the History of Art

Join Benjamin Tilghman, assistant professor of art and art history at Washington College, for this lecture series that considers some instances where artists have made trees the primary subject of their artworks. The series aims toward developing a deeper understanding of the relationships among humans, trees, and the environment as a whole. These stand-alone lectures can be enjoyed individually or in a series. Fee: $15 members/$20 non-members per program.

Sunday, October 13, 1–2:30 p.m.
This week's program will focus on the Renaissance artists Albrecht Dürer, Albrecht Altdorfer, and Leonardo da Vinci. While all three helped to revolutionize artistic depictions of the natural world, their approaches are different in ways that highlight diverging ideas about nature in the sixteenth century.

Romantic era
Sunday, October 20, 1–2:30 p.m.

This week will highlight artists from the Romantic era, such as Caspar David Friedrich and John Constable, and explore how trees played a role in their attempts to bring together the sublime power of the natural world with changing ideas about the environment and national identity.

Contemporary era
Sunday, October 27, 1–2:30 p.m.

In this final lecture, we will explore how contemporary artists, including Ai Wei Wei, Andy Goldsworthy, and Giuseppe Penone, have used trees to highlight the fraught but meaningful relationship between humanity and the environment.