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Reeds and Cranes Suzuki Kiitsu
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Reeds and Cranes (79.28.1) — Suzuki Kiitsu

Lecture: Hidden Educations: Exploring the DIA collection with new eyes

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 |6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

  • For Adults

Dr. Roger Lipsey 
Hidden Educations: Exploring the DIA collection with new eyes
An illustrated lecture and conversation

6:30-7:30 PM Lecture, DIA Lecture Hall
7:30-8:30 PM Reception, Rivera Court

Many years ago, the remarkable art historian and sage, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy asked a ringing question:  “Why exhibit works of art?”  In his illustrated talk, Roger Lipsey (Coomaraswamy’s editor and biographer) will respond to that question while examining some carefully selected masterpieces from the DIA, culled from different periods, genres and media. What does it mean to understand a work of art and to allow it to affect us? Why does understanding or responding to a work of art matter? A carpet is patterned. So too is the world. What links the pattern in the carpet to the pattern of the world?  This is just one of many questions that visitors to the great and varied collections of the DIA can explore. The encounter with works of art is a major way in which we can come into contact with the ideas, values, and physicality of other times and cultures as well as those of our own contemporaries or near-contemporaries.  Beyond this, it provides us with a means of exploring our own identities and enriching who and what we are.  This talk promises to be an adventure in interpretation—a guide to educations hidden and awaiting us in the DIA. 

A note on the speaker:

Roger Lipsey earned a doctorate in the history of art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, for his work on the writings and life of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, the pioneering historian of Indian art and scholar of comparative religion.  Lipsey went on to publish a trilogy in the Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press:  two volumes of selected Coomaraswamy papers on art, symbolism, and metaphysics, followed by a biography.  In 1988, he published a work that has become a classic among working artists, The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art. In his latest book, Angelic Mistakes: The Art of Thomas Merton, Lipsey places the later life and concerns of the famed monk and author in a striking new perspective, by organizing it around Merton’s experiments with abstract ink drawings and prints.