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Springfield Museums, à la Carte Lectures

January 16 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12:00 pm on Thursday, repeating until January 30, 2020

The popular Museums à la Carte lectures take place Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.  This month’s lectures include:

January 23*: The Colonial Atmospheric Theaters of the Goldstein Brothers: Jonathan A. Boschen, Film and theater historian, Award winning videographer

Boschen compares and contrasts two single screen atmospheric theaters: the Greenfield (MA) Garden Theater and Athol (MA) Capitol Theater. Both theaters were built for the Goldstein Brothers, designed by the Mowl & Rand Architectural firm. Instead of using an exotic theme as was common of other atmospheric theaters of the time period, these two used a colonial themed. Boschen presents a unique digital virtual tour using old photographs and architectural drawings. The theaters are no longer standing—the Garden was split up into a multiplex and the Capitol was demolished in the 1960s. He explores how the two theaters contributed to their communities through the decades.

January 30: Horseback, Harp, and Flute, OH MY! Kirsten Lipkens, Education Director, Springfield Symphony Orchestra

Climb into the saddles of some of the greatest thoroughbred composers—and prepare yourself for a wild ride! This lecture is an entertaining and informative overview of the amazing music that is programmed on the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s February 8, 2020, concert. Learn about the composers, the guest artists, and the music that will be presented. Vouchers for discounted tickets will be available.

February 2020

February 6: The Seven Sisters Go to War: American Women’s Colleges During World War II Amanda Goodheart Parks, Ph.D.

Between 1941 and 1945, the U.S. government recruited students from the Seven Sisters, a prestigious group of women’s colleges, for service in the armed forces. From secret code breaking courses to naval officer training schools, these elite colleges—and their students—helped secure an Allied victory during World War II. This lecture will chronicle the contributions of American women’s colleges to World War II with a special focus on the women of Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, and Wellesley Colleges.

February 13*: A Valentine for Planet Earth Jack Megas, planetarium educator

A scientist looks at what makes Mother Earth Special. This lecture is a love letter to our planet.     

February 20: NO LECTURE: Please visit the Museums for School Vacation Week Family Fun Programing: Sugar Rush

February 27*: When the Irish Invaded Canada: It’s No Blarney Christopher Klein, author of When the Irish Invaded Canada

Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. These former foes, however, had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they fought side by side to undertake one of the most fantastical missions in military history—to seize the British province of Canada and hold it hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured. In this talk, learn the outlandish, little-known story of the self-proclaimed Irish Republican Army that carried out five attacks on Canada—known collectively as the Fenian Raids—between 1866 and 1871.

March 2020

March 5: Exhibition on Screen: Lucian Freud: A Self-Portrait

Exploring one of the most highly original and popular artists of recent years—the grandson of Sigmund Freud—who was a key figure in London’s radical post-war art scene. For the first time in history the Royal Academy of Arts in London, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, is bringing together Lucian Freud’s self-portraits. The exhibition will display more than fifty paintings, prints, and drawings in which this modern master of British art turned his unflinching eye firmly on himself. One of the most celebrated painters of our time, Lucian Freud is also one of very few 20th-century artists who portrayed themselves with such consistency. Spanning nearly seven decades his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter, from his earliest portrait painted in 1939 to the final one executed sixty-four years later. When seen together, his portraits represent an engrossing study into the dynamic of ageing and the process of self-representation. This intensely compelling exhibition creates a unique opportunity for EXHIBITION ON SCREEN to reveal the life’s work of a master in one show.

March 12*: Music in the Glen: A brief journey through Irish music and history Ringrose & Freeman, Dan Ringrose (guitar/vocals) and Jeanne Freeman (fiddle)

Ireland is perhaps the only country whose national symbol is a musical instrument, the harp—representing a powerful artistic legacy of music, poetry, and storytelling. Join fiddler Jeanne Freeman and balladeer Dan Ringrose for a fascinating musical journey of tunes and songs exploring connections between Irish history and the enduring tradition of Irish music.

March 19: Herman Melville: Sailing towards my Father Stephen Collins, actor, teacher, lecturer

Sailing towards My Father is a one-man play about Herman Melville (1819-1891), the American author best known for his whaling epic Moby-Dick. The play chronicles Melville’s life from youth to old age, concentrating on his evolution as a writer and his complex relations with God, his parents and siblings, his wife and children, and Nathanial Hawthorne. Written and directed by Carl A. Rossi

March 26*: The Corporal from Corsica: Creating Napoleon Simon Sibelman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of French & Holocaust Studies, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, former director, Virginia Holocaust Museum

Louis XIV understood the necessity to promote a vision of himself and France. But Napoleon Bonaparte would expand exponentially on what the Sun King had done. Napoleon recognized the critical need to create an image that would transmit to the French and the world his superior nature—and cleverly disguise any faults or weaknesses. This talk will explore the evolution of the style Napoléon through painting, sculpture, furniture, architecture, and the state symbols of power, including the military.

April 2020

April 2: Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement Judith B Tankard, Landscape Historian, MA Art History, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

The rich legacy of the Arts and Crafts movement includes architecture, art, and decorative arts, but it also played an important role in the garden world by defining the garden as a harmonious component of the house. Judith B Tankard will survey the inspirations, characteristics, and development of garden design during the Arts and Crafts era and show how its guiding principles resonant with garden designers today with examples in Britain and the United States.

April 9*: Exhibition on Screen: Easter in Art

The story of Christ’s death and resurrection has dominated western culture for the past 2000 years. It is perhaps the most significant historical event of all time, as recounted by the gospels but, equally, as depicted by the greatest artists in history. From the triumphant to the savage, the ethereal to the tactile, some of western civilization’s greatest artworks focus on this pivotal moment. This beautifully crafted film explores the Easter story as depicted in art, from the time of the early Christians to the present day. Shot on location in Jerusalem, United States, and throughout Europe, the film explores the different ways artists have depicted the Easter story through the ages and thus depicts the history of us all.

April 16: Remote Easter Island and its Intriguing Giant Statues (moai) Amy S. Dane, lecturer & photographer

“The Navel of the World”: that is what early inhabitants thought of their island—not hard to imagine given that Easter Island is thousands of miles away from anywhere else. Their unique giant statues (moai) and tradition of the treacherous “birdman” competition intrigued early explorers and have fascinated us ever since.  

 April 23: No Lecture today: Please join us for School Vacation Week Family Fun Programing: All Aboard! Dinosaur Express.

Admission is $4 ($2 for members of the Springfield Museums); visitors are invited to bring a bag lunch (cookies and coffee are provided by Big Y).

All lectures marked with an asterisk * are followed by a members-only continuing conversation led by a Museums docent or curator.

Free onsite parking is available. For more information about Museums à la Carte, call 413.263.6800, ext. 488.


January 16
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103
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(413) 263-6800