Masterpiece Lecture Series: Vittoria Di Palma, Associate Professor, Columbia University
May 10, 2012
What does it mean to call a garden a masterpiece? How is a garden like, and unlike, a work of art? Why might one want to design a garden so that it looks like a painting? The eighteenth-century picturesque garden engages with these sorts of questions by using painterly devices to blur the relationship between nature and art. Framing, composition, perspective, line, color, and chiaroscuro are deployed to provoke particular sensations and produce certain effects, making the garden visitor acutely aware of the ubiquity of artifice, and of the impossibility of experiencing nature free from a cultural frame.
Vittoria Di Palma, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, specializes in modern European architectural history and theory, with a particular concentration on eighteenth-century architecture and landscape. Her research focuses on connections between landscape and epistemology; ideas of the natural and the artificial; and, more broadly, brings art historical issues to bear upon architectural history, examining the ways in which visuality, aesthetics, and perception inform our understanding of buildings and environments.
After receiving her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1999, she spent 1999-2003 at the Architectural Association, London, where she was co-director of the Histories and Theories of Architecture graduate program. She then taught at Rice University in Houston, before returning to Columbia to join the faculty in 2004.
Thursday evening programming is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Media Sponsor: Boston Globe Media, Inc.