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    Masterpiece Lecture Series: Vittoria Di Palma, Associate Professor, Columbia University

    Presented by at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    May 10, 2012


    Masterpiece Lecture Series: Vittoria Di Palma, Associate Professor, Columbia University

    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.

    Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    25 Evans Way
    Boston, MA 02115

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    Gardner Museum Members* FREE Adults $15 Seniors (65+) $12 College Students w/ ID $5 All named “Isabella” FREE Anyone on his or her birthday FREE Students, faculty, and employees of Gardner Museum University Members and corporate partners FREE $2 off admission for anyone wearing Red Sox paraphernalia (Isabella Gardner was an avid Red Sox fan) or with a Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) ticket stub (valid within two days). *Visitors who join the Gardner during their visit can apply their admission cost toward the price of a new membership.

    General Day and Time Info:

    7:00 p.m.

    Phone: 617.278.5156


    Paid parking is available at the Museum of Fine Arts garage or lot on Museum Road, two blocks from the Gardner. Metered street parking is also available.

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