Talks + Lectures

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Book Club: King Leopold's Ghost

Thu, Nov 20, 5:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1
In the 1880s, King Leopold of Belgium took possession of the unexplored Congo River area in Africa. He then proceeded to exploit its natural resources and its people. Ultimately responsible for millions of deaths, he shrewdly managed to portray himself as a humanitarian. This haunting and award-winning historical account by Adam Hochschild not only recounts this horrible tragedy, but also tells the story of those who tried to stop him. In the first major human rights movement of the 20th century, many people tried to expose the truth even Mark Twain and Joseph Conrad, who was inspired to write Heart of Darkness after his time in the Belgian Congo.
$8 (VMFA members $5)

How to Read Chinese Paintings

Thu, Dec 4, 6:30 – 7:30 pm | Leslie Cheek Theater

The Chinese way of appreciating a painting is often expressed by the words du hua, which means “to read a painting.” How does one do that? Because art is a visual language, words alone cannot adequately convey its expressive dimension. Spanning 1,000 years of Chinese art — from the eighth through the seventeenth centuries, Maxwell K. Hearn, Douglas Dillon Chairman Department of Asian Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, examines multiple layers of meaning, including style, technique, symbolism, past traditions, and the artist’s personal circumstances, in the treatment of landscapes, flowers, birds, figures, religious subjects, and calligraphies. This lecture illuminates the main goal of every Chinese artist: to capture not only the outer appearance of a subject but also its inner essence.

$8 (VMFA members $5)