The century of the French Moderns brought in turbulent change and innovation, not only in the art world, but in society, literature, and politics. A fall lecture series from Rock Island Library and Augustana College will ponder some of those changes.
The century of the French Moderns brought in turbulent change and innovation, not only in the art world, but also in society, literature, and politics.
The 2018 Frieze Lecture series, presented by the Rock Island Public Library and Augustana College, will ponder some of those changes with a look at other "Modern Lives" in France and beyond. The 21st annual lecture partnership takes its thematic cue from an community wide celebration of all things French as part of the Figge Museum exhibition, French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950.
The series of four lectures by Augustana College professors are from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, on Tuesdays from October 23 through November 13, in the Community Room of the Rock Island Downtown Library, 401 19th Street. Topics and presenters include:
- October 23: Dr. Emily Cranford, visiting assistant professor of French, discussing Ourika, a novella by Claire de Duras. As the first French text to depict a black female character with complex feelings, Ourika was ahead of its time, and the talk of Paris at the time of its anonymous publication in 1823.
- October. 30: Dr. Kiki Kosnick, assistant professor of French, speaking on the modern Guy de Maupassant. The French writer is considered by general agreement to be the greatest French short-story writer. Maupassant set many of his naturalist stories during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s.
- November 6: Dr. Taddy R. Kalas, professor of French, speaking on another major figure in French literature, the Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé. His poem L'après-midi d'un faune so captivated the composer Claude Debussy that he crafted a symphonic treatment, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun that remains popular to this day. Indeed, it was performed by the Quad City Symphony in honor of the Figge.
- November 13: Dr. Claire Kovacs, director of the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art, turns the focus closer to home by highlighting works in the college collection by Swedish and Swedish-American artists whose practice brought them into conversation with Parisian Modernism. Her talk relates to their companion exhibition, Världen är liten: The World is Small, Modern Swedish & American Works from the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art.
Free coffee, cookies. and conversation follow each lecture. All lectures are free and open to the public, and do not require registration.
The Frieze Lecture Series was created by the late Ruth Evelyn Katz, a library board member, to celebrate the library's 125th anniversary. The name comes from the architectural feature around the top of the downtown library building. The authors carved into the sandstone are Homer, Longfellow, Emerson, Virgil, Hugo, Shakespeare, Goethe, Burns, Hawthorne, (Esaias) Tegner, and (George) Bancroft. Though not well known today, the names of Tegner, a Swedish poet, and Bancroft, a naval historian, would have been familiar to 1903 residents.
French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950, brings the world-renowned collection of the Brooklyn Museum in New York to the Quad Cities, showcasing 60 paintings and sculptures by some of the world’s most treasured artists.