Sunday, March 25 2012
| 2 pm
East Building | Museum Auditorium
Free | Ticket from Box Office required
Dr. Sally Promey
Professor of American Studies and Professor of Religion and Visual Culture, Yale University
Israel and the Law holds a crucial place in John Singer Sargent's mural cycle at the Boston Public Library. In multiple ways this one painting exemplifies the artist's hopes for the shape of religion's "triumph" in secular modernity in a pluralist society. The image, in its reinterpretation of artistic precedent, its creative use of Jewish sacred texts, and its gender gymnastics, reveals the intimacies, complexities, and challenges of Sargent's artistic calculus. This lecture examines Israel and the Law in the context of its roles in Sargent's larger mural cycle, from this panel's 1916 installation through the controversy that ensued in 1919 and the recent conservation and restoration of the mural cycle.
A reception follows the lecture.