Visual Companion to Twentieth-Century Sounds


Boston University Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture Jonathan Ribner leads this entertaining and informative introduction to major figures in the visual arts of twentieth-century America. Ribner will cover common ground shared with contemporaneous American composers.

March 28: "Paris Calling"

Following a consideration of the legacies of Manet, Impressionism, and the Paris Salon, this lecture focuses on the advent of American Modernism. The shock of the Armory Show and the antics of New York Dada provide counterpoint to the new sounds of ragtime, Ravel, and Stravinsky.

April 4: "American Scenes"

Addressing the national and local aspects of Modernist American art and architecture, this session features work comparable to the music of Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, and Charles Ives. In addition to Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Sheeler, the Harlem Renaissance painters, and David Smith, we look at the Regionalist rejection of the European avant-garde heritage.

April 11: "New York Rules"

From the heat of Abstract Expressionism to the cool of Pop, Minimalism, Color Field Abstraction, and Conceptual Art, the series concludes with New York’s elevation to capital of the art world during the golden age of jazz and the superstardom of Leonard Bernstein. Links across the arts will be considered in the friendship of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg with John Cage, as well as in the quest for visual equivalents to twelve-tone and serial composition.


  • General Public: $30.00



Meets at Boston University: 775 Commonwealth Ave, George Sherman Union (GSU) Conference Auditorium, 2nd floor from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm on Wednesdays from March 28, 2012 to April 11, 2012 (3 meetings)