Art History Lecture Series

The Art History Lecture Series features Gage teaching artists as well as art historians from the Seattle art community, each exploring a different topic. These lectures present an intimate look inside the artists and movements that helped shape art from the Renaissance through the 20th Century. Register online for a single lecture or the entire fall series, and delve into the techniques, ideologies and personalities that define art in our world.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 – April 22, 2020
7:00-8:00 P.M., Geo Studio, #304, Third Floor, Gage Capitol Hill

$15 at Door/$50 for Fall Quarter.

Click for the Fall Quarter Admission.

Free for members. Make a member reservation.


Fall Art History Lectures

October 23 | Mike Magrath | High Kitsch

Kitsch is the beautiful lie that eats truth. Join us to chart the evolution of Kitsch from its origins as aspirational culture among the 19th century bourgeois to the ubiquitous cultural language of the 21st century consumer society.


October 30 | Carol Hendricks | Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia Gentileschi was one of the most successful and respected painters from the Italian Baroque era. She was the first woman accepted into the Florentine Academy. She lived and worked in Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples and London receiving numerous commissions. Artemisia had a reputation as being extremely skilled in depicting portraits and historic figures and was well known for depicting strong women. Her work influenced the next generation of painters.

Gage has partnered with Macha Theatre Works this fall for a project focused on Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Macha is producing Blood Water Paint, a play by Seattle playwright Joy McCullough, at 12th Avenue Arts, running September 13 through October 6. Based on true events, Blood Water Paint unfolds lyrically through interactions with the women featured in Artemisia’s most famous paintings, and culminates in her fierce battle to rise above the most devastating event in her life. Gage fans receive $5 off tickets by using the code MACHA5. Our own Carol Hendricks will speak at the September 23rd talk-back after the performance.

The Masterpiece Lecture Series this fall will, in turn, focus its October 30th lecture on Artemisia with Gage’s Adult Programs Director, Carol Hendricks, speaking on her life and work. Playwright Joy McCullough will join Carol with readings from her novel based on the play as well as sign copies of the book provided by Third Place Books. Please join us for this celebration of one of the most accomplished Baroque painters!

November 13 | Charles Emerson | Aspects of the New Color

Color was always doing something other than just being attractive. Making space, modeling form, interacting with other colors in various ways, including structure and space. From a single surface flat color to an ambiguous layered fluid space, the one simple color has many choices as to how it appears. The difficulty comes in reading, or seeing what that same color is doing in multiple situations. Color is only color as to how much, where it is used, and which application technique is used. We will look at examples from Joself Albers up to and including contemporary art.


November 20 | Hamid Zavareei | History of Pigments

Mapping a journey through time from pre historic human ancestors to present day production of color is a fascinating exploration that is part and parcel of human civilization and art making as one of its main pillars. Delving into what this substance called pigment is and how it has literally painted the human history is the subject of this lecture, touching its origins and following the stages of its development to present day.


Winter Art History Lectures

January 15 | Gary Faigin | Ripped from the Headlines: How Breaking News Became Great Art

Painting, unlike photography, is usually at a distance from the hubbub of daily life. Art of the past tended to avoid work that was too specifically about a particular recent event, like a battle or an execution.

The glorious exceptions to this pattern are few in number, but count amongst the most famous and beloved works in art history. In this lively talk, Gary Faigin looks at masterpieces like the Raft of the Medusa and Guernica, examining their fascinating historical background, composition, and execution.

January 22 | Kristin Frost | Contemporary Portraiture

Look at examples of portraiture from around the world, focusing on how they influenced each other and the overlaps between cultures. Learn how contemporary artists (such as Kara Walker, Yasumasa Morimura, Jenny Saville, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald) are changing the rhetoric in this field in terms of race and gender.

February 5 | Rebecca Albiani | Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji include some of the most iconic images ever made. Whether the prolific artist was making color woodblock prints, book illustrations, or drawing manuals, his work was rich in humor and natural beauty.

February 12 | Edie Everette | Charles Burchfield: Watercolor as Vocabulary

Painting exclusively in watercolor was unusual in the early 20th century, yet Burchfield chose that medium as his own, outright dismissing people who cautioned that the medium was too fragile to become a legacy. He also created a ‘vocabulary’ of shapes that represented moods, working them into his land and townscapes. This lecture will discuss what Burchfield, who struggled also with wanting to be a writer, may be visually ‘telling’ us.

March 4 | David Martin | Art of the Pacific NW

David F. Martin will focus on regional artists and their depictions of scenes from everyday life in the Northwest during the 1930’s and 40’s. Many of the works reflect the industrial, political and social aspects of the Great Depression and WWII era. Beginning in the late 1920’s younger American artists were turning away from the dominant influence of European Impressionism and Modernism in search of a completely unique representation of America. These artists utilized subject matter depicting the unique elements of their individual regions and often celebrated the urban and rural environments as well as local industries and recreational activities.
On the other side of the spectrum, some Northwest artists used their talents to reflect their interest in communist and socialist ideology, as well as labor causes and racial and class inequities. The Leftist movement was so strong in Washington State that in 1936,” Postmaster General James Farley stated…“There are forty-seven states in the Union, and the Soviet of Washington”.

March 18 | Kathleen Moore | The Arts of Mesopotamia

Mesopotamian civilization existed for well over 3,000 years, from the formation of the first cities at the end of the fourth millennium B.C. to the early years of the Roman Empire. This region of the world produced varied and fascinating cultures including the Sumerian, Assyrian and Akkadian in the region that linked Asia, Africa and Europe.

Spring Art History Lectures

April 8 | Mardie Rees | Augustus Saint Gaudens

Saint-Gaudens was an American Beaux-Arts sculptor working in the style of the American Renaissance. He studied at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design in New York, the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and also in Rome. After his return to New York he achieved major critical success for his sculptures, monuments and coin designs.

April 22 | Linda James | Spirituality and Abstraction

In 1986, Maurice Tuchman curated an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art called “The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985.” The exhibit was organized based on the well researched theory that the genesis of abstract art was inextricably tied to spiritual ideas current in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pioneers of abstraction – Wassily Kandinsky, Hilma af Klint, Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malevich and Frantisek Kupka – had abandoned representational art in favor of an art form that allowed them to express their inner spiritual lives. This lecture will focus on those artists and the artists who followed them – their work, their stories, their impact.

Member Lecture Reservation