Rhodes and Brooks Museum to Host Italian Renaissance Sculpture Conference

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Publication Date: 10/8/2008


Rhodes College and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art will jointly host the sixth quadrennial Italian Renaissance Sculpture Conference October 30-November 1, 2008. 

Organized by Dr. Victor Coonin, Associate Professor of Art History at Rhodes, this year’s conference features 60 of the world’s leading sculpture specialists from countries including the United States, Italy, Germany, France, and England. Museum curators will be attending from the National Gallery in Washington, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Kimbell Museum of Art in Fort Worth, TX, among others. 

Says Coonin, “This is a unique, on-going conference where an international group of specialists from both museums and academia can gather in a collegial environment to engage intellectually, debate ideas and methods, and share experience in their specialty of Italian sculpture.”

All talks are free and open to the public and will be held on the campus of Rhodes College and at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Professor Sarah Blake McHam of Rutgers University will open the conference on Thursday, Oct. 30, with a keynote address titled “Donatello’s Judith as the Emblem of God’s Chosen People: The Statue’s Political Meanings After 1495.”  The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall at Rhodes. 

The inaugural Italian Renaissance Sculpture Conference was in 1988 with a celebration of the Italian artist Verrocchio, a significant painter and sculptor who was also the teacher of Leonardo da Vinci. The first three conferences (held every four years) were hosted at Brigham Young University and Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort, followed by two conferences held at the University of Georgia and the Georgia Museum of Art.

View the full schedule of events for the Memphis conference. For more information, contact Dr. Victor Coonin at coonin@rhodes.edu or (901) 843-3824.