The Alexandria Association is the city’s oldest organization devoted to the preservation of Alexandria’s historic buildings, landscapes, records, and antiquities; and to education in the decorative, fine, and building arts.
Meetings are held at 8 pm
The Lyceum, 201 South Washington St.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Monday, January 16, 2017
201 South Washington Street
at 8 P.M.
The Greeks defined monumentality in sculpture during the fifth century, B.C., and the standard they set held sway in the Greco-Roman world well into the Christian era. That classical standard re-emerged during the Renaissance, but it was losing traction by the time America won its independence. To understand why, one must distinguish between style and content in sculpture. The high-quality classical sculpture for which the Greeks and modern masters ranging from Michelangelo to Houdon are known is very complex in its formal content. Since the late 18th century, and partly thanks to Canova's "neoclassicism," the focus has been more on style than content. The Statue of Liberty, America's greatest monument, is not a masterpiece in formal terms. By the same token it is devoid of the modernistic tendencies that have further undermined the classical standard even among figurative artists working within the academic tradition. So it's natural to ask, even at a time when classical architecture is enjoying a modest resurgence, whether classical sculpture is a thing of the past. The lecture will be illustrated with numerous examples of European and American public sculpture.
Catesby Leigh has been writing about public art and architecture for 25 years. His commentary has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, National Review, Modern Age, Arts & Antiques, City Journal and other publications. He is a co-founder and past chair of the National Civic Art Society and lives in Washington.
MEMBERSHIP AND GUEST LIST IS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. PLEASE REGISTER GUESTS WITH firstname.lastname@example.org. Fee for guests attending a one-time lecture is $15. MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION AND CALENDAR AVAILABLE AT OUR SITE: ALEXANDRIAASSOCIATION.ORG.
“"The Classical Standard in Sculpture: Is It Still Relevant?"
***** Snow Policy: In the event we must cancel a lecture at the last moment, we will attempt to notify you by email and post the cancellation on our site. If you do not have email, or do not see it on the site (as we may not have had enough time to get the message up), please phone the Lyceum to see if it is open, 703-838-4994, before starting out.