Lecture | Jill Lepore on Benjamin Franklin’s Sister’s Books

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on November 3, 2013

This year’s Lewis Walpole Library Lecture takes place on Friday:

The Ladies Library: Or, Benjamin Franklin’s Sister’s Books
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 8 November 2013

The Twentieth Annual Lewis Walpole Library Lecture, 5:30pm

2013 Lecture PosterProfessor Jill Lepore, National Book Award finalist and author of Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin, will discuss her work reconstituting the lost library of Benjamin Franklin’s sister Jane (1712–1794). Most of what Jane read, she borrowed, but she was an avid and discriminating reader, writing to her brother, “I Read as much as I Dare.”

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her books include New York Burning, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; The Name of War, winner of the Bancroft Prize; The Mansion of Happiness, a finalist for the Carnegie Medal; The Whites of Their Eyes, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; and The Story of America. Her 2008 novel, Blindspot, written jointly with historian Jane Kamensky, was also a Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. In October 2013, Book of Ages, Lepore’s landmark biography of Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister, was
published and nominated for the National Book Award.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Jon Seydl Apointed New Director of Curatorial Affairs at WAM

Posted in museums by Editor on November 3, 2013

Press release (29 October 2013) from the Worcester Art Museum:

The Worcester Art Museum (WAM) today announced the appointment of Jon Seydl as its new Director of Curatorial Affairs. In this position, he will direct the Curatorial department, as well as the Conservation, Registration, and Collections and Exhibition Services departments; he will also be the Museum’s curator of European art. Recognized for his specialty in 17th- to 19th-century Italian art, Seydl currently serves as the Paul J. and Edith Ingalls Vignos, Jr., Curator of European Paintings and Sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He will assume his new position in January 2014.

“We are excited for Jon to lead our talented, growing team of curators,” said WAM Director Matthias Waschek. “While his Old Master focus is in keeping with one of WAM’s traditional strengths, his proven track record of working innovatively outside his field of specialization will be crucial to us as we work to better engage audiences with our own collection. Cleveland’s impressive arms and armor collection will also inform his thinking and leadership role in our integration of the Higgins Collection into WAM’s encyclopedic holdings. Jon will provide an invaluable perspective as we continue toward our goal of accessibility for all audiences.”

Most recently coming from the Cleveland Museum of Art, Seydl’s previous positions include Program Specialist at the National Endowment for the Humanities Program, followed by Research Coordinator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He joined the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2002 as Assistant Curator of Paintings before becoming an Associate Curator of Paintings in 2006. He came to the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2007. Since then, he has reinstalled and thematically reinterpreted Cleveland’s entire collection of European Art as part of the Museum’s renovation and expansion project. Seydl’s acquisitions for the Cleveland Museum of Art include St Peter of Alcántara by Pedro de Mena and Julius Caesar by Mino da Fiesole, an Apollo Magazine 2009 Acquisition of the Year.

During his career, Seydl has curated and co-curated many major exhibitions, including Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile (2005), Tiepolo Oil Sketches (2005), From Caspar David Friedrich to Gerhard Richter: German Painting from Dresden (2006), Rembrandt in America (2011–12), and The Last Days of Pompeii: Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection (2012–13). Seydl wrote the catalogue for Tiepolo Oil Sketches (2005), which he curated at the Getty, and has co-edited two volumes of essays: Gerhard Richter: Early Work, 1951–1972 and Antiquity Recovered: The Legacy of Pompeii and Herculaneum. In 2013 the Association of Art Museum Curators awarded him the Outstanding Catalogue Essay prize for “The Last Days of Pompeii.”

Seydl completed his BA in art history at Yale University and received his MA and PhD in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. He specialized in 17th- and 18th-century Italian Art and wrote his dissertation on images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 18th century.

“I am incredibly pleased to be joining the Worcester Art Museum,” Seydl said. “With the upcoming integration of the Higgins Armory and the recent reinstallation of the Museum’s European paintings in [remastered], this is an exciting time for the Museum. Matthias’ vision for the future is thoughtful and compelling, and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the WAM team on advancing the Museum’s goal of increased accessibility and engagement through the presentation and interpretation of a very great collection.”

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