Rachel writes: Fiddling around with Nero and Rubens

Over the next week or two, though I have a lot of writing and research to do for my last two papers, I plan on attending some of the events of the Harvard Art Museum.

Many events are free, and admission to the Sackler (where the following events will be held) is free for Harvard students.

This Friday April 23 at 6:00PM, for example, there is a talk to be given by Rome’s former Superintendent of Antiquities (that must be an interesting job, with no shortage of inventory), Adriano La Regina, who now teaches at a university in Rome. He’s going to talk about Nero’s palace, the Domus Aurea.

I also plan on attending the 3:30PM talk on Wednesday April 28, to be given by Ivan Gaskell (officially a Harvard history professor but noted for his wonderful interdisciplinary work, which often converges with art history) and Robert Scanlan (professor of theater practice at Harvard) about stages and settings created by Rubens in 1635 for a triumphal procession. This one I plan on squeezing in between a work day, which I will start earlier than usual, and my regular Wednesday class meeting at 5:30.

Check the art museum calendar for other events of interest (http://www.artmuseums.harvard.edu/calendar/) . . .

While the Fogg is closed (it will be re-built; projected opening is 2013) and the art museums are undergoing a huge transformation, it is wonderful that events such as this one maintain a lively and meaningful connection with the academic community and the public by presenting results of scholarly research such as those noted above.

Though it will be a busy few weeks for me, I know the content of these presentations will be stimulating and fun, and there will be no pressure associated with them . . . exactly the re-formatting the brain needs, just when you think you’ve reached the saturation point.

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