Art in the Making Lectures

Thursday, September 20, 2018 | 5 – 6:30 p.m.

How Did the Greeks Do It?
3000 BCE-323 BCE

The Charioteer of Delphi, 478 or 474 BCE

Through examples from ancient, Renaissance, and modern art, this lecture series starts by looking at Greek history. Emphasis will be placed on the Golden Age of Athens, which provided the fundamentals of democracy, mathematics, philosophy, historical narrative, drama, epic, poetry, painting, sculpture, and architecture. This lecture will also consider the legacy of Alexander the Great, who introduced Greek/Hellenistic culture throughout his empire, from Italy to India.  Lastly, there will be exploration of the Greek myths and heroes, with mention made of the archeological discoveries in Egypt, Crete, and mainland Greece, which validate the reality of some of these myths.

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher

Limited space available.

Please call to reserve your seat.

A $10 contribution is requested to attend the presentation
and enjoy the beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided.

Shemer Art Center
5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 85018
Information & Reservation (required) at 602.262.4727


Thursday, October 18, 2018 from 5 – 6:30 p.m

Roman Revolutions
753 BCE-476 CE

Capitoline Wolf, 11th/12th century (wolf) and late 15th century (twins)

This lecture will consider the durability and violence of the Roman Monarchy, Republic and Empire, which together lasted for 1200 years, and celebrate the “Pax Romana” of 200 years. Acknowledgement will be given to the “gravitas” and “pietas” of the Roman myths and heroes and emperors, drawing on representations from Roman art and from later European and American art. The Romans conquered Greece and the Hellenistic Empires, but in turn were conquered by Greek culture. They stole Greek statues, copied Greek war paintings and architecture, and imitated Greek literature. From Rome we inherited the fundamentals of our law, our Senate and term limits, our alphabet, the Romance languages, and our civic architecture.

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher

Limited space available.

Please call to reserve your seat.

A $10 contribution is requested to attend the presentation
and enjoy the beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided.

Shemer Art Center
5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 85018
Information & Reservation (required) at 602.262.4727


Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 5 – 6:30 p.m

Golden Byzantium
330-1205 AD; 1253-1453 AD

Constantine the Great Presenting a Model of the Constantinople to the Blessed Virgin Mary, ca. 1000

In the 4th century, power shifted from Rome to the Greek-speaking East, centered in the Christian city of Constantinople, on the site of old Byzantium (now Istanbul). The Byzantine Empire, at its height, extended from the Western Mediterranean to Asia Minor. Believing the Imperial City should be glorified by art and architecture, the emperors made it the most opulent and envied city in the world. From envy and greed and from suspicion of Greek Orthodoxy, the Crusaders from the West broke into walled Constantinople in 1204 and half killed it; in 1453 the Ottoman Turks delivered the deathblow. By then, Byzantine scholars and artisans had brought their books, icons and skills to Italy where they inspired the early Italian Renaissance. Why was this brilliant civilization, which alone preserved the Greek and Roman heritage, condemned to obscurity in the West?

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher

Limited space available.

Please call to reserve your seat.

A $10 contribution is requested to attend the presentation
and enjoy the beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided.

Shemer Art Center
5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 85018
Information & Reservation (required) at 602.262.4727


Thursday, December 20, 2018 from 5 – 6:30 p.m

The Adolescence of the Early Renaissance
1250 – 1466

The Dome of the Duomo in Florence, designed and built by Brunelleschi, 1420 – 1436

In the 13th century, the rich banking families in Florence, Siena, and Padua and elsewhere fostered art and architecture to beautify their towns. The new orders of the Franciscans and the Dominicans required large churches to preach to the faithful and these churches required decorations. At first Byzantine art and architecture coming into to Italy were an impetus to creativity as were the Romanesque and Gothic styles, especially the sculpture of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano (father and son), which Giotto and Simone Martini imitated, as did the painters Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. And from there, we move to Brunelleschi, the first modern architect and founding father of the Renaissance. He and his friend, the sculptor Donatello, spent years together in Rome sketching and studying the ruins. Donatello’s “David” is the first known free-standing nude statue since antiquity. The third member these 15th century innovators is Masaccio who adopted Brunelleschi’s scientific perspective and painted his figures in light and air so that they seem to be in the round. These three are the precursors to the High Renaissance.

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher

Limited space available.

Please call to reserve your seat.

A $10 contribution is requested to attend the presentation
and enjoy the beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided.

Shemer Art Center
5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 85018
Information & Reservation (required) at 602.262.4727