Art History Lectures


Presented by Eleanor Sypher, PhD

Eleanor holds a doctorate degree in Greek and Roman civilizations from Columbia University. Join us for these educational lectures, presented with wit and humour!



Charles Demuth


Self-Portrait, 1907, oil on canvas,

Demuth Museum, Lancaster, PA


Charles Demuth combined European cubism and expressionism with American subjects while most American artists were still committed to realism.  His work was difficult to judge.  Critics put his elegant still lives in watercolor in a secondary status since oil was considered the only medium of substance.  His figurative paintings, though intense and complex and powerful, were inadequately exhibited.  Today watercolor has achieved the status of a major medium and figurative expressionism is again admired.  Demuth’s talents can now be properly evaluated and appreciated.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Price: $15.00

Date: February 16, 2023

Available Spaces: 11


Romare Bearden

1911 - 1988

Three Folk Musicians, 1967, collage of various papers with paint

and graphite on canvas, Private Collection


Born in North Carolina, Romare Bearden grew up in New York City and Pittsburgh, then graduated from NYU in 1935.  He studied history and philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris.  Famous for his collages, Bearden was an artist in many media—oil and gouache, watercolors, drawings, photographs, prints, book and cover illustrations.  He began his collages in 1963-64, combining images cut from magazines with colored paper.  He took imagery from African-American rural life in the south and urban life in the north.  Of the collages, he said:  “When I conjure these memories, they are of the present to me, because, after all, the artist is a kind of enchanter in time.”


Thursday, March 16, 2023

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Price: $15.00

Date: March 16, 2023

Available Spaces: 15

ART HISTORY LECTURES- Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

1780 - 1867

Self-Portrait at the Age of 79, oil on canvas, Uffizi, Florence


Cursed Portraits!  They always keep me from undertaking important things,” said Jean-Augustte-Dominique Ingres, frustrated by slow progress on his portraits. He pretended to prefer huge public decorations and altar pieces but the demand for his portraits was constant and they are now considered his legacy.  They are a reflection of his time period as it wished to be remembered.  His work spanned 60 years: from the end of the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Empire, the Bourbon Restoration of the Monarchy, the Second Republic and the Second Empire under Napoleon III. His subjects were the ruling elite.

This lecture will look at these portraits in oil and the preliminary pencil sketches.


Thursday, April 20, 2023

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Price: $15.00

Date: April 20, 2023

Available Spaces: 17


The Watercolors of Winslow Homer

1836 - 1910

The Adirondack Guide, 1894, watercolor over graphite on paper, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Homer is thought to be the essential American artist:  independent, plain spoken, and a believer that art can reproduce the blunt facts of life.  He is famous for his fascination with struggle. With work ranging from Civil War scenes, to men in the woods, at sea, in Maine, in rural New York, Florida, the Bahamas and Bermuda.  His watercolors are freely applied in bold strokes and broad washes with a native sense of color and of the subtleties of light and shadow.

Homer’s advice to artists:  “Look at nature, work independently and solve your own problems.”


Thursday, May 18, 2023

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Price: $15.00

Date: May 18, 2023

Available Spaces: 17

A $15 contribution is requested to attend these presentations and enjoy the beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided.

** In order to allow for safe social distancing, attendance will be limited. If you would like to learn more about our safety procedures, please contact us for a copy of our Safety Code of Conduct. **

SHEMER ART CENTER | 5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 85018
Information & Reservation (required) | 602.262.4727