Rena Tobey on James Abbott McNeill Whistler & John Singer Sargent

James Abbott McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent may have never met, but their art careers took similar trajectories. Both left the U.S. to make their work overseas, and both shocked their contemporary art worlds with their paintings and oversized personalities. But how exactly did the beauty of their works break through traditional conventions to invent the modern art language? This is the story of two visionary artists who put American art on the international map and helped invent art of the 20th century.

Our artistic deep dive will include:
• A look at the lives and career choices of two iconic American artists
• Tales of scandal involving both artists, from the infamous Whistler libel case to the
searing story of the Peacock Room to the jolt of Madame X
• Dissecting Whistler and Sargent images to understand what made their works so
• An understanding of how these in-demand artists were pivotal to the development of
celebrity culture

In the series:
Apr. 9: Whistler – with Rena Tobey
Apr. 16: Sargent – with Rena Tobey
May 6: Sargent & Fashion – with Lydia Bauman

Rena Tobey – NY Jewish Museum Exhibitions

Tissot and the Bible

A turn to deep reflection and spirituality marked the last 20 years of Tissot’s life!

In this talk, Rena Tobey will take  a close look at how Tissot used the dynamics of illustration to tell stories through the art. The work is placed in the context of his career and in the context of changing technology that made illustration possible.

He made one of many trips to Palestine in 1896 to draw inspiration, observing the landscape where the biblical stories took place and producing what he felt were historically accurate illustrations.

This lecture is in Partnership with the NY Jewish Museum. Recordings are not permitted

Also in the series:
Tues. Feb. 6: Marta Minujin: Arte! Arte! Arte!

Rena Tobey – NY Jewish Museum Exhibitions

Marta Minujin: Arte! Arte! Arte!

The first survey exhibition in the United States of Marta Minujín, a defining force of Latin American art whose trajectory intersected with the major artistic developments of the postwar period while reflecting a singular spirit and vision infused by her sharp intellect, irreverent humor, and performative presence.

Marta Minujín established an international reputation as a key artistic voice at a young age. Born to a Russian-Jewish family in 1943 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Minujín began her career in the late 1950s creating cardboard constructions and roughly hewn paintings. Today she is one of Argentina’s most recognized artists and celebrated cultural personalities.

Also in the series:
Thurs. Feb. 29: Tissot and the Bible

The NY Jewish Museum does not allow recordings


Rena Tobey with an In Depth Look at Winslow Homer: Visions of Change

Winslow Homer: Visions of Change

Just in time for a major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art opening in April, 2022, join Classi Lectures and Rena Tobey for an in-depth look at the works and career of master artist Winslow Homer.
As American Art in the 1800s sought to define American identity, Homer propelled this introspective gaze into profound new insights with a subtle and clarion voice. Beginning with the American Civil War, Homer teased out the complexities of everyday life in a radically changing world. Maturing as an artist, his paintings offered compelling commentary about how the war changed roles for women and for men, then elevated those insights into images of epic battles with nature. Along the way, we will consider the elusive man behind the point-of-view of his paintings.
Please note time changed from 11am to 2pm!
Also in the Series:

Chagall: Love, War, and Exile Jewish Museum exhibition – April 7 at 2 PM.