Visiting art historian discusses important influences on Renaissance art

New York University professor and award-winning author Alexander Nagel will visit Willamette University to present "Orientations in Renaissance Art" April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the College of Law's Paulus Lecture Hall. The discussion is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Nagel will address important, insufficiently explored questions regarding influences on Renaissance art.

After the fall of Rome, Europe was governed by a weak pope and a succession of relatively weak leaders. During this time, Europeans perceived Jerusalem to be the world's cultural center. As Roman Renaissance popes began to accumulate power with the decline of the Byzantine Empire, two significant events challenged the emerging sense of a Christian European center: the discovery of the New World and the Reformation.

By persistently referring to other, far-away places, the art and architecture of this period responded productively to such cultural displacement. The discussion addresses this important but often overlooked phenomenon.

About the lecturer and the series

A distinguished art historian as well as a remarkable lecturer, Nagel received his bachelor's in art history from the University of California, Berkeley, and both his master's and doctorate from Harvard University, where he wrote his dissertation, "Michelangelo, Raphael, and the altarpiece tradition." In 2002, Nagel was awarded the Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Prize for "Michelangelo and the Reform of Art."

The Hogue-Sponenburgh art lectureship, established and endowed by the late Janeth Hogue-Sponenburgh and Mark Sponenburgh, enables the Willamette University Department of Art and Art History to bring a noted scholar, artist, critic, curator or art leader to campus each year to deliver a lecture and to meet informally with students and faculty.