Taking the Long View: Art and Cultural Heritage in an Age of Terror

by University Communications,

  • Long View Lecture

Willamette's 2015 fall lecture series explores the preservation of cultural artifacts amidst terror, destruction and colonization.

For more information about "Taking the Long View," visit willamette.edu/go/long-view.

Beginning with the iconic cultural heritage dispute regarding the Elgin/Parthenon marbles, a world renowned set of architectural sculptures now split between the British Museum and the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, the speakers in this series will explore the legacy of conquest and colonization, while considering the urgent questions posed by the deliberate destruction of World Heritage sites and cultural objects by present­day iconoclasts and terrorists in the Middle East.

The speakers will also consider various strategies for the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage, from the inspiring story of the Monuments Men, who assisted in the protection and restitution of cultural property in Europe during World War II, to the evolving global efforts of museums and international organizations such as UNESCO. In this free lecture series, you will explore the complex aesthetic, ethical, historical, legal and political issues related to this important set of topics, part of a broader public dialogue about cultural identities and institutions, economics and politics, in an increasingly interconnected world.

Exhibition Information

This lecture ​series culminates with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art's exhibition An Archaeologist's Eye:The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab, opening Nov. 7, 2015, and continuing through Jan. 31, 2016 in the Study Gallery and Print Study Center at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Lectures

The Present Acropolis: Classical Antiquity in Modern­Day Athens

Dr. Eleana Yalouri, Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University, Athens
Thursday, September 3 - 7:30 pm
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
(This event is free and open to the public)

How do Greeks cope with their ancient heritage, its local, national and international features? Which pasts do they chose to remember and which do they chose to forget? Why does the past matter? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in reference to the Athenian Acropolis, which has captured the imaginations of travelers and writers for centuries and still draws crowds from all over the world.

The Monumental Contexts of the Periclean Acropolis

Dr. Robin Rhodes, Department of Art, Art History, and Design, University of Notre Dame
Thursday September 17 - 7:30pm
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
(this event is free and open to the public)

The Periclean Acropolis, site of the Parthenon, is one of the most familiar architectural complexes in the world, yet the complexity of its historical context makes it very difficult to imagine the original experience of the site. This lecture will address three important thematic contexts within which the Acropolis must be read: 1) as a product of the Persian Wars, 2) as the religious center of Athens, and 3) as a complex in which the nature of Greek monumentality is expressed in revolutionary ways.

Film Showing: The Rape of Europa (2 hours)

Tuesday, September 29 - 7 pm
Roger Hull Lecture Hall, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University
(this event is free and open to the public)

Presented as a prelude to Robert Edsel’s talk on October 15, this film tells the epic story of the theft, destruction and survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. Actress Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of Western civilization.

A History of the Parthenon Marbles: An Earth Science Perspective

Dr. Scott Pike, Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Geology and Archaeology, Environmental and Earth Sciences Department, Willamette University
Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 7:30pm
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
(this event is free and open to the public)

Mount Pentelikon, northeast of the Athenian Acropolis, contains one of the most important and heavily exploited marble quarries in all of antiquity, which was used as the sole source for the construction of the Parthenon. Dr. Pike’s application of stable isotope analysis of carbon and oxygen, and petrography, to the study of the Parthenon’s marble has revealed some enlightening information regarding the monument including (1) how and when different Pentelic marble quarry pits were exploited; (2) the preferences for specific marble types for the superstructure and sculptural program; and (3) the sequencing of construction. Dr. Pike’s results also provide support for the argument that the Parthenon and the so­called Elgin Marbles in the British Museum must be studied as a whole and not as separate parts.

Film Showing: The Rape of Europa (2 hours)

Tuesday, October 13 - 7pm
Roger Hull Lecture Hall, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University
(this event is free and open to the public)

Presented as a prelude to Robert Edsel’s talk on October 15, this film tells the epic story of the theft, destruction and survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. Actress Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of Western civilization.

Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis

Mr. Robert Edsel, director of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art in Dallas, Texas and a New York Times best­selling author and producer
Thursday, October 15 - 7:30pm
The Historic Elsinore Theatre, 170 High Street SE, Salem, Oregon
(this is a free event that is open to the public - reserved seating is available for Hallie Ford Museum of Art Members by calling 503-370-6867)

Robert Edsel’s fascinating research is focused on the The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) section of the Allied Armies, which was established in 1943 to assist in the protection and restitution of cultural property in Europe during World War II. Edsel’s lecture is based on his latest book, Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis, and will focus on the work of two Monuments officers as they struggled to recover and save some of Italy’s most important art masterpieces during World War II.

Edsel's talk is part of the Atkinson Lecture Series in partnership with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Marbles and Monuments in an Age of Terrorism

Prof. James A.R. Nafziger, College of Law, Willamette University
Prof. Robert K. Paterson, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
Thursday, October 22 - 7:30 pm
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
(this event is free and open to the public)

The endless controversy concerning the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles in the British Museum is iconic. Although such claims for the unqualified return of cultural material to countries of origin have met with some success in the courts, the diplomatic arena and the private sector, a trend toward more collaborative solutions including long­term loans is evident. Recently, the focus of cultural heritage lawyers has had to extend to the deliberate destruction of monuments and cultural objects by terrorists. Responses to such savagery have included the creation of safe havens and greater attention in anti-terrorist initiatives to the protection of cultural objects. The legal framework for protecting the global heritage is both essential and evolving.

ISIS and the Threat to Our Cultural Heritage: What Can the World Do?

Dr. James Cuno '73, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust
Thursday, November 5 - 7:30 pm
Hudson Concert Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center, Willamette University
(this event is free and open to the public)

In this talk, Dr. James Cuno, veteran museum director and author of Who Owns Antiquity?, will consider the campaign of ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and al­Sham; greater Syria) against the Middle East’s cultural heritage as well as exploring the conceptual framework and practical limitations of the United Nation’s response to it.

Drawing the Parthenon Sculpture

Dr. Katherine A. Schwab, Fairfield University
Thursday, November 12 - 7:30 pm
Roger Hull Lecture Hall, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University
(this event is free and open to the public)

Drawing is a way of seeing and analyzing the evidence. Dr. Schwab has used unique drawing techniques as a fundamental component of her investigations in studying the East and North metopes from the Parthenon, a series of marble panels with relief sculpture which suffered devastating damage in post­-Antiquity. In this talk, Dr. Schwab will show examples of her drawings, as well as discussing her analysis of natural light, pigment and added metal to increase our understanding of the original appearance of the Parthenon sculptures.

Financial Support

This lecture series is sponsored by the Verda Karen McCracken Young Fund of the Department of Art History, the Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology, and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. Robert Edsel’s lecture is a partnership between Willamette University’s Atkinson Lecture Series and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Robert Edsel’s lecture is a partnership between Willamette University’s Atkinson Lecture Series and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Financial support for this lecture has been provided by funds from Caroline Rubio, mother of Melvin Henderson­ Rubio ‘74. Additional funds have been provided by the Atkinson Endowment Fund, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and the Sponenburgh Fund of the Department of Art History at Willamette University; the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax funds; and the Oregon Arts Commission. Special thanks to the Historic Elsinore Theatre.

Lecture Locations

Fall Lecture Series Map

Sept. 3, 17; Oct. 1, 22 — Paulus Lecture Hall, College of Law, Willamette University

Sept. 29; Oct. 13; Nov. 12 — Roger Hull Lecture Hall, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University

Oct. 15 — The Historic Elsinore Theatre, 170 High Street SE, Salem

Nov. 5 — Hudson Concert Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center, Willamette University