Recently, students from Mims Studios traveled to Boston for a three-day study tour of some of the greatest artistic traditions this country has produced. In preparation for this trip, our weekly lecture series this fall was focused on the Boston Painters.
Beginning with John Singleton Copley, and moving through history to the founders of the Guild of Boston Artists, these lectures link the History of the Academy series with the artists of our own country and created the perfect conclusion to our spring trip to Paris.
The trip was not without a close look at ornament throughout the city, ranging from the classical moldings of the Boston Public Library, to the Romanesque and Venetian details at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum.
Students were joined by painter Frank Strazzulla, Jr. who was kind enough to host our group at his solo exhibition at the Boston Guild, the first of many stops. He and Jeffrey Mims led a joint tour through the Boston Public Library and several museums, with a focus on the Boston Artists and their influences.
Among the many highlights from this trip was an informative comparison of the Sargent and Puvis de Chavannes murals with those in the Walker Memorial Building at MIT by Edwin H. Blashfield. Designed on the unusual theme of Alma Mater, these works demonstrate an almost unparalleled mastery and brevity of touch executed by Blashfield when he was well into his nineties, and bear witness to an artistic reputation ripe for a revival.
Perspective, one of the great but often overlooked sciences behind so much of the world’s finest art has now been added to the Tuesday lecture schedule. This series will introduce the vocabulary and fundamentals of perspective, and lead into illustrated presentations of their practical applications in masterworks from the history of art, as well as a few surprising ways to use this way of thinking in drawing from nature.
This week, lectures on Artistic Anatomy continue with a focus on the Anatomy of Hands. As well as looking at the construction of the hand, examples from the history of art will emphasize the importance of balancing “what you see” with “what you know,” and comparisons will be made between old masters and contemporary artists.
This week’s illustrated lecture begins the series on Artistic Anatomy. Using constructive perceptions of drawing the human figure, these lectures are delivered through a combination of part slide show, part demonstration. The goal is to inform what we see with what we know, using examples from different periods in the history of art to illustrate specific concepts.
This year’s presentation has been developed to co-ordinate weekly anatomical lessons with the actual model’s pose from evening figure drawing sessions.
Each Tuesday, illustrated lectures are given by director D. Jeffrey Mims in the main cast studio. An updated list of past lectures is now online:
The conclusion to these lectures was a trip to Paris this spring. Images from this trip are now online here.
This week’s lecture was a film about the restoration of the Apollo Gallery (or Galerie d’Apollon) in the Louvre – designed by Charles LeBrun for Louis the XIV, and finished in the 19th century with Delacroix‘s ceiling painting The Triumph of Apollo (below).
The Apollo Gallery will be the subject of several following lectures – including the decorative painting and sculpture, the tapestries, and a look at this gallery in relation to the history of ceiling painting. The second half of the film will be shown next week.