Lynne Ambrosini and Patricia Mainardi

Lynne Ambrosini (left) and Patricia Mainardi (right)

November 13, 1-2 PM CT

Moderated by Erin Duncan-O’Neill (OU Assistant Professor of Art History)

Live on Zoom


Lynne Ambrosini “Creating the Impressionist Landscape: The Compositional Inventions of Charles François Daubigny.” 

Working more extensively in the open air than preceding artists, Charles François Daubigny (1817–1878) created new sorts of landscape formats that would prove highly influential. Among the stimulating new landscape motifs that he pioneered in the 1850s were: riverine landscapes from midstream, orchards in bloom, the ocean viewed frontally as sea and sky alone, and the moonlit French landscape. The young Impressionists took up these innovations in the early 1860s and popularized them.

Lynne Ambrosini earned the doctorate at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts with a dissertation titled ““The Peasant in French Painting, 1815-48; The Romantic Roots of the Realist Mode,” supervised by Robert Rosenblum. She served as a curator at the Brooklyn Museum and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts before moving to Cincinnati, Ohio, to lead the art division of the Taft Museum of Art. She managed the permanent collection, exhibition program, publications and other departments while organizing several exhibitions with scholarly catalogues in the field of 19th-century art. The most important of these was Daubigny, Monet, van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape, a partnership with the National Gallery of Scotland and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, in 2016. Worldwide, almost 350,000 people saw the exhibition, which received many positive reviews for revising the understanding of early Impressionism. 

Selected other books include Rodin: The Cantor Gift to The Brooklyn Museum, (1987); Hiram Powers: Genius in Marble, co-author (2007); and Taft Museum of Art: Highlights from the Collection (2020). She has published articles and given invited talks on French artists Jean-François Millet, Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Auguste Rodin. A further interest in 19th-century American art patronage has produced articles on the collecting habits of Charles and Anna Taft, and Nicholas Longworth, all of Cincinnati.

Ambrosini’s awards include: Museum Professional of the Year, Ohio Museums Association, 2016; Distinguished Career Award, Association of Midwest Museums, 2016; Gold Award for Exhibition Catalogues, Ohio Museums Association, 2016. In 2020, the government of France awarded Ambrosini the rank of chevalier (knight) in the Order of Arts and Letters for her contributions to the knowledge of French art.


 Patricia Mainardi “Why is Caricature Funny”

Caricature can make us laugh, but the best images can also make us think, and by means of exaggeration and analogy they reveal the truth hidden beneath surface appearances. In “Why is Caricature Funny?” Patricia Mainardi examines this art form from various points of view in images that date from its codification in the Renaissance, culminating with the nineteenth-century, the golden age of caricature.  

Patricia Mainardi, a leading authority on nineteenth-century European art and European and American Modernism, and a pioneering professor of women’s studies, is Professor Emeritus in the Doctoral Program in Art History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

She earned her Ph.D. from the City University of New York, completing a dissertation, “Universal Expositions of the Second Empire: A Study in Art and Politics” under the supervision of Professors Linda Nochlin and John Rewald. This was published as Art and Politics of the Second Empire: The Universal Expositions of 1855 and 1867 (Yale University Press, 1987), and was awarded the College Art Association’s Charles Rufus Morey Award as the best book of its year. In addition to numerous exhibition catalogues, articles, essays, and reviews, on subjects as divergent as folk art and comic strips as well as the work of major artists, her subsequent books include The End of the Salon: Art and the State in the Early Third Republic (Cambridge University Press, 1993), Husbands, Wives and Loves, Marriage and Its Discontents in Nineteenth-Century France (Yale University Press, 2003), and Another World: Nineteenth-Century Illustrated Print Culture (Yale University Press, 2017). She has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art in Paris, and the Yale Center for British Art The French Government has appointed her Chevalier in the Ordre des palmes académiques, and the College Art Association honored her with its 2017 Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award. 

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