With the late 1960s success of Pop Art it was inevitable that other, sometimes contrary, movements should appear, particularly Minimalism, with its severe geometricism. However, many new movements proliferated such as Photo-Narrative, Body Art, Performance Art, Light works, the first wave of Feminist Art, and the major movement of Earth Works. In other words, by 1970 there were many more ways of making art than had been the case a decade earlier. Among the artists discussed will be Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Dan Flavin, Richard Serra, Joseph Kosuth, Michael Heizer, and Robert Smithson. Some of these names may not be familiar but we will examine how they contributed to the new diversity of this period.
This course is intended for art enthusiasts and those who are interested in the inner workings of Houston’s extensive fine art scene. Sarah Foltz is an art historian and fine art appraiser. She is the owner of William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art—a gallery in Houston that is dedicated to the promotion of Texas art. With Sarah as a guide, this is a unique opportunity to visit the treasures our city has to offer. For the first class, we will meet at The Women’s Institute for a brief introduction to the course. The remaining four classes will be spent visiting some remarkable galleries of which you may or may not be aware. (A limited enrollment class)
Wolfgang Amadè Mozart, as he usually spelled his name, was probably the most famous child prodigy in history. He was advertised in London as the “the most amazing genius, that has appeared in any Age.” He was a virtuoso pianist, a celebrated composer, and a very entertaining letter writer. He invented the modern piano concerto and wrote some of the most poignant, insightful, and comic operas in the repertory. In this course, we will listen to his instrumental music and watch scenes from his operas. We will also hear excerpts from his correspondence with his father, Leopold, who fought bitterly against Mozart as he settled in Vienna to establish an independent career and start a family. We will deftly explore the music of the world’s most famous composer, Wolfgang Mozart, within the context of his life and career.
Musical Theatre is a true American art form—no other theatrical presentation can boast the same pedigree. Through extravagant singing and dancing, they capture our hearts and minds anew each season. The magic of the musical happens in the music—we are able to understand and empathize with the protagonists in a way that is deep, complex, and effortless. We will delve into your favorite musicals and learn how the composers and the playwrights crafted the shows that you love, why opinions differ so widely in the appreciation of this art form, and listen to some great music. The musicals we will cover in this session include: Oklahoma, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, On the Town, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Chicago, and Sweeney Todd. You will be humming a tune after each class!
Participants in this class will have the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and witness the creation of a classic ballet, "Coppélia", from studio to stage. Tuesday, April 23, 10:00 – 12:00 at The Women’s Institute A background on Houston Ballet with an introduction to "Coppélia" and its history with the company given by Director of Education and Community Jennifer Sommers. Tuesday, April 30, 10:00 – 12:00 at Houston Ballet’s Center for Dance Visit Houston Ballet’s Costume Shop and receive an in-depth look at "Coppélia" costumes with Head of Costumes Laura Lynch. (601 Preston Street) Tuesday, May 7, 6:30 – 8:00 at Houston Ballet Center for Dance Conversation with Houston Ballet Artistic Staff on the history and importance of character dancing featured in "Coppélia" and "The Merry Widow" productions, moderated by Jennifer Sommers. Participants are invited to attend a special wine and cheese reception before the conversation. (601 Preston Street) Friday, May 17, 2:00 – 4:30 at the Wortham Theater Center View a full company dress rehearsal of "Coppélia" with an intermission discussion with Jennifer Sommers. (Meeting at 601 Preston Street and walking to the Wortham via skybridge.) (A limited enrollment class)
There is no greater honor in the film industry than being nominated for an Academy Award. The red carpet and designer gowns, hosts and their jokes, and award speeches are just as much a part of the evening as is receiving one of the glittering trophies. We will discuss this year's nominees and learn what it takes to win an Oscar. Let’s go to the movies!
These three sessions will be dedicated to the examination of nine paintings—from the Renaissance to the present —selected for their exceptional power and refinement in conveying the nature of the sublime to the viewer.
In the last two-and-a-half years of his short life, Van Gogh discovered color. The artist had come to Paris in 1886 to stay with his brother, Theo, one of the few art dealers to support artists such as Gauguin, Degas, and Seurat. Van Gogh conceived the idea of founding a “Studio of the South” at Arles, in the south of France. Van Gogh arrived in Arles in early 1888, where he was later that year joined by Gauguin. As is well known, the relationship was a disaster. After a period in the hospital, Van Gogh, at the behest of Theo, moved north to Auvers-sur-Oise where he committed suicide. In the ensuing decade Van Gogh’s work gradually became known in France and beyond. In France the circle of artists around Matisse, especially Derain, Vlaminck and Van Dongen, extended Van Gogh’s use of color. Perhaps the most significant influence was to be seen in the German groups such as Die Brüke (The Bridge) with such artists as Schmidt-Rottluf, Pechstein, Nolde, and Heckel. In Munich the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) group of artists such as Jawlensky, and Münter were influenced by Van Gogh’s color, as were later artists such as Soutine, Rouault, and early Beckmann. More recent artists such as Willem de Kooning and Frances Bacon continued to be influenced by Van Gogh. This course will trace these influences with many rarely seen works and hope to illuminate the current Van Gogh exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts.