Exhibition Lectures

Join us for a lecture detailing the fascinating tales behind the works in our new exhibitions.

1:30pm - 2:30pm

FREE, pre-registration is encouraged

Thank you to Kathy & Tom Cardwell and Audrey and Pat Knipe for being our 2021-2022 lecture series presenting sponsor

December 19: Clyde Butcher: Cathedrals of Florida, presented by Associate Curator of Education & Outreach, David Matteson


February 27: “Something Big and Dramatic”: Bob Jones Jr. as a Collector of Old Master Paintings, lecture presented by Richard P. Townsend

Whether preaching a sermon, playing Shakespeare’s King Lear or administering a large Christian university, Bob Jones Jr. was in his element. Many may not know of another facet of this compelling personality: Jones was one of the most important American collectors of European paintings in the mid-20th century. Urbane and charming, this son of an evangelist and a preacher himself, Jones was a formidable collector and created what is widely recognized among scholars as one of the finest collections of Renaissance and Baroque paintings in America. Jones conceived it as an educational effort, opening on the campus of the university named for his father in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1951.

Richard P. Townsend will speak on Jones as a collector, extensively using letters, invoices, and period photographs uncovered while researching his essay in the forthcoming book, Drama and Beauty: Great European Paintings from the Bob Jones Collection, which he also edited. It is the most in-depth examination to date of Jones as a collector, and is filled with stories of art world gossip, complex negotiations and outsized personalities, providing a fascinating glimpse into the formation of one of the most preeminent surveys of religious European art in this country.

Richard P. Townsend is an independent scholar, veteran museum director, and President of Townsend Art Advisory LLC. While curator at the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, he organized the exhibition drawn from the Bob Jones Collection, Botticelli to Tiepolo: Three Centuries of Italian Painting from Bob Jones University, for a national tour in 1994–96. More recently, as director of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City, he was responsible for the acclaimed exhibition Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces from Florence Cathedral in 2015. Townsend has published widely on artists ranging from Caravaggio and Tanzio da Varallo to J. M. W. Turner and Yinka Shonibare, writing for catalogues and leading scholarly arts publications such as Master Drawings, The Burlington Magazine, and Apollo. In 2018 he contributed to the first monograph to be published on 17th-century Flemish landscape painter Alexander Keirincx, the subject of his graduate studies at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.


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