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10 // 20 // 2021


Starts October 20, 2021 @ 6:00pm , Ends March 16, 2022 @ 7:00pm

Join OM°A’s Director & CEO Aaron de Groft, PhD, for an evening of mystery and intrigue as we explore the unique stories of art sleuthing filled with forensics, archival documents, questions surrounding the art and artist’s hand. Have you ever wondered how new discoveries of lost old master paintings come about? Here’s your chance to learn about it through the world of art detectives.

One free glass of wine will be served (for those 21+) before the lecture begins. We encourage you to visit the galleries beforehand. Gallery admission tickets can be purchased at the front desk the day of.

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

5:30pm, Refreshments Available

6:00 pm, Lecture Begins

Pre-Registration is required


October 20: Princely Patronage, New Archival Answers: The Rediscovery Of Titian’s “Unknown/Third,” Portrait of Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, of 1539-4

Come hear the story of how some 80 years ago, a clerical bookkeeping error in an old Italian archive took a once highly regarded painting by Titian of his first great patron, Duke Frederico II Gonzaga of Mantua, and tossed it into oblivion.

November 3: Peter Paul Rubens & Guido Reni: Mistaken Identities

Learn how an auction house’s misidentification of two artworks led to a valuable collecting opportunity! Dr. de Groft will share why these two master artists were misunderstood, and how this case of mistaken identity was solved.

December 1: Rembrandt’s Rat Catcher & Raphael’s Supplicant: No One Knows What They Looked Like at Nineteen

The life journey for great artists is often remarkably unique – you might even say that artists age differently than the rest of us. This is especially true for great prodigies, those who achieved success at a young age. This lecture will explore early works by Rembrandt, who entered university at 13, and Raphael, who was considered a “master” by seventeen. What predictive evidence of greatness might we find in these objects?

January 19: Cezanne’s Tintoretto: The Miracle of the Slave

Art history is akin to detective work – primary sources serve as evidence to support our understanding of the past, while scientific analyses may further verify these claims. In this talk, Dr. De Groft will share the steps that led to the discovery of an early masterpiece by Paul Cézanne, one influenced by the Renaissance artist Jacopo “Tintoretto” Robusti.

February 2: Heroes & Monsters: Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Venice Collection of Thaddeus Mumford Jr.

In advance of OM°A’s exhibition Heroes and Monsters (opening February, 2022), preview this once lost collection of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Dr. de Groft will share the remarkable story of these paintings’ creation and later discovery during the auction of a storage locker.

February 16: Bronzino’s Marsyas & Pignone’s Mary Magdalen

The depiction of a gory battle between man and God and a sumptuous beauty in repose may be misunderstood as fatuous vulgarity by Instagram’s standards, but these paintings would have been easily decoded allegories by viewers during the period in which they were created. Join Dr. De Groft as he explores the precarity of recontextualizing the past by today’s standards.

March 2: Jackson Pollock’s “Lost” Best Painting: Comstock Pollock, 1950

Life magazine’s 1949 profile of painter Jackson Pollock posed the question, “Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?” Today, we know the answer was a resounding, “YES!” Dr. De Groft will share what made Pollock so remarkable as he details the legend behind a once lost masterwork from the artist’s breakout year, on view at OM°A beginning March, 2022.

March 16: Michelangelo Sacred & Profane: Masterworks from the Casa Buonarroti

Any lover of art will recognize this great master’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel and Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica. This lecture will preview and share the story behind the exhibition of Michelangelo’s drawings, which will open at the OM˚A in late 2022.

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