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Art History Alive (NYC)

News Story

Pace Professor and art historian Janetta Rebold Benton, PhD, takes you on a journey from the Duomo to Dubai as she returns to the Schimmel with her fascinating art history lecture series featuring architectural masterpieces.

What if you could spend your Wednesdays in February exploring the ancient Colosseum and Pantheon in Rome, the medieval churches of Vezelay and Notre-Dame de Paris, England’s prehistoric Stonehenge, and the magnificent Burj Khalifa in Dubai? The Architectural Masterpieces Series, featuring Pace Distinguished Professor and renowned art historian Janetta Rebold Benton, PhD, returns to the Schimmel with four richly-illustrated lectures on Italy, France, England, and contemporary global innovations.

Each of the first three lectures focuses on the architecture of a single major European country, examining its architectural accomplishments from antiquity onward, in a basically chronological sequence. The fourth lecture responds to the global nature of recent architecture that crosses all geographic boundaries.

Lectures will be held as follows:

Architectural Masterpieces: Italy
Wednesday, February 4 | 12:15 p.m.
Italy: Ancient Colosseum and Pantheon in Rome; Byzantine San Vitale in Ravenna; Romanesque “Leaning Tower” of Pisa; the Duomo of Florence; Baroque Saint Peter’s in Rome: Italian engineering ingenuity.

Architectural Masterpieces: France
Wednesday, February 11 | 12:15 p.m.
France: Medieval churches of Vézelay and Notre-Dame de Paris; island monastery of Mont Saint-Michel; Renaissance chateaux of Chambord and Chenonceau; Baroque palace of Versailles and Louis XIV: refined French elegance.

Architectural Masterpieces: England
Wednesday, February 18 | 12:15 p.m.
England: Prehistoric Stonehenge; Romanesque Barfreston; Gothic Wells Cathedral and chapel of Henry VII; Henry VIII and Hampton Court; Sir Christopher Wren and Baroque Saint Paul’s; Neo-Classical Chiswick House; “The Gherkin”: English restraint and eccentricity.

Architectural Masterpieces: Extreme Architecture
Wednesday, February 25 | 12:15 p.m.
Extreme Architecture: Contemporary Global Accomplishments and Innovations. Frank Gehry’s Gugghenheim Museum, Bilboa; Xing Tonghe’s Shanghai Museum; I.M. Pei’s Louvre pyramid; Paul Andreu’s “Egg” in Beijing; Rem Koolhaas’ Casa da Música (House of Music) in Porto, Portugal; Burj Khalifa in Dubai (world’s tallest building): world-wide quest for architectural novelty.

Following each presentation, there will be a lunch with the lecturer for an additional cost. To learn more about what Professor Benton hopes people learn from this series, read this interview.

And as Pace students, you have access to all the fun for a great price. $10 student balcony tickets are available for advance purchase in person at the box office. Student rush orchestra tickets are available for purchase at the box office on the day of the performance (subject to availability). Visit for more info.