Tuesday, April 29, 2008

TAM: art history lectures on Orientalism for Fall 2008

In the Fall of 2008, Tacoma Art Museum will be showing Oasis: Western Dreams of the Ottoman Empire from the Dahesh Museum of Art from September 20, 2008 – January 9, 2009.


The Frye Art Museum (one of my favorite local museums) in Seattle will also be showing two exhibitions from the Dahesh: Empire and Napoleon on the Nile: Soldiers, Artists, and The Rediscovery of Egypt (both on view September 20, 2008–January 4, 2009).


This summer, the Frye Art Museum is offering three art history courses in conjunction with upcoming exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum.

Developed for adults and educators, this series of courses—taught by art historians Rebecca Albiani and Kolya Rice—provides a comprehensive understanding of ancient Egypt, the cultural legacy of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign (1798–1801), the rise of orientalist art, and the spread of Egyptomania. Participants venture in-depth into a historical study of how art has been used as an instrument and put into the service of “nation-building.”


Please seriously consider taking one or more of these art history courses as preparation for Tacoma Art Museum’s Oasis exhibition. The course that is most relevant to us, is the one titled “Orientalism” from July 29 to August 1.

We will, of course, also have docent training for the exhibition here at the museum, but these courses are a great opportunity. Also, I will be giving you some recommended readings over the summer.  

I would love to know about it if you do plan on taking one of these courses, and I would be most willing to help you set up a car pool for driving to the Frye.


For more info and to register:



The Art of Ancient Egypt

This course provides an introduction to the art and architecture of the eternally fascinating culture of Ancient Egypt. In a series of lectures, art historian Rebecca Albiani examines pyramids, temples, sculpture, and painting from 3,000 years of Egyptian history—meeting Tut, Nefertiti, and even Cleopatra—to understand the social, political, and religious ramifications of Egyptian art.

Taught by Rebecca Albiani

July 22–25, 10:15 am–12:45 pm



Orientalism explores Europe’s rediscovery of ancient Egypt after Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign and Western captivation with exotic, near Eastern themes throughout nineteenth-century art. Artists as different as Ingres, Delacroix, and Renoir painted harem themes. What does the allure of the East say about the art of the West? This course introduces the concept of Orientalism, examines the work of important Orientalist artists, and considers the ideological aspects of both visual images and architecture in the cultures under study.

Taught by Rebecca Albiani

July 29–August 1, 10:15 am–12:45 pm


Art and Empire: Representing National Identity in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Art

Taking as its point of departure the upcoming Frye exhibitions Napoleon on the Nile and Empire, this course introduces the ways art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has participated in, and responded to, “nation-building.” Art historian Kolya Rice presents a general survey of many key artists and styles of the past two centuries. Organized chronologically the course traces a trajectory from Jacques-Louis David, whose paintings fueled the fires of the French Revolution and later buttressed Napoleon’s efforts to forge an empire, to contemporary artists such as Fred Wilson, who are engaged in postcolonial critiques of entrenched, stagnant institutions.

Taught by Kolya Rice

August 12–15, 10:15–12:45 pm



Rebecca Albiani, a Seattle-based art historian, is a Ph.D candidate in Renaissance art history, and received an M.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from University of California Berkeley, where she majored in art history and spent her junior year in Venice. As a student, she was a graduate lecturing fellow at Washington’s National Gallery and a Fulbright Scholar in Venice. Since 1997 she has taught the annual Frye art history lecture series.



Kolya Rice, currently a Ph.D candidate in modern and contemporary art history and criticism at the University of Washington (UW), was raised in the Seattle area and received his M.A. from Rice University. He has taught courses on western art, theory, and criticism at the UW and Seattle University over the past decade, and is an adjunct professor in the UW’s Art History and Master of Arts in Museology program.


Art History Course Fees:
$75 for Frye members
$85 for nonmembers
Fee for all three Art History courses:
$200 for Frye members
$230 for nonmembers



Thanks for all your time!


Heide Fernandez-Llamazares

Museum Educator and Docent Coordinator




1701 Pacific Avenue

Tacoma, Washington 98402

T: 253.272.4258 x3018

F: 253.627.1898


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