One reason I like museum lectures so much is that the speakers are terrific. Contrary to the dry sitcom stereotype, the curators who speak are usually very dynamic. And unlike handsomely paid politicians who go on the lecture circuit, they typically aren't hawking a book. Most often they have spent years passionately studying a specific subject and have something genuinely interesting to share. I rarely leave a museum lecture feeling as if I didn't learn anything.
There are still plenty of great lectures scheduled on the National Gallery of Art's summer calendar. All are free to the public and registration is not required. Here are just a few that grabbed my attention:
The Painter and the Photographer: Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz
July 19 at 2 p.m.
The Crucible of Viennese Modernism: Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka
July 26 at 2 p.m.
Fomenting Revolution: Braque, Picasso, and Cubism
August 23 at 2 p.m.
Expatriate Rivals: James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent
August 30 at 2 p.m.
The view of the NGA above is via Sorento66.
Something else worth noting: Picasso and the Allure of Language, an upcoming exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art that explores the artist's deep relationship with writers and the impact of language on his work. (Interesting online site, too. Be sure to check out the talks.)