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Lecture Series: Art And Music For A New Democracy


A three-part lecture series presented by Museum Director, Andrew Connors and inspired by the exhibition “Making American Artists:  Stories from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1776-1976.” 

LECTURE 1: As Good as Europe or Something Different?

With the rejection of European rule by the self-declared United States in 1776, the cultural project for the new country was to decide what we were to become, a nation with culture as good as that of Europe, or a country with new aesthetics reflective of a new attitude.  While most respected painters and composers in the late 18th and early 19th century were trained in Europe, some of them felt a calling to develop an original national culture for the United States.  This illustrated lecture will consider this original push and pull between an inferiority complex that we were not as skilled as Europe, and the thrill of making something new, all on our own.