Wellesley College alum Madeleine Albright and other experts discuss global refugee crisis on Sunday 10:15-3:30pm. Open to the public in person, and livestreamed here:
The Davis Museum at Wellesley College is praying that you’ll like its current, and most ambitious to date, exhibition, “The Medici’s Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th-Century Florence,” running through July 9. Carlo Dolci (1616–1687), known for his fine brushwork, extreme attention to detail, luminous colors, and seemingly enameled surfaces, enjoyed the patronage of the Medici family and lived in cultural times that understood an artist who was extremely devout, even for the cultural times, and a bit of a prude, to boot.
For Dolci, it was all about painting, living, and breathing in the service of God’s glory. Do a little painting, say a couple prayers. A little more painting, fit in some self-flagellation over in the corner of the studio as he contemplated Christ’s suffering. Mortification of the flesh was good for his soul. Painting a whole lot of flesh was not.
The point of this exhibit, however, is to get beyond the artist’s worshipping habits and observations that his paintings are so realistic (“Now that’s talent”, you can almost hear the crowds, from any century, really, marvel) and move deeper into an appreciation of his technique and an understanding of what his painting meant during the times he worked.
I went to the Opening Celebration, a who’s who of local art lovers there to nibble hors d’oeuvres, sip wine, and be the first to gaze upon the basement-level exhibit. The walls were painted in flat jewel tones to harmonize with enameled shine of the mustard yellows, eggplant purples, brick reds, and pewters Dolci favored. Religious-themed portraiture figured prominently — Madonna and child; David holding the slain Goliath’s head; some saints. No ample and nude female forms, but you already knew that. Despite myself, I was enthralled.
Because here’s the truth: when I’m in a huge museum, I speed right past all things that hint of Baroque, Renaissance, or generally biblical. Seen it, seen it, seen it all a hundred times, none of it ever sticks, goes my reasoning. So it’s all to the good that here at my “home” museum, I was convinced to slow down and see what the Davis, which has nothing but my best interests at heart as it tries to smooth out my cultural rough edges, deems worthy. Rather than tossing this exhibit into a category of “not what I like”, I took the opportunity to stroll and appreciate. It’s my hope that perhaps our talented art and/or history students at Wellesley High School and Dana Hall might have a field-trip opportunity to do the same.
Curator Eve Straussman-Pflanzer (with the help of a veritable team of curators) must have had to jump through hoops, cross rivers and oceans, call in favors, make promises, and form alliances (perhaps with the devil himself), to get the exhibit of over fifty works all together here in little old Wellesley. She got the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, both in Florence, to say yes. She got the Louvre Museum on board. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston agreed to get in on the action. There were rich private collectors to purr to and lots and lots of donors and grants organizations to convince, as well. But the deed is done.
Such a rare display means that the general public will need to buy tickets if they want to go. General Admission $20; Wellesley College alumnae $12. Gratis entry for all students, Wellesley College faculty and staff, Friends of Art members, and Durant Society members.
Tue – Sun, 11am – 5pm
Thursday, February 23rd at 7pm*
Friday, February 24th at 7pm
Saturday, February 25th at 2pm and 7pm
Sunday, February 26th at 2pm
Alumnae Hall | Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre
Upstage is an entirely student-run, student-participating theater company in residence at Wellesley College.
*Join us for an opening night reception after the show
FREE for Wellesley, Olin, Babson, and MIT students and Wellesley faculty/staff; $5 General Admission
Director: Brigitte Demelo ’18
Production Manager: Roz Rea ’19
Stage Manager: Paige Calvert ’20
On Sunday, February 26, 10:15am – 3:30pm, the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College will convene two panels of international leaders and experts for a free and public forum on the global refugee crisis and its many sociopolitical and geopolitical ramifications.
Beginning with a keynote from Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright ’59, the day-long dialogue will feature a variety of perspectives, including international reporters, nonprofit leaders, and academics. The Public Dialogue, “From Exodus to Action: Claiming our Common Humanity in the Refugee Crisis,” aims to tackle the demands of advancing beyond resettlement into rebuilding society.
Some of the many speakers who will attend include George Papandreou, president, Socialist International, and former Greek Prime Minister; Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; Manal Omar, Associate Vice President, Center for Middle East and Africa, United States Institute for Peace; and ten other renowned professionals.
Former Secretary Albright stated, “We are privileged to welcome 13 esteemed experts who each offer valuable insight on the refugee crisis facing our global community. Now is the time to engage in open discussion on how we as leaders and global citizens alike can join forces to best manage this international crisis. I am delighted that Wellesley College offers us an inclusive environment where we can have these important conversations.”
“History is watching our action (and inaction) as the displaced, the persecuted, and those fleeing war and strife seek safety, new lives, new homes,” said Wellesley College President Paula Johnson. “We must not forget that women and girls are especially at risk. These same women and girls — as well as the millions fighting for their rights — will be the agents of change we need to create a way forward for everyone. Wellesley College is proud to be part of that movement, and this year’s Albright Institute Public Dialogue is evidence of our commitment.”
As part of its mission, the Albright Institute provides Wellesley students a transformative experience that allows them to apply their liberal arts education toward solving problems in the international arena. The students, known as Albright Fellows, spend three weeks in January learning about global affairs in intensive classes and panel discussions as well as working together in interdisciplinary groups to address pressing current issues.
For those who cannot attend, these events will be live-streamed on Wellesley’s website, and the Twitter hashtag #AlbrightDialogue will be used for social media posts related to the event, including live tweeting.