Seattle Pacific Art Center Gallery
3 West Cremona, Seattle, 98119
Monday, November 18, 2013
Image is proud to co-host a reading and reception with Dr. Katie Kresser at the Seattle Pacific University Art Center Gallery on November 18 at 7pm. This event is free and open to the public, and there will be free snacks and refreshments. Kresser will be reading from her new book, The Art and Thought of John La Farge: Picturing Authenticity in Gilded Age America, which offers a portrait of one of the most celebrated artists of the Gilded Age and opens a window onto nineteenth-century American culture. It’s an artful book; Kresser begins by admitting that “writing history can be like making a painting—or at least, the kind of painting I would like to talk about…. [The historian] must stab at something—some theme within a time, or a person, who is both—as Cezanne must have first marked his canvas.” Her book reveals how the work of John La Farge contributed to a rich philosophical dialogue concerning the trustworthiness of human perception. An associate professor of art history at Seattle Pacific University, Kresser earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University, and her research focuses on the theory and philosophy of art. She has contributed critical essays and reviews to Image, most recently in issue 77. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating and learning from her on November 18.
Kresser is an Associate Professor of Art at Seattle Pacific University, where she has headed the Art History program since 2006. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 2006, and she earned her BA from Indiana University in 1998. Her historical and critical writings have appeared in Image, Christian Scholar’s Review, the Other Journal, SEEN and American Art, the journal of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her current research centers on the American watercolorist Charles Burchfield.
In her book The Art and Thought of John La Farge: Picturing Authenticity in Gilded Age America, Kresser introduces readers to 19th-century American artist John La Farge, and examines La Farge’s artistic and philosophical contributions to the world of modern art. Kresser contrasts her subject’s art with work by famous contemporaries such as the painter James McNeill Whistler, and she shows how La Farge’s work was a subversive response to the mass media culture of his day. Central to Kresser’s argument is the philosophical concept of the “Real.” For John La Farge, all things pulsed with metaphysical meaning, and it was this dynamic of the underlying “real” that informed his work.