Italian Renaissance art scholar, John T. Spike, to speak at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery November 30


Image: Image of John SpikeNoted art historian, author and lecturer Dr. John T. Spike, will deliver the Director's Choice Lecture, "Realism: A Recurring Renaissance," on Monday, Nov. 30 from 12:30-1:30 at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Admission is free. The lecture is part of the University's 2009-2010 Arts & Minds series of events.

Spike claims that "Art is neither new or old, but always contemporary. Florence was made great by contemporary artists named Giotto, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo. In every place and time, creative artists find new ways to tell the age-old stories."

A specialist in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, Spike is an important critic of contemporary art. Between 1999 and 2005, he directed the Biennial of Contemporary Art in Florence, the city in which he now resides. In 2005 he also served on the juries of the Turku Biennial in Finland and the Triennial of India in New Delhi.

A prolific author, Spike has written books and catalogues on many contemporary artists, including a biography, "Fairfield Porter: An American Classic" (1992). He has also written extensively on painters of the Italian Renaissance. Among his works on this era are "Masaccio" (1996) and "Fra Angelico" (1997), both available in English, French and Italian. His "Fra Angelico" is also published in German. In 2001, Dr. Spike published "Caravaggio," a monograph with complete catalogue raisonné of the paintings. Spike's next book, "The Young Michelangelo: The Path to the Sistine" will be published by Vendome Press in 2010.

Spike's contributions to Italian culture have been recognized on numerous occasions, including Premio Anthurium, 1998; the Annual Medal of the Academia delle Belle Arti di Messina, 2001; the Premio Anassilaos, 2002; and Man of the Year, awarded by the Tuscan-American Foundation in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, 2006.

In 2007, Spike was named to the faculty of the Masters in Sacred Art History, organized by the European University of Rome and the Pontifical Athenaeum, "Regina Apostolorum."

During his career Spike has organized exhibitions and given lectures at many of the world's most important museums: The Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna; the Uffizi Gallery and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence; the Pierpont Morgan Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, to name a few.

Spike's lecture coincides with the final week of Robert January's exhibition, "Art and Human Consciousness," on display in the Walsh Gallery until Dec. 6.

Admission to the gallery is free. The hours are: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday: Noon to 4 p.m. Closed Monday. The gallery is always open when performances occur at the Quick Center.

Directions: Fairfield University is located off I-95, exit 22 at 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 16, 2009

Vol. 42, No. 124