Hidden art history lecture coming to Suffolk

Published 10:34 pm Thursday, February 3, 2022

Suffolk has the chance to learn a part of art history that many folks may not know.

The Suffolk Art League is teaming up with Lake Price Woods for its second of the three speakers for the Melissa Darden Odom Speaker Series. The lecture will start at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24 at Lake Prince Woods Retirement Community’s Portsmouth Center, 100 Anna Goode Way.

The Suffolk Art League welcomes Dr. Peter Schertz, a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts lecturer.  He will present his lecture “Those Gaudy Ancients: Exploring the Color of Antiquity,” speaking about what the original Greek and Roman statues may have looked like when they were first created.

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“This will be lots of fun, especially for art history nerds like myself or for anyone interested in history in general,” said Jennifer Hand, the education coordinator with the Suffolk Art League.

Artists made these sculptures thousands of years ago, and many have been recovered with missing pieces like their arms. However, it is believed that these art pieces were not always the white hue that is on display in many museums. Schertz will present research demonstrating these statues not only had color but vibrant and flashy colors. The lecture will also explore the why and how these pieces became colorless.

“There is a lot of intensity in this discussion, like whether this was a result of white supremacy and colonialism,” said Hand. “I have my own thoughts, but I’m very curious what he has to say on this topic. It’s a very fascinating topic.”

The first lecturer in this series was Dr. Jeanette Nicewinter, who spoke on Nov. 12 at the Suffolk Art Gallery. She spoke about the art of the Inka and Aztec Empires and what was misunderstood about them due to the Spanish conquistadors.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Masks are required for this event. To learn more about this and many other programs, the Suffolk Art League offers, visit suffolkartleague.com.