WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Kirk Varnedoe, one of most distinguished
art curators in the United States, will give an illustrated
lecture, "Van Gogh's Postman: The Portraits of Joseph Roulin,"
at 5 pm at Wellesley College on April 4. Held in Jewett
Auditorium, the event is free and open to the public and
will be followed by a reception. The event is the Dr. Ruth
Morris Bakwin Class of 1919 Lecture, the Art Department's
annual lecture celebrating outstanding scholarship and practice
in the field of art.
As the chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum
of Modern Art for 14 years, Varnedoe organized major retrospectives
of Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, and Cy Twombly and ambitious
thematic exhibitions such as "Vienna 1900" and "High and
Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture." Varnedoe has a distinguished
teaching record, including appointments at Williams College,
Stanford and Columbia Universities, and the Institute of
Fine Arts at New York University, on whose faculty he continues
to serve. In January 2002, he began an appointment to the
faculty of School of Historical Studies at the Institute
of Advanced Study, Princeton.
Varnedoe's early art scholarship stems back to the early
1970s when he spent three years in Paris researching Rodin's
drawings and their numerous forgeries. His resulting dissertation
has been called "the first sound chronology" of the artist's
drawings and included criteria for distinguishing between
the authentic and inauthentic works. Varnedoe also has contributed
groundbreaking scholarship to the fields of Impressionism,
Scandinavian art, contemporary art, and the history of photography.
A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since
1993, Varnedoe was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius
grant" in 1984. The author of more than 18 books, he has
received numerous honors, including a knighthood and two