For the first three weeks in March 2020, three Durango speakers will present the seventh annual Durango Arts Center’s Winter Lecture Series, titled “Art Opens Windows.” In five lectures, they will explore the topics “Windows on War,” “Picturing Peace,” “Music of War,” “Memory, Myths and Misses,” and “Music of Peace” as represented in art, poetry, and music. The lecture series is free to the public. All lectures will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the DAC Gallery.
“The topics we’ve chosen have a raw relevance to our contemporary situation,” Schmudde said. “Our purpose is to explore how the arts can provide perspective on painful subjects, as well as how they can create empathy and a framework for understanding. Art goads us, educates us, and comforts us. It lets us see the familiar in new ways, and opens our eyes to unsuspected beauty.”
- “Windows on War,” Tuesday, March 3. Reynolds and Schmudde will clarify how art can create a perspective for viewing painful scenes and contemplating disturbing information. Reynolds will compare images of war, focusing on the paintings of 18th Century Spanish painter Francisco Goya. Schmudde will read and discuss the 20th-century American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s interpretation of those paintings as well as poet Bruce Weigel’s intense appropriation of a well-known photograph from the Viet Nam war.
- “Picturing Peace,” Tuesday, March 10. Reynolds will identify the elusive elements that create peaceful images, focusing on the Impressionist paintings of 19th-20th century French painter Claude Monet. Schmudde will read and discuss reactions by several 20th-century poets to Monet’s paintings.
- “Music of War,” Thursday, March 12. Morgenstern will discuss and play excerpts from 20th-century composers Benjamin Britten and Sergei Prokofiev that commemorate the cold realities of war, memorialize suffering, and eulogize fallen heroes. Morgenstern will also feature texts of Wilfred Owen’s poetry woven into Britten’s music.
- “Memory, Myths and Misses.” Tuesday, March 17. Reynolds and Schmudde will distinguish between individual and communal memory, reading and discussing poems by Robert Frost and Simon Ortiz to illustrate the American myth of Manifest Destiny. Reynolds will illustrate and discuss recent controversies arising over Civil War monuments to show how our communal memories have repressed the racist conflicts still very much with us in the aftermath of the Civil War.
- “Music of Peace,” Thursday, March 19. The final lecture will be given by Morgenstern with musical excerpts from Beethoven, Vaughn Williams, Berg, and Mozart. Morgenstern will discuss how the theme of Eternal Peace may triumph over the ravages of war.