Motivated by a nostalgia for a mythic paradise that existed primarily in the European imagination, Gauguin strove in the art that he produced in Tahiti, to suggest traces of a Polynesian culture that seemed to fade in the face of European modernization. Living in a colonial culture that both disappointed and alienated him, he immersed himself in the texts and material culture that offered him suggestions of an island paradise that he could well imagine, but that he did not easily encounter in the Tahiti of 1891.
Elizabeth C. Childs, Chair and Associate Professor Department of Art History and Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis will examine three of Gauguin's aesthetic strategies for constructing his images of island paradise: ethnographic and missionary reports, the forms of the art of the Marquesas available to him in trade art and museum collections in Tahiti in the 1890s and, most significantly, he looked, ironically, at a very modern medium—colonial photography—to glean traces of the idyllic dream that had inspired him to come to Polynesia in the first place.
SAM will release any unclaimed seats for this lecture five minutes before the start of the program. Unclaimed seats for the live program will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
SAM is also offering a live simulcast of Elizabeth C Child’s Lecture in the Nordstrom Lecture Hall. The simulcast is free and open to members only. Seating in the simulcast is also on a first-come, first-served basis.
This is a member-only event. Members may not purchase tickets for non-members.