From architectural marvels appearing in three dimensions on paper to lifelike faces emerging from anamorphic cylinders, the early modern period (1500–1800) witnessed revolutions in perception due to a dynamic interchange between art and science. In honor of the exhibition Captured Vision: Optics in Early Modern European Art, the Benton Museum presents a colloquium that examines this moment in time when science became a distinct field of study.
The development of mathematical perspective (the systems created to represent three dimensions in two) coupled with technologies of vision—from the camera obscura to the telescope—refined and complicated our understanding of the ways we see. Such innovations in science made a direct impact on the visual arts and vice versa. Through presentations, performances, and films, this colloquium will seek to expand our knowledge of the relationship between scientific technology, perspective, and the visual arts both during the early modern period and today.
This colloquium and exhibition were developed from the Pomona College course Physics 16 seminar: The Art and Science of Optics.
Major support for the exhibition was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
Captured Vision Art|Science Colloquium is co-sponsored by Pomona College departments of Art History, History, Music, Physics & Astronomy.
Thursday, February 23
Keynote by Paula Findlen, Professor of History at Stanford University (Livestream available at https://pomonacollege.zoom.us/j/82416643891 for those unable to attend in-person)
Opening Remarks by Claire Nettleton, Academic Curator at the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College
Introduction by Victoria Sancho Lobis, Sarah Rempel and Herbert S. Rempel ’23 Director at the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College
Lecture|Performance featuring members of ARTIFEX CONSORT: Malachai Komanoff Bandy (Pomona College), viola da gamba, Eva Lymenstull, viola da gamba
Art Showcase featuring works by students in Physics 16 seminar: The Art and Science of Optics
Friday, February 24
Talks by Peter Bloom, Chair of Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara, James Clifton, Director, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation and Curator, Renaissance and Baroque Painting, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Introduction by Krysten Cunningham, visual artist and Dwight Whitaker, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Pomona College
Guided gallery tour of Captured Vision: Optics in Early Modern European Art with artists Sheila Pinkel and student guides
Register for Captured Vision Art|Science Colloquium. For more information, please contact Claire Nettleton, academic curator at the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College.