February 6, 2008 — The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection will host a distinguished lecture named for the museum’s benefactors, John W. and Maria T. Kluge, on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in Newcomb Hall Ballroom. An annual event held on the University Grounds, the John W. and Maria T. Kluge Distinguished Lecture in Arts and Humanities is intended to attract interest across academic disciplines. Terry E. Smith, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory, University of Pittsburgh, and visiting professor, University of Sydney, will deliver the inaugural lecture, titled, “What is Contemporary About Aboriginal Art?”
Smith is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and visiting professor of architecture, University of Sydney. In 2007-08, he is also the GlaxoSmithKlein Senior Fellow at the National Humanities Research Centre in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
From 1994 to 2001, Smith was Power Professor of Contemporary Art and director of the Power Institute, Foundation for Art and Visual Culture at the University of Sydney. He is the author of a number of books, notably "Making the Modern: Industry, Art and Design in America" (University of Chicago Press, 1993); "Transformations in Australian Art," volume 1, "The Nineteenth Century: Landscape, Colony and Nation," volume 2, "The Twentieth Century: Modernism and Aboriginality" (Craftsman House, Sydney, 2002); and "The Architecture of Aftermath" (University of Chicago Press, 2006).
The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection was given to the University of Virginia in December 1997. It remains the only public museum dedicated to Australian Aboriginal art in America. In addition to exhibits, the museum sponsors lectures, classes, demonstrations, concerts and research by visiting artists and scholars.
Following the lecture there will be an opening reception for a satellite exhibit of "Our Way: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Lockhart River" in the Newcomb Hall Art Gallery.
The event is free and open to the public. For information, call (434) 244-0234.