University of Arizona Museum of Art

Expanding on its fall theme, the University of Arizona Museum of Art’s Spring 2023 Lecture Series draws inspiration from Restored: The Return of Woman-Ochre. The special exhibition, on view through May 20, details the incredible journey of UAMA’s Willem de Kooning painting – famously stolen from the Museum in 1985, recovered in New Mexico in 2017, and recently restored by The Getty. 

The series kicked off with Confessions of An Art Brat, a popular tell-all from Helen McNeil-Ashton about growing up in the midcentury art scene as daughter of famed Abstract Expressionist George McNeil. The four remaining talks explore topics ranging from relationships to authenticity, and from to ugliness to grief.

Love, Kinship, and Connection: Relationships at Black Mountain College
Thursday, Feb. 9, 5:30p | UAMA Courtyard/School of Art Atrium 

From 1933 to 1957 in the misty Blue Ridge Mountains, Black Mountain College was a hub of experiential education and fertile ground for artistic developments. This talk by lydia see, Gross Endowed Curator and Director of Galleries in the School of Art, will focus on the relationships – including the one between Willem and Elaine de Kooning – that stimulated BMC culture at the time and have contributed to its enigmatic legacy since.

Fake, Forgery, or Friendly Copy?
Thursday, March 2, 5p | On Zoom

What began as a simple observation by a UAMA curator in the late 1970s later unfolded a bizarre tale of ill-intent, faked provenance records, a shell corporation, and – sadly – more forgeries. In addition to outlining the circumstances of forgeries in the UAMA collection, Interim Director and Curator Olivia Miller will discuss the broader issues of originality and authenticity, and the gray areas in between.

Ugliness Returned: Woman-Ochre in the History of Art
Wednesday, March 22, 5p | In Person at UAMA

When Woman-Ochre was exhibited globally in the first three decades of its life, its attraction was often framed in ugly, frightening, uncomfortable, and vulgar terms. Yet the subsequent loss and damage of the “beloved painting” has amplified a sense of its beauty. In this special in-person talk at the UAMA, writer and scholar Gretchen E. Henderson – author of the acclaimed book, “Ugliness: A Cultural History” – explores further.

Book Signing + Talk with Dr. Mary-Frances O’Connor, Author of “The Grieving Brain”
Thursday, April 13, 5p | Kachina Lounge, UArizona Student Union Memorial Center

Inspired by Woman-Ochre’s incredible story of loss and repair, renowned grief expert Mary-Frances O’Connor will talk about her book, “The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss” – recently released in paperback. Dr. O’Connor will share her groundbreaking neuroscience discoveries on what happens to our brains when we grieve, connecting these wide-reaching effects to Woman-Ochre’s journey.                

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