Lecture series to spotlight American art museums

From Museum Reports

Art historian James W. Grebl, Ph.D., will lead a virtual tour of some of the most visually stunning, historically significant, and artistically rich art museums in America during the four-part lecture series, “Great Museums of the United States,” 7:30 p.m. Thursdays in April at The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St.

Series tickets are $40 for members, $60 for non-members or $12-$17 per individual lecture at (858) 454-5872 or

Did you know?

Art museums first appeared in America early in the 19th century and were modeled on the older institutions that had long been fixtures in Europe. Running the gamut from large public museums to intimate private collections, the institutions presented in this series exemplify a wide array of architectural styles from Neoclassical to Beaux-Arts to Postmodern while their collections include everything from Egyptian and Pre-Columbian antiquities to the latest contemporary art from Europe, America, Asia, and Africa.

April 5: American Art

The first program will explore museums specializing in American Art, ranging from the oldest art museum in the country, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, to one of the newest museums in the nation, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The remarkable collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art in Washington and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York will also be included.

April 12: The Biggies

A selection of the premier public art museums in the United States with encyclopedic collections will be the topic of the second installment. Included will be the most visited museum in America, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Also featured will be the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the de Young Art Museum of San Francisco.

April 19: Private Collections

The third lecture will present a variety of museums featuring the unique private collections founded by individuals, from Isabella Stewart Gardner’s palazzo in Boston to the ornate townhouse of Henry Clay Frick in New York. Prominent in this group are the amazing J. Paul Getty villa in Malibu and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Also featured will be the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth.

April 26: Modern Art

The final session will examine museums of modern art in America, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s stunning Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and equally amazing Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, designed by Frank Gehry. Also included will be the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.