Édouard Baldus, The Floods of 1856, Avignon, salted paper print from paper negative, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


What's It All About?

Landscape and the Invention of Photography

Landscape painting took on the invention of photography in the 1830s as a challenge. The new medium held a promise of visual ‘truth,’ something that the implicit arbitrariness of painting never took for granted. But how truthful was landscape photography, and what could painters do to differentiate their man-made landscapes?

Lectures take place on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Food and drink are not allowed inside the museum’s galleries, so we suggest having lunch before the lecture.
Tickets are $25, or $20 for museum members. Advance tickets are recommended.

For questions or to purchase tickets by phone, please call 949.494.8971 x203.


Lunchtime Lecture Series

Forever Landscape

Landscape is at once the most popular and the most misunderstood genre in painting. On the surface, it seems deceptively simple: after all, what is there to the “portrait” of nature? Yet, once we take a closer look at the history of landscape in Western painting from the early 1800s to the present day, the complexity and diversity of the genre manifests itself very clearly—landscape painting has been anything but a straightforward reflection of nature on the canvas. Forever Landscape will explore the fascinating and complex development of the genre, its centuries-long evolution from decorative, symbolic, quasi-religious and socially-charged, to the technique-oriented, lyrical, expressive and abstract. Far from being a quaint relic of the past, landscape painting is as prominent today as it has ever been—its currency and necessity underscored by looming environmental threats and nature-averse technological progress.


About the Instructor
photo of Julia Friedman
photo by Eric Minh Swenson

Julia Friedman

Julia Friedman is an art historian, critic, and curator based in Orange County. She began her art historical studies at the Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, where she grew up. In 2005 she received a Ph.D. in Art History from Brown University, and has since researched and taught in the U.S., U.K., and Japan. Her trans-disciplinary work on European Modernism, Russian emigration, and book art resulted in the illustrated monograph Beyond Symbolism and Surrealism: Alexei Remizov’s Synthetic Art, published by Northwestern University Press in 2011. In 2016 she completed a project based on the digital writings of Dave Hickey, editing Dust Bunnies and Wasted Words—two pendant volumes of the critic’s Facebook exchanges. She has been a regular contributor to Artforum, the Huffington Post, and the New Criterion. Her current research explores the tragicomic genesis of Wayne Thiebaud’s clown paintings. www.juliafriedman.net

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