Past News at Kluge-Ruhe

Howard Morphy lecture at Morven • Wednesday March 18, 2009

Dr. Howard Morphy will present the John W. and Maria T. Kluge Distinguished Lecture in Arts and Humanities on Monday, April 6th at 6:00 pm at Morven Farm. The lecture is the second one in a series initiated in 2008 to honor the Kluges for their commitment to the arts and humanities at the University of Virginia.

In Mediating Forms: The Spiritual and Personal Dimension of Yolngu Portraiture Dr. Morphy argues that the presence of a person and attributes of a person’s ‘biography’ are two relatively autonomous components of portraiture. He develops a comparative argument, considering commonalities between different artistic practices including conventional Western portraiture based on likeness, abstract expressionism, North West Coast Native American art and Indigenous Australian art. This broader perspective reveals commonalities across cultures that deepen understanding of portraiture as a process for mediating indentity.

Dr. Morphy (BSc, MPhil London, PhD ANU) is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Research School of Humanities at the Australian National University. Prior to that he held the chair in Anthropology at University College, London and spent ten years as a curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. He co-edited two of the main source books in visual anthropology, The Anthropology of Art: a Reader (2006, with Morgan Perkins) and Rethinking Visual Anthropology (1997, with Marcus Banks). He has written extensively on Australian Aboriginal art including Aboriginal Art (Phaidon, 1998).

Dr. Morphy began advising John Kluge on Aboriginal art in 1995 and was instrumental in establishing the Kluge-Ruhe Collection at the University of Virginia. He co-edited Art From the Land: Dialogues with the Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art and has served as adjunct curator for the collection since 1998.

The lecture is free but advance reservations are required. The lecture is now full, but you may call to put your name on the waiting list. To do so, please call (434) 244-0234 or email the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. Shuttles will be provided to Morven from the Kluge-Ruhe Collection and the UVA Art Museum departing at 5:15 pm. For more information please contact the Kluge-Ruhe Collection.