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Upcoming Arts, Music, and Language Seminars

This list is of upcoming seminars only. Since most seminars meet more than once in a term, if a class has already met at least once, it will no longer show up on this list. To find a seminar that has already started or has finished, use the calendar and set the date range to include the seminar's starting date.

Starting: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Tuesdays, June 10 – August 12
Public Art and Public Life in Chicago
Led by Diane Dillon

Through a series of walking tours, we will explore Chicago’s public art riches, including murals, commemorative statues, architectural sculpture, commercial decorations, and park designs. We will pay special attention to the role of public art in shaping the civic, national, and ethnic identities of its audiences, and consider the role of public art in promoting tourism, commerce, and...


Starting: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Tuesdays, June 10 – July 29
The Complete Music Listener: Ongoing Access to Comprehension, Appreciation and Sophistication
Led by Stephen Kleiman

Even seasoned music listeners can find themselves wrestling with profound questions concerning not only a piece of music’s relevance, but their own ability to take full advantage of the performances. Through comparative listening and discussion, we will seek to understand all of the constituencies that make up the musical encounter: the performer, the music, the composer, the audience, and the...


Starting: Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Wednesdays, June 11 – July 30
From Caravaggio to Bernini: Italian Baroque Art, 1600-1700
Led by Jeffrey Nigro

The very term used to describe seventeenth-century art—baroque—has acquired pejorative meanings, associated with excess, bombast, and theatricality. We will attempt to understand the essence of seventeenth-century Italian art by approaching it on its own terms, and by appreciating the goals and values of its artists, patrons, and original audiences. Sessions will include visual analysis,...


Starting: Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Wednesdays, June 11 – July 30
Jazz: A Listener's Guide
Led by Karl E.H. Seigfried

Gain a deeper understanding of America’s original music–from a listener’s perspective. We will explore jazz from the ground up, starting with the instruments and idioms of jazz and then focusing on key eras of jazz history. We will study the development of early jazz in New Orleans, the Swing Era, bebop, jazz on Chicago’s South Side, and more. No previous familiarity with the idiom is...


Thursday, June 12, 2014
Thursdays, June 12 – July 31
Creating a National Style: American Classical Composers Between the Wars
Led by Guy Marco

Although the American musical scene of the 1920s and 1930s was dominated by jazz, big bands, and Broadway musicals, classical composers were writing symphonies and operas. Most of them emulated the European romantic masters, but several explored new idioms that drew on the American experience. Some brought jazz into their works, others incorporated traditional songs. Operas and program pieces...


Saturday, June 14, 2014
Scaleboard Binding: An Early American Survior
Led by Barbara Korbel

The scaleboard binding is an early American style that was popular from the mid-eighteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Used for widely disseminated texts, such as sermons, songbooks, primers, and religious tracts, it is an abbreviated, functional style of binding, bound into thin wooden boards. In conjunction with the temporary Guild of Book Workers exhibition at the Newberry,...


Starting: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Saturdays, June 14 - July 19 (class will not meet July 5)
The Book of Kells: Its History and Art
Led by Francis Crowley

More than 1000 years ago, Vikings raided a church in the Irish town of Kells and discovered a book of Gospels with covers decorated in precious jewels and gold. The invaders took the covers and tore out the pages. Recovered months later, these pages have become acknowledged as Ireland’s greatest national treasure. We will study the book’s history, methods of production, and magnificent...


Starting: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Wednesdays, June 18 – July 23
Chicago Political Art
Led by Daniel Tucker

We will investigate how Chicago emerged as a site for artists to advocate for social and political transformation. Through readings and discussion, participants will be introduced to a wide range of art practices focused on social engagement from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will study artists Ellen Gates Starr, Upton Sinclair, members of the Dill Pickle Club, Gwendolyn Brooks...


Starting: Thursday, June 19, 2014
Thursdays, June 19 – August 7
The Revolution in Russian Music from Catherine the Great to Dmitri Shostakovich, 1762 through 1975
Led by Stephen Kleiman

Classical music in Russia began a breath-taking assent with the reign and patronage of Catherine the Great. We will explore the incredible musical rise of that period—from Glinka, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Shostakovich—and reveal its unfortunate fall after the Bolshevik Revolution, and under Stalin’s regime. We will listen to and discuss the music of the time, as well as...


Starting: Saturday, June 28, 2014
Saturdays, June 28 – July 19 (class will not meet July 5)
Making a Drop Spine Box
Led by Barbara Korbel

Some books are so fragile they cannot be mended. Others are so valuable they need special protection. Whether it’s an overfilled scrapbook with pages tumbling out or a rare volume with a beautiful binding, both benefit from the protection a drop spine box offers. This elegant, easy to make enclosure is used in special collection libraries across the world and will help protect against damaging...