Presidential Professor lecture series on art and the mind begins Sept. 11-12

September 7, 2012

The University of Nebraska’s new Visiting Presidential Professor, renowned scholar, curator and author Jonathan Fineberg, begins his 2012-13 lecture series on art and the mind Sept. 11-12 in Lincoln and Omaha. The lectures – the first in a four-part series – will be delivered at the Sheldon Museum of Art, 12 and R streets in Lincoln, at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 11; and at KANEKO, 1111 Jones St., at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 12. The lectures are free and open to the public, and will each be followed by a reception. Tuesday’s lecture also will be live-streamed online at

Fineberg’s lecture series is titled “The Origin of the Image: What Modern Art Tells Us About the Mind.” His first lecture, “Motherwell’s Mother: An Iconography in Abstraction,” will focus on the work of Robert Motherwell and attempt to demonstrate a detailed iconography in his abstract art, showing that abstract form can carry significant and specific meaning.

The lecture is part of a weeklong visit to Nebraska by Fineberg, who is the Gutgsell Professor of Art History Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and adjunct curator of the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, N.Y. While in the state, Fineberg will also give a lecture in an advanced-level art history class at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and engage with the local art communities. Given his interest in psychoanalysis, Fineberg also is pursuing opportunities to meet with neuroscience researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center to begin testing hypotheses he has proposed about the relationship between art and the brain.

Fineberg’s second, third and fourth lectures – to take place Oct. 30-Nov. 1, March 12-13, and April 2-3 – all take place during weeklong visits to Nebraska that will include similar activities with the university and Lincoln and Omaha communities. Following his Visiting Presidential Professorship, Fineberg will write his formal lectures as a book, which will be published as the University of Nebraska Presidential Lectures.

Fineberg’s work, “Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being, 3rd Edition,” is used extensively as a textbook for modern art history classes in universities around the country. He is a graduate of Harvard University and is a trustee emeritus of The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., where he was founding director of the Center for the Study of Modern Art.

More information about Fineberg, including his curriculum vitae, can be found on his website, NU President James B. Milliken announced Fineberg’s appointment as Visiting Presidential Professor in July.

Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska