Art Education & Art History Faculty collaborate with OLLI at UNT

The CVAD Department of Art Education and Art History is collaborating in the spring 2020 semester with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNT, a lifelong learning program with courses, events, and trips designed by and for adults 50 and better.

The collaboration offers OLLI members a one-of-a-kind Lunch and Learn Lecture Series. Members can bring their lunch and eat while learning from these exceptional professors. This lecture series is free for all OLLI at UNT members.

The Wainwright Building: Lager Beer and the First Skyscraper

Feb. 10, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
UNT Denton - OLLI at UNT Classroom, 1716 Scripture Street, Denton, TX 76201

Louis Sullivan’s Wainwright Building in St. Louis has long occupied a central place in the history of modern architecture as the first “skyscraper.” In this lecture, architectural historian Paula Lupkin will reexamine the canonical masterwork as a monument to one of the city’s best known products: German-style lager beer. Echoing brewery architecture and ornamented with motifs of lager’s most expensive ingredient, hops, the Wainwright Building represented the modernization of architecture and building culture at the end of the 19th century.


Paula Lupkin, Ph.D., associate professor, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of architecture, interiors, and furniture, as well as the social role of design and the designer, issues of race, gender, class and space in American cities, and cross-cultural exchange in the histories of art and architecture.

Missing: Goya’s Duke of Wellington and da Vinci’s The Mona Lisa

Feb. 20, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Robson Ranch Clubhouse Ballroom, 9400 Ed Robson Boulevard, Denton, TX 76207

In 1961, Francisco Goya’s famed portrait of The Duke of Wellington was stolen from Britain’s National Gallery. It was a scandal that rocked and enthralled the country. This lecture will uncover the mysterious motives of the art thief, how British law was changed due to the heist of The Duke, and why James Bond is connected to The Duke of Wellington. Members will also dive into the theft of The Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911 and discover what connects these two infamous thefts of art.


Laura Evans, Ph.D., associate professor, is the Coordinator of the Art Museum Education Certificate at UNT. Dr. Evans' research interests are in the intersections between art museum education, interpretation, gender and narrative. Evans has also interned or worked at galleries across the world.

Mediation of Form and Color: Abstraction in Islamic Art

Feb. 25, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Robson Ranch Clubhouse Ballroom

Abstraction in Islamic art is equally an art of transcendence, the invisible, the contemplative and of representation. Both broad terms that cover vast and diverse territories and styles, Islamic abstraction find manifestations in geometric and organic forms, in the ornamental arabesque, calligraphy and figurative images in illuminated manuscripts. This lecture will explore a number of such examples from different periods of the Islamic history in terms of meaning and significance, both culturally and visually.


Professor Nada Shabout, Ph.D., is the Coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at UNT. Her research and teaching addresses modern and contemporary visual practices and problems of representation from a global perspective, with emphasis on questions of methodology and in relation to the cultural politics of the Middle East.

Rhythmic Form: Shiva as Lord of the Dance in Indian Sculpture

March 4, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
UNT Denton - OLLI at UNT Classroom

This lecture will explore the symbolism of Shiva Nataraja imagery--sculptures of the Hindu god Shiva as Lord of the Dance. Why does Shiva dance and why have artists chosen to present the god in this manner? What are the meanings of his hand gestures (mudras), bodily posture, and ornamentation? What might the medium, scale, and patronage of Shiva Nataraja images tell us about their devotional use? In this lecture, members will pay particular attention to a Shiva Nataraja here in North Texas--an 11th-century sculpture housed in the Dallas Museum of Art.


Lisa Owen, Ph.D., associate professor, is the Art History Program Coordinator at UNT. Dr. Owen teaches courses on the arts of India. She offers both general surveys and more specialized seminars that focus on the roles of art in devotional practices, constructions of identity, articulations of sacred space, and representations of the body.

The Five Greatest Works of Art Ever Made (And They Are Not What You Think!)

March 24, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Robson Ranch Clubhouse Ballroom

Have you ever seen The Mona Lisa in person? Did this great work of art live up to your expectations? What makes works of art like Leonardo’s iconic portrait so famous that we are willing to travel thousands of miles and enduring long waits to see them? This lecture will cover five works of art that together tell the history of art in fascinating and unexpected ways. Come see beautiful art in its complicated and intriguing context and learn the history of art in a new way.


Professor Kelly Donahue-Wallace, Ph.D., is the founding coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies Program at UNT. She teaches Latin American art, European early modern art, and the history of prints. Her research addresses the history of prints in 18th-century Spain and Mexico and the function of prints in the colonial context


Note: Should you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability to fully participate in a CVAD event, please contact the CVAD Dean's Office, cvad@unt.edu, 940-565-2855. Please make the request as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.