The Research and Academic Program presents “Looking as Knowing”: Svetlana Alpers on Critical Thinking and Photography.
In this episode of In the Foreground, Caroline Fowler speaks with Svetlana Alpers, a specialist of Dutch Golden Age painting and professor emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. In this conversation, Alpers shares how literary criticism influenced her early encounters with art and reflects on her intellectual formation at Harvard in the 1960s and her role forming the art history department at Berkeley. She reflects on the altered state of the discipline today and levels a critique of the turn toward global art history. Alpers also discusses the relation between painting and photography in light of her new book on Walker Evans and draws out parallels between this new project and her earlier work.
Svetlana Alpers is professor emerita of history of art at the University of California, Berkeley, and a visiting scholar in art history at New York University. Her many books include Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market, Tiepolo and the Pictorial Intelligence, The Art of Describing, The Vexations of Art: Velazquez and Others, The Making of Rubens, and Roof Life. Her latest book, Walker Evans: Starting from Scratch, was published in October 2020. Alpers co-founded the interdisciplinary journal Representations in 1983 and has been a consultant to both National Public Radio and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This episode launches on Tuesday, October 28. For more information and to listen to the episode, check clarkart.edu/rap/podcast, iTunes, Spotify, and anywhere else you may listen to podcasts.