Popular Speakers Visit Campus to Discuss Art History and Current Events

Written by Phuong Le ’16

The Annual Arthur M. Berger Lecture

The annual Arthur M. Berger Lecture celebrated its 32nd anniversary on Wednesday, October 22. The West Room was filled with many members of Manhattanville community in attendance. The speaker of the evening, William C. Agee, who is the Evelyn Kraner Kossak Professor of Art History from Hunter College, gave an inspiring talk titled “Beyond the Great Divide: Connecting Pre and Post-1945 American Art.”

Joyce Berger Cowin giving some opening remarks.

Joyce Berger Cowin’s opening remarks.

The evening began with remarks from Joyce Berger Cowin, daughter of the late Arthur M. Berger, who has attended almost every single lecture from the series over the span of three decades. Mr. Berger, after retiring from a successful career in business, decided to take classes in Art History at Manhattanville College and according to Cowin, just “fell in love with the place.”

“I have you to thank for giving me a very happy childhood, adulthood and being a proud daughter of a wonderful human being who loved your school.” Cowin shared. “Thank you, thank you Manhattanville College.”

William C. Agee during his Abstract Expressionism in American Art lecture.

William C. Agee during his Abstract Expressionism in American Art lecture.

Following the tradition of many distinguished lecturers at the event over the years, William C. Agee masterfully explored the era of Abstract Expressionism in American Art by examining the works of Arthur Dove, John Marin, Jackson Pollock and other artists. The subject of the lecture had the same focus as his upcoming book on American art from 1945 to 1950, a period Agee considered to be overlooked in Art History academia. His talk was followed by a spirited Q&A from the audience and a cozy reception where attendees continued to discuss the topic over coffee and dessert. Despite the rainy weather, the Arthur M. Berger Lecture was once again a successful and well-attended event.

Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman: In Conversation


Connie Hogarth sitting in the front row, along with other attendees.

Earlier in the week, another great speaker visited campus to discuss political topics in current news. Executive producer and host of Democracy Now, Amy Goodman, answered tough questions regarding Ferguson, Ebola, police brutality cases, and other important stories that have been covered by the media in recent months. Students, faculty, and many members of the Westchester community gathered in the West Room for the special presentation. In addition, Connie Hogarth was in the audience and was presented with flowers at the beginning of the event, in gratitude for her work and generosity to the College through The Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action which was established sixteen years ago. Goodman’s visit to campus is part of Manhattanville’s MFA speaker series.

Mark Nowak and Camille Rankine hosting Amy Goodman's discussion.

Mark Nowak moderating Amy Goodman’s discussion.

We would like to extend our thanks to the Art History and Studio Art Departments for their efforts in organizing the Berger event and to Mark Nowak and Camille Rankine from the MFA Department for hosting Amy Goodman’s thought-provoking discussion.

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