Lectures & Discussions
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Previous Book Discussion
The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the criminal world.

The Goldfinch combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmeriz-ing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night-and-tell-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

FIA book discussions focus on works of fiction and non-fiction related to art, art museums, or FIA collections. The first meeting for each book sets the stage by exploring artists and artwork related to the selected book. Two weeks later, the book is discussed. These free programs are offered on Wednesdays at 1:30p.
The House Girl
Check back soon for more programming updates.
Book Discussion
Antoine's Alphabet Watteau & His World
by Jed Perl

Part I: Art Lecture
October 14 • 1:30p
Isabel Hall
Part II: Book Discussion
October 28 • 1:30p
Isabel Hall

Antoine Watteau, one of the most mysterious painters who ever lived, is the inspiration for this delightful investigation of the tangled relationship between art and life. Weaving together historical fact and personal reflections, the influential art critic Jed Perl reconstructs the amazing story of this pioneering bohemian artist who, although he died in 1721 when he was only 36, has influenced innumerable painters and writers in the centuries since. Perl creates an astonishing experience by gathering his reflections on this "master of silken surfaces and elusive emotions" in the form of an alphabet—a fairy tale for adults—giving us a new way to think about art. This is a hunt for the treasure of Watteau's life and vision that encompasses the glamour and intrigue of 18th-century Paris, the riotous history of Harlequin and Pierrot, and the work of such modern giants as Cézanne, Picasso, and Samuel Beckett. It is a book to savor, to share, and to return to again and again.

Our first meeting will set the stage by exploring the work of Antoine Watteau. Two weeks later, we'll meet to discuss the book. Books are available in the Museum Shop.

Antoine's Alphabet Watteau & His World

Thompson Lecture
Past Lecture
Beyond the Horizon: a History of Blue
Dr. James Fox
October 20 • 6:00p
FIA Theater
FIA members-only event

Guest Lecturer
Dr. James Fox

The Thompson Lecture was established in 1991 by Dr. and Mrs. Jack W. Thompson to enable the Flint Institute of Arts to present a distinguished speaker in the arts or humanities each year. The Thompson Lecture is one of the Institute's few members-only events and was established, in part, to attract new members to the FIA.
Newport Waterfront

Childe Hassam
American, 1859–1935
Newport Waterfront, 1901
Oil on canvas
26.25 x 24.125 inches
Gift of The Whiting Foundation through Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Johnson, 1972.31

Media Sponsor
Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture
"Sweet are Your Charms"
Portrait Sculpture from Ancient Mesopotamia

Dr. Trudy S. Kawami

November 4 • 6:00p
Guest Lecturer
Trudy S. Kawami, PhD
Director of Research at the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation

The middle of the third millennium BCE (about 2500 BCE) in southern Mesopotamia saw the rise of an elite class who oversaw the religious and governmental affairs of the numerous city states of the region. These educated, literate bureaucrats were in many ways like the merchants of Renaissance Italy and the burghers of 17th Century Netherlands—in that they liked images of themselves. In Mesopotamia these managers, who could be male or female, dedicated small stone statues of themselves in temples, ostensibly as testaments of their piety. Accompanying inscriptions give us a glimpse of the vibrant personalities who commissioned the sculptures.

Dr. Kawami will introduce us to Ebih-il, the temple superintendent from Mari who seemed very pleased with his life. We will see how Ishme-dagan, a ruler of Mari, preferred size over subtlety in his portrait sculpture. And we will observe how damaged sculptures could be reused to serve another generation of donors.

Lecture Sponsor
WKAR lecture sponsor

Dr. Alan Klein

The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture has been established to address the topics of art, religion and history prior to the 19th century, funded annually by the Sheppy Dog Fund, Dr. Alan Klein, Advisor.
Book Discussion
The Art Whisperer
by Charlotte & Aaron Elkins

Part I: Art Lecture
November 21 • 1:30p
Isabel Hall
Part II: Book Discussion
December 2 • 1:30p
Isabel Hall

So she's understandably apprehensive when her connoisseur's eye spots something off about a multimillion-dollar Jackson Pollock painting at the Palm Springs Brethwaite Museum, her current employer.

Alix is already under fire, the object of a vicious online smear campaign. Now the Brethwaite's despicable senior curator, obsessed with the "maximization of monetized eyeballs," angrily refuses to take action. But it's only after a hooded intruder attacks Alix in her hotel room that the real trouble begins. And when FBI Special Agent Ted Ellesworth—with whom Alix had inadvertently, but thoroughly, botched a budding relationship just a year prior—turns up to investigate the Pollock, Alix knows she's about to have her hands full.

In her third mystery, Alix London must see through mirages in the desert to uncover the knotted history of the painting—and save herself in the process.

The Art Whisperer

FIA book discussions are free to the public and focus on works of fiction and non-fiction related to art, art museums, or FIA collections. The first meeting for each book sets the stage by exploring artists and artwork related to the selected book. Two weeks later, the book is discussed.
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Flint Institute of Arts
1120 East Kearsley Street
Flint, Michigan 48503
p  810.234.1695
f   810.234.1692
Monday – Thursday
12:00p – 5:00p
12:00p – 7:30p
10:00a – 5:00p
1:00p – 5:00p
American Alliance of Museums MemberCharles Stewart Mott FoundationMichigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairsnational endowment for the arts