Art Presentations by Wendy Evans


Prepared presentations***

General Topics

Major Museums
(choose 1 or select a series)

Each illustrated talk explores the most important works in the greatest art museums in the world.   The images presented will bring back fond memories of artworks familiar to you and give ideas for what to look for in future visits to these museums.

(1)       Art Institute of Chicago
British Museum, London
(3)       Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

(4)      Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
(5)       Musee du Louvre, Paris
(6)       Prado, Madrid
(7)       Tate, London
(8)       Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
(9)       Uffizi, Florence
(10)       The Barnes
(11)      Vatican, Rome
(12)      Musée d'Orsay, Paris

American Art Collectors of Art
and their Treasures
(choose 1, 2 or the series)

Collectors usually have very personal reasons behind their choices of what to buy.  In this series we'll look in depth at the art and tell the stories behind the collections put together by three American collectors.
Duncan Phillips of Washington DC whose collection became America's first museum of modernist art.
Alfred C. Barnes who built the Barnes Collection into a unique educational institution, now                controversially moved from his house and rehoused in a beautiful museum in Philadelphia.

Richard Manoogian who, with his wife Jane, built an outstanding collection of American art they share with museums in Michigan and elsewhere.


The Art of Flowers

Artists over the centuries and across cultures have depicted flowers for a number of reasons, not least their inherent beauty. Georgia O'Keeffe painted flowers close up and large to get even busy people to notice them. Other artists used flowers symbolically. Flowers can speak of love, transience or death. This presentation looks at a wide variety of flowers in art.  


Feasting on Art

This year because of Covid-19 we can't celebrate the holidays with family and friends. So this presentation brings a Zoom art feast for your eyes, complete with ingredients, cooking pots, helpful servants, serving dishes, tables laden with food to sample, and paintings of others enjoying meals including the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner by Norman Rockwell. Bon appetit!  


Architecture in Detroit and Beyond
(choose 1 talk or 2 or the series)

These talks look at buildings from Detroit's rise in the late 19th century to today. The last talk in the series takes us beyond Detroit to deal with a Detroit architect who changed the face of cities and towns from Detroit to Novosibirsk.

Detroit Architecture: Old and New looks at a mix of architects, styles, and types of buildings including homes, skyscrapers, and public buildings.
Detroit Architecture: Sacred Spaces explores Detroit's many churches. From the mid 1800s to the Great Detpression Detroiters built one magnifient house of worship after another. 
Detroit's Architect: Albert Kahn - Temples, Factories and More looks at some of the more than 400 structures Albert Kahn built in the Detroit area then goes beyond Detroit to trace how this modest immigrant with only an elementary school education went from obscure beginnings to world renown. His innovations changed how factories were built and were crucial for the rise of the auto industry and in enabling the US to become the Arsenal of Democracy.


How to look at Art with the Eyes of An Artist

Arthur Schopenhauer said:  Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first.
Georgia O'Keeffe wrote:  Nobody sees a flower, really – it is so small – we haven't time, and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.
In this richly-illustrated presentation we’ll talk about how to get a work of art to speak to you and how to make friends with the art you see.


Art Controversies Old and New

Should Britain return the Parthenon marbles to Greece? 
Did Leonardo put a woman in his Last Supper? 
Is the Mona Lisa a man? 
Are the Rivera murals sacrilegious? 
Was Jackson Pollock a genius or a fraud?
Should museums display nudes? 
Is Marcel Duchamp's urinal art? 
Throughout history much art has been controversial. 
We'll look at a wide variety of art and discuss many issues.

Magical Multiples:  The Art of the Print
(single talk or 3-part series)

Prints have intrigued us since the first woodcuts.  Artists from the 1400s to today explored the varied aesthetic possible in printmaking.  We'll explore how prints are made while looking at a rich variety of fine artworks from inventive printmakers such as Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt, Goya, Kathe Kollwitz, Edvard Munch, and Mary Cassatt.

The Detroit Institute of Arts:
Detroit's Cultural Treasure House
(single talk or series of chosen museum collections)

Explore the more than 125-year history of one of the world's great public art museums with this entertaining slide lecture on the striking personalities, generous donors and notable acquisitions that have made the DIA the jewel in Detroit's cultural crown.

Additional talks in the series look in depth at the art in the collection:  Choose from particular collections within the museum: European painting, sculpture and decorative art, American art, Modern and Contemporary Art, African-American Art, Prints, Rivera Court or Art from the Ancient World.

Telling a Story:
The Artof Illustration
(pick a single talk or the series)

Artists created images to illustrate stories on ancient scrolls, in medieval manuscripts, and in printed books and magazines.

This series covers a wide range of the best illustrations as a way to demonstrate a picture is worth a thousand words and that illustrations can be very fine art.

Introduction to Illustration Artists like Albrecht Durer, Henri Matisse, and Marc Chagall produced their own illustrated books. We'll look these as part of a wide range of images illustrating stories.

Norman Rockwell: America's Storyteller No one has captured American life more vividly than Norman Rockwell. We'll explore several of his memorable covers for the Saturday Evening Post as well a a selection of other work from his long and productive career.

Illustrations in Books for Children Some of our most loved illustrations are in books for children. We'll look at examples from late 19th and early 20th century illustrators, like Randolph Caldecott and Beatrix Potter, to contemporary award winners like Maurice Sendak, Mo Willems, and Leo Lionni.

Treasure Houses of Britain
(single talk or 3-part series)

Especially geared to fans of Downton Abbey, we'll visit Highclere Castle to learn its stories and explore the art in the home used as the Earl of Grantham's mansion.  For the three part series we'll also visit other palaces, castles, manor houses and city homes to see their treasures and gardens.  These fine homes offered the top people fine living and status.  Now we can enjoy their architecture, gardens and art collections. 

Cities for Art Lovers:

This series of talks looks at the best art to be seen in public places and museums in cities around the world.  You will enjoy the images presented whether you are looking for ideas for a future visit, want to remember past joys, or just sample the best art the world has to offer.


Since I grew up in the Tate, the Victoria and Albert and the National Gallery in England, the series begins with highlights from these and other less well known collections in London.


Madrid boasts the Prado Museum but also other treats for the art lover to enjoy in the city and its environs.  


We'll sample works in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, explore the DeCordova Sculpture Park, visit the modern building on the waterfront that houses the Institute of Contemporary Art, look at the Harvard Art Museums – and more in this richly illustrated talk. 



A city as full of delights for art lovers as for music lovers. We'll explore its architectural highlights and visit museums including the world-renowned Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Albertina for its unparalleled collection of prints and drawings, the Leopold Museum for Austrian art and design, the MUMOK for modern art, and the Belvedere Palace, with an emphasis on Vienna's own artists, designers, and architects from the early 1900s.


Capital Cities for Art Lovers
(single talk or 3-part series)
Washington, DC

This series that looks at the best art to be seen in public places and museum in the world's capital cities.   The images presented will bring back fond memories of famiiar places and give ideas for future trips
We'll visit some favorites in each capital but also include some more unusual offerings.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Women in Art

(1 talk or 3 part series)

Some of the earliest art we have – from 30,000 years ago – seems to show women barefoot, pregnant, and in the cave.  Over the centuries since then, men making art have tended to portray women either as goddesses or temptresses.  This lecture or lecture series looks at how the male gaze has rendered the female and explores the changes when women have the chance to become artists themselves.

Session 1:     How the male gaze has rendered the
                    female over the centuries
Session 2:     Women struggle for a place in the art
                    world (15th though 19th century)

Session 3:     Women artists get to speak for
                    themselves (20th century)

Saints and Sinners

We all love stories.  This illustrated presentation looks at tales of villains and heroes from various cultures as pictured by artists.  From ancient times on artists have considered examples of virtue and vice a prime source of inspiration.  We'll look at a range of responses from serious to romantic, and devout to irreverent.

The Real Downton Abbey
and Other Treasure Houses of Britain

What's a Wyvern?  Why did the Prince of Wales want a portrait of Mrs. Musters?  Explore the art and the stories from Highclere Castle, the location and inspiration for Downton Abbey TV series plus more stories, art and landscaping from other stately homes.  You'll find truth stranger and every bit as salacious and exciting as the fiction.

Skins, Skeins and Stitches:
Fabric Art through the Ages

There is evidence of weaving back in the Stone Age. Since then we have wrapped ourselves in fabric, walked on carpets, decorated with embroidery and tapestries. Long dismissed as mere craft, skills in traditional fabric making and decorating have now been embraced as art by art historians and adopted by artists as appropriate ways to create art and express their ideas. We look at a range of examples over time and across continents.

Experiencing the Spiritual through Art

People from cultures around the world and over the centuries have found the sacred in art an the collection:  Choose from particular collectiod have used art to encourage spiritual experiences. While showing art from various faiths as well as secular art, this presentation will suggest ways in which you can engage more fully with art in order to experience its spirituality more deeply.

English Accents

Perhaps you think English art is like English cooking – boring!  Not so, as you will find out with this journey from Old Masters like Hogarth and Turner to the sensational, even scandalous, Young British Artists and Turner Prize winners of today.

Art Topics by Time Period

Talks Focusing on Special Artists

***  Contact     
to get a new topic developed for your group.

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All photographs are accurate, none of them is the truth.


Richard Avedon