September 29, 2016 Boston Public Library William Shakespeare Exhibit (save the date!)
October 19 – Peter Whitfield (save the date!)
November 10, 2016, 5:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Commonwealth Salon
James A. Welu, Director Emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum, will present a lecture about Jan Vermeer’s The Geographer.
No other painter from 17th-century Holland expressed a greater interest in cartography than Jan Vermeer. His detailed depictions of maps and globes coincide with the great age of exploration and mapmaking. This lecture by the leading authority on Vermeer’s use of cartographic material demonstrates that all of the maps and globes in Vermeer’s paintings can be identified, though few originals still exist. These cartographic objects and the ways in which Vermeer used them not only add further meaning to his allegorical subjects and scenes of everyday life; they also shed light on Vermeer’s working method, including his possible use of the camera obscura.
Named Director Emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum in 2011, James Welu joined the staff of the Museum in 1974 as assistant curator and went on to serve 6 years as chief curator and 25 years as director. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, Welu began his career as an artist and taught studio art in college before pursuing further studies in art history. He holds a BA from Loras College, an MA and MFA in studio art from the University of Notre Dame, a PhD in art history from Boston University. A specialist in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art, Welu has published and lectured widely and organized a variety of exhibitions, including Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World. Welu served as president of the Association of Art Museum Directors and chair of the Accreditation Commission of the American Alliance of Museums. He has also served on the advisory council for the Princeton University Art Museum and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame and is active in numerous organizations in the Worcester community.