Goldberg Lecturer Michael Yonan to discuss ‘Stories in Porcelain’ Nov. 14

Art historian Michael Yonan will focus on a unique ceramic depiction of the Judgement of Paris, a story in Greek mythology about a contest between three beautiful goddesses, when he delivers the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Lecture in Art History on Nov. 14.

Yonan, professor of art history in the School of Visual Studies at the University of Missouri, will speak at 4:10 p.m. in Cohen Memorial Hall, Room 203. His talk is titled “Stories in Porcelain: Matter, Narrative and the Figural Ideal.”

Yonan will offer an analysis of the large-scale figural group The Judgement of Paris, designed by noted modeler Johann Joachim Kaendler and produced in the 1760s by a royal porcelain factory in Meissen, Germany.

Yonan said the piece contributes to our understanding of what happens when an artist tries to tell a familiar story in a new medium.

“The Meissen Judgment of Paris connects concerns about ceramics, the body, beauty and good taste into a single subject, thereby revealing tensions about porcelain’s future as a medium for conveying the human form,” Yonan said.

Yonan’s area of scholarship is 18th and 19th European art with an emphasis on the arts in central and northern Europe.

He is the author of Messerschmidt’s Character Heads and co-editor of Eighteenth-Century Art Worlds.

Sponsored by the Department of History of Art, the Goldberg Lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in all non-reserved spaces in Lot 95 near Cohen Hall. For more information, call the department at 615-322-2831.