Art historian Dr. Erika Schneider will offer the guest lecture, “What’s in the Pot, Isabella?” John White Alexander and the Symbolist Movement,” at Austin College at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 12, in Forster Art Studio Complex, Room 111. Sponsored by the Austin College Department of Art and Art History, the lecture is free and open to the public.
American artist John White Alexander (1856-1915) painted the unconventional Isabella and the Pot of Basil in 1897, taking a subject from Boccaccio’s Decameron, Schneider said. “Uniquely in his career, Alexander combined aspects from other artistic movements with elements of Symbolism, in order to subvert more salacious aspects of the story,” she said. “In an extreme balancing act, he forged a distinct style for his future career, while making choices about the depiction of the female form that put him at odds with contemporary ideas about the New Woman.”
Schneider is associate professor of art history at Framingham State University outside Boston, Massachusetts, where she teaches courses in modern, contemporary, and American art history. She earned her doctorate in art history from Temple University in 2007, master’s degree in art history from Boston University, and bachelor’s degree in French and art history from Mount Holyoke College where she graduated cum laude.
In 2015, her book, The Representation of the Struggling Artist in America, 1800-1865, was published by the University of Delaware Press/Rowman and Littlefield. As an inaugural recipient of the Fulbright-Terra Foundation Award in the History of American Art, she taught and researched American art at Radboud University in the Netherlands. Her current research, on which she has published related book chapters, considers the role of American artists in the Symbolist movement.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.