World-Renowned Art Critic to Give Shenkman Lecture

February 26, 2008 - News Release

Arthur Danto, a world-renowned philosopher and art critic, will speak March 4 at 5 p.m. at the University of Guelph's War Memorial Hall.

Hosted by the School of Fine Art and Music, Danto's talk is the second annual Shenkman Lecture in Contemporary Art.

He is speaking on "From Photograph to Philosophy: Two Moments of Post-Traditional Art" and the event is free and open to the public.

Well known for his expertise in philosophical esthetics, he is highly regarded for his work on the classic question of how you decide whether or not something is a work of art.

"Arthur Danto has long been considered one of the most influential thinkers on contemporary art," said Prof. John Kissick, director of the School of Fine Art and Music. "His work mixes significant philosophical insights into the nature of art in the post-modern age with accessible journalistic art criticism."

A longtime art critic for The Nation, Danto has published a number of books and journal articles on art criticism and won the National Book Critics Circle Prize in 1990 for his book Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present. In addition, he is a contributing editor to the Naked Punch Review and Artforum.

Danto is also the author of numerous articles and books on philosophy and is an editor of the Journal of Philosophy. He taught at Columbia University for more than half a century and is now Johnsonian Professor Emeritus Philosophy.

His extensive knowledge in both art and philosophy have garnered him many fellowships and grants, including two Guggenheims, a Fullbright, and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship. He has served as vice-president and president of the American Philosophical Association and president of the American Society for Aesthetics.

Kissick said the lecture series gives the University community a unique opportunity to interact with some of the leading international figures in contemporary art.

"The lectures also spotlight the University's superb graduate program in the visual arts, which is known as one of the country's best."

The Shenkman Lecture series was established last year through an endowment provided by Dasha Shenkman, a Canadian art collector who now lives in the United Kingdom.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982,

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