Indiana University Bloomington

Department of the History of Art

Burke Lecture Series

  Burke Lecture Series Archive

Robert and Avis Burke Lecture Series

The Robert E. and Avis Tarrant Burke Lecture Series allows the Department of the History of Art to share the research of outstanding scholars with Indiana University students and faculty as well as the larger Bloomington community.

Robert Elisha Burke (1884-1957) was an artist and professor of Fine Arts at Indiana University from 1911 to 1949. Upon his death, Avis Adalaide Tarrant Burke (1886-1984) endowed the Robert E. and Avis Tarrant Burke fund. Mrs. Burke also donated a collection of nineteenth-century clothing and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fans to Indiana University, which comprises a significant part of the Elizabeth Sage Costume Collection. 

The purpose of the Robert and Avis Burke Lecture Series is to share the current research of outstanding scholars with Indiana University students and faculty as well as the larger Bloomington community. We attempt to coordinate the key speakers to the interests of faculty and topics in current courses.

2013 - 2014 Schedule

Friday, April 11 and Saturday April 12, 2014

Miniature and Minor: An ancient studies Conference at Indiana University
The Program in Ancient Studies at Indiana University will host a conference on the miniature and the minor on April 11-12, 2014.

Co-Sponsored by the Robert and Avis Burke Lecture Series

Whereas so much of our research implicitly or explicitly concerns the monumental and the major, we propose to investigate the miniature and the minor from a range of disciplinary perspectives. The art historian might explore cameos or textiles. The literary theorist might explore minor characters or minor works. The historian might explore micro-histories or minor battles. We are interested not only in the realia of the miniature and the minor but in the construction of those categories by both ancients and moderns. We are interested in the miniature and the minor both in their own rights and as counterpoints to the monumental and the major. We are less interested in simply demanding that attention be paid to the neglected or the overlooked.    

April 11, 2014
Wylie Hall 015

April 12, 2014
Fine Arts 102

Please go to for details

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Barbara E. Frank, Associate Professor of Art History at Stony Brook University

Lecture title: Mapping West African Cultural Landscapes:  Potters, Blacksmiths, Bronzecasters, Leatherworkers, Weavers and Indigo Dyers.

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
IU Kelley School of Business(Hodge Hall)  Room 219

Her primary research has been in Mali, West Africa, where she has worked with ceramic and textile artists, leatherworkers and blacksmiths documenting artistry, technology and social identity. She has held several major fellowships from NEH, Smithsonian, Fulbright-Hays and the Social Science Research Council for her research.  Her major publications include Mande Potters and Leatherworkers. Art and Heritage in West Africa (Smithsonian, 1998, 2001) selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Book, and an edited volume Status and Identity in West Africa: Nyamakalaw of Mande (Indiana, 1995). 

February 20, 2014

Dr. Reindert Falkenburg
Vice Provost, Intellectual and Cultural Outreach
New York University, Abu Dhabi

Lecture Title: Hieronymus Bosch, diableries, and 'speculative' vision

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in Ballentine 310

Falkenburg's own research explores the visual arts primarily from the perspective of image/viewer relationships. He studies tensions and crises in late medieval and Renaissance art, in particular the role of the visual arts in the aesthetic, religious, moral and spiritual formation of early modern man. His scholarly interest regard especially works by 16th-century Dutch and Flemish masters such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel. His books include The Fruit of Devotion: Mysticism and the Imagery of Love in Flemish Paintings of the Virgin and Child, 1450-1550. Currently he is finishing a monographic study, titled Mirror of Mirrors: Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Most recently, Falkenburg served as chair of the Art History Department at Leiden University in The Netherlands. Before that he was Professor of Western Art and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California; Deputy Director of the Netherlands Institute for Art History; and Research Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. Falkenburg teaches The Idea of the Portrait, a class on one of the most fundamental forms of human expression in art. Falkenburg holds his Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam, and masters and undergraduate degrees from Gronigen University in the Netherlands.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

William H. Robinson, Ph.D.
Department Head, European and American Painting and Sculpture
Curator of Modern European Art at the
The Cleveland Museum of Art

Lecture Title: Van Gogh & Madness: The Artist versus the Legend

6:00 - 7:00 pm in Radio TV 226

Dr. William H. Robinson is Curator of Modern European Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Head of the Department of European and American Painting and Sculpture, and Adjunct Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in art history from CWRU in 1988, a certificate in Spanish language studies from the Universitat de Barcelona in 2001, and a certificate in management from Weatherhead School of Management, CWRU, in 2003. He has organized over twenty exhibitions and written extensively on a broad range of topics concerning 19th and 20th century art. His most recent publications include: Picasso and the Mysteries of Life (2012), Van Gogh Repetitions (forthcoming 2013), and Monet and the Modernist Garden (forthcoming 2015).

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thor Mednick, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo

Co-sponsored by the Robert E and Avis Burke Lecture Series

Lecture Title: What Lies Ahead: Science, Technology, and the Transformation of the Danish Landscape

4:45 - 5:45 p.m. in Opotometry 105

October 11th, 2013

Candace M. Keller, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Department of Art, Art History, and Design/Residential College in the Arts & Humanities, Michigan State University

 Lecture Title: Picturing Identity: Understanding Portraiture by Malick Sidibé

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in Fine Arts 102

Candace Keller earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of the History of Art at Indiana University, where she majored in African art and minored in African Studies and African American art. In 2008, she became Assistant Professor of African art and visual culture in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design and the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. Her research on the histories of photography in western Africa has appeared in several publications, exhibitions, invited lectures, and conference presentations and has been generously supported by Fulbright-Hays, British Library, Foreign Language and Area Studies (F.L.A.S.), and Arts Council of the African Studies Association (A.C.A.S.A.) fellowships.

RECEPTION: IMU University Club Faculty Room, 250 - 5:30pm to 7:30 PM

RSVPs are required, please email