George Bent, professor of art history and head of the Department of Art and Art History at Washington and Lee University, will present the Sidney Gause Childress Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Wednesday, May 2, at 8 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library. Bent is the first to hold the professorship, which was established in 2008.
His lecture, "Art into Science, Science into Art: Leonardo da Vinci and the Body," is open to the public at no charge.
A member of the Washington and Lee faculty since 1993, Bent focused his early scholarly work on artistic production, the function of liturgical images, and institutional patronage in early Renaissance Florence. He is the author of the 2006 volume "Monastic Art in Lorenzo Monaco's Florence." His current research interests revolve around paintings produced for public spaces in Florence between 1250 and 1450. He is working on a book to be titled "Public Pictures for Common People in Late Medieval Florence."
Earlier this year, Bent filmed 36 half-hour lectures for The Great Courses program, which offers DVDs of courses by professors from leading colleges and universities in diverse fields such as philosophy, history, literature, science and the arts. The title of Bent's course is "Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian High Renaissance," and it covers da Vinci’s personal and professional life within the framework of the political instability of Europe during the High Renaissance of the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
Bent has received two Fulbright Scholarships for study in Italy and two Mednick Grants from the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges.
At Washington and Lee, he served as associate dean of the College from 2003 through 2006 and has chaired both the East Asian Studies and Medieval and Renaissance Studies programs in addition to the Department of Art and Art History.
Bent received his bachelor's degree in history from Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of art from Stanford University.
The Sidney Gause Childress Professorship in the Arts was established in 2008 through a gift from J. Donald Childress, of Atlanta, Ga. Childress, a 1970 graduate of W&L, is rector of the University's Board of Trustees. The professorship, named in honor of his wife, supports a faculty member in one of the departments in the visual and performing arts, with preference for art or art history. The professorship is also the University’s first dedicated solely to the arts.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs