Filed in Events - Past by on February 27, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 1 pm.
“The Relevance of Eugene Speicher”
A Panel Talk on an American Realist
with Valerie Ann Leeds, Tom Wolf, and Daniel Belasco
in collaboration with the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz
$12 / $7 WAAM members

Portrait of a French Girl (Jeanne Balzac, ca. 1924) by Eugene Speicher. Oil. WAAM Permanent Collection, Gift of Dr. F.G. Jarman.

PORTRAIT OF A FRENCH GIRL (Jeanne Balzac, ca. 1924) by Eugene Speicher. Oil. WAAM Permanent Collection, Gift of Dr. F.G. Jarman.

This panel discussion will provide an overview of the life and career of Eugene Speicher (1883-1962), a major American realist painter, who lived in Woodstock and New York. Exhibition curator Valerie Ann Leeds surveys his career as he rose to prominence in the 1920s and 30s, and then became marginalized in art history as modernism transformed American taste. Bard art history professor Tom Wolf presents on Speicher’s role in the Woodstock art colony. Dorsky Museum curator Daniel Belasco considers Speicher’s drawings and how they relate to art of his day. After the presentations, the panel will engage in a broader conversation about  the career of Speicher as a case study for the challenges all artists face to remain relevant.

This panel talk is presented in conjunction with the exhibition:  Along His Own Lines: A Retrospective of New York Realist Eugene Speicher, curated by Valerie Leeds, February 5, 2014 — July 13, 2014, in the Morgan Anderson Gallery, Howard Greenberg Family Gallery, and Corridor at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz. For information, visit www.newpaltz.edu/museum.


Daniel Belasco is the Curator of Exhibitions and Programs at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz. Belasco is curating the upcoming exhibitions Dick Polich: Transforming Metal into Art (opening August 2014) and Grace Hartigan: Myths and Malls (opening February 2015). He has held curatorial positions at The Jewish Museum, New York, and SITE Santa Fe. A specialist in postwar and contemporary art, he holds a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and teaches contemporary art and museum studies at SUNY New Paltz.

Valerie Ann Leeds is an independent curator and scholar specializing in early twentieth-century American art, particularly the work of Robert Henri as well as the artists of his circle and is the guest curator for Along His Own Lines: A Retrospective of New York Realist Eugene Speicher now on view at the Dorksy Museum at SUNY New Paltz. She has served as Adjunct Curator of American Art at the Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan, and prior to that has held curatorial positions at the Orlando Museum of Art, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Educated at the University of Rochester (BA), Syracuse University (MA), and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where she received her Ph.D. in American art and architecture, she has organized many museum exhibitions, published, and lectured widely on a variety of subjects in American art.

Tom Wolf is Professor of Art History at Bard College, Annandale-on Hudson, NY specializing in 20th Century Art. He is Curator and author for Konrad Cramer: A Retrospective (1982); Yasuo Kuniyoshi: Painter/Photographer (1986); Woodstock’s Art Heritage (1987); Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s Women (1993) Byrdcliffe: An American Arts and Crafts Colony (2003), Carl Eric Lindin, from Sweden to Woodstock (2004), The Maverick Art Colony (2006), and Peggy Bacon: Cats and Caricatures (2011), among others. His work, in progress includes: The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniysohi,, for the Smithsonian American Art Museum (2015).  Wolf is a recipient of and Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, and Winterthur Museum and Library Fellowships.