Terra Foundation-supported Events

Lecture: “American Nights: The Nocturne in American Art and Visual Culture, 1890–1917”

This lecture explores depictions of night landscapes by American artists at the turn of the twentieth century as a reaction to the myriad political, socioeconomic, and technological changes of the time. Starting with James McNeill Whistler’s late-nineteenth-century nocturne paintings, the presentation explores the response of artists to scientific innovations such as electric lighting and X-rays. Night imagery is also considered as a response to international and domestic American race relations in a period marked by imperialism and racism, and scenes of the city at night are explored as a means of contributing to new forms of American urban sociability. The nocturne ultimately emerges as a new, radically reshaped American landscape, a mirror to the upheavals facing the nation.

Presented by Hélène Valance, Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art, this event will take place at the Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre.

For more information, please visit: