Art Illuminates at Getty Event
April 10, 2014
As sunlight sprinkled through the windows, guests lingered around an exquisite array of food. The smell of roasted tomato hummus hovered in the air. Conversations about professional endeavors could be heard throughout the vicinity. As time passed, anticipation grew.
This was the sight as Syracuse University alumni from Southern California gathered for the opening of the new exhibit Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Alumni were present to hear Bryan Keene G ‘10, the assistant curator of the exhibit, and SU art history professor Gary Radke speak about art, their careers, and the SU connection. Karin Ruhlandt, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, also spoke.
Keene, who received his master’s degree from SU in Italian Renaissance, credits professor Radke as a mentor who has been instrumental in his career success. Radke’s accomplishments range from co-writing the book “Art in Renaissance Italy” to organizing the exhibition, Italian Renaissance, at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
When discussing his career path, Keene admitted he wasn’t always sure which field he desired to pursue. “Manuscripts seemed like an untapped field that not many people go into. And there were plenty of unknown objects people hadn’t discovered or hadn’t seen for years.” His curiosity to uncover art is perhaps what seems to keep his passion for art growing. “Sometime you know manuscripts are out there, and you have to go door-to-door to churches to actually find them. And it’s really amazing when you first see these historical documents.”
The exhibit shows 25 radiant manuscripts and paintings extracted from the Northern Italian Courts from the Renaissance period. The Renaissance Courts were among the most wealthy and powerful Europeans of the time. Many of the manuscripts have song lyrics on them that were designed to be read by Church choirs daily. The manuscripts derive from animal skin, which was cheaper to produce than parchment at the time.
The event served as a great way for alumni in attendance to network and reconnect with old colleagues and classmates. Memories from undergraduate years along with business cards were exchanged.
Written by Seth Porter, a junior television, radio, and film and political science duel major currently participating in the SULA Semester program.