Michael Taylor to Deliver Annual Pamela H. Simpson Lecture On Nov. 30, Taylor will speak on the current VFMA exhibition, "Man Ray: The Paris Years."
Michael R. Taylor, chief curator and deputy director for art and education at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VFMA) in Richmond, will deliver this year’s Pamela H. Simpson Lecture in Art History at Washington and Lee University on Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. in the Wilson Hall Auditorium
From 1997 to 2011, Taylor served as the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He then worked at Dartmouth College from 2011 to 2015 as the director for the Hood Museum of Art. In 2015, he was appointed as chief curator and deputy director for art and education at the VMFA.
Taylor’s study in art focuses on Dada and surrealism, and he has curated several exhibitions of such works, including “Giorgio de Chirico and the Myth of Ariadne,” “Salvador Dalí: The Centennial Retrospective,” “Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective” and “Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés.”
At W&L, Taylor will discuss the current exhibition at the VFMA, “Man Ray: The Paris Years,” which is open through Feb. 21, 2022.
“Man Ray: The Paris Years” is a collection of portrait photographs created by the American artist, Man Ray (the pseudonym of Emmanuel Radnitzky), in Paris between the two world wars. This collection established Ray’s reputation as one of the leading artists of his era.
Ray’s portraits were not inanimate objects, they were people, including Barbette, Ruby Richards, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp and Gertrude Stein. The portraits reflect the artist’s vision in negotiation with the self-image and desires of the subjects.
Taylor’s lecture at W&L will surround Ray’s Black subjects, such as Henry Crowder, Adrienne Fidelin, Elsie Houston and Ruby Richards. Ray’s work tells the subjects’ stories, including their contribution to making the portraits and their friendship with him.
The Pamela H. Simpson Endowment for Art, established in 2011, is a permanently endowed fund to support the hosting of distinguished academics and professional visitors to campus to work directly with students and faculty in Washington and Lee’s Department of Art and Art History.
Simpson served on the W&L faculty for 38 years. She was the first female tenure-track professor at the university and the first female professor to receive an endowed chair at W&L.