Winter Speaker Series Subscription 2021

January 23, 2021 Virtual, Live on Zoom

Subscribe to the Series & enjoy one lecture free!

Saturdays, January 23 - February 27, 2021 at 2 pm

Since 1928, the Winter Speaker Series has been a cornerstone of the Newport Art Museum's annual programming. Each year the Winter Speaker Series Committee and Museum staff curate this series to reflect the ideas of our times to educate, illuminate, delight and inspire. Now, incredibly in its 93rd year, the 2021 series is poised to have its widest reach yet. Delivered live via Zoom, this years thought-provoking talks will come to you virtually, wherever you happen to be!

Each live virtual lecture will be followed by a virtual Q&A with the speaker.

New to Zoom?

This is a superb reason to get acquainted! Sign up is easy and free at

This year, you may purchase speaker publications along with your lecture subscription! Books will be delivered right to your door with autographed bookplates. If you would like additional copies, or prefer to select books à la carte, simply visit our Winter Speaker Series Book page.

January 23, 2 pm: Darrell West

Vice President, Senior Fellow and Douglas Dillon Chair in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution

Politics 2021: Challenges Facing the Next Administration
How will the incoming Biden/Harris administration manage the pandemic, respond to social unrest, and remedy broadly felt economic hardship, all at a time when the country remains so sharply divided?

READ UP! Divided Politics, Divided Nation by Darrell West
The United States is caught in a partisan hyper-conflict, a polarization so intense that societal tensions have metastasized into a dangerous tribalism that seriously threatens U.S. democracy. To maintain a functioning democracy and solve the country’s pressing policy problems, we need to bridge the divide.
$27.00  tax, shipping and autographed bookplate included, 2019, hardcover, 234 pages, Brookings Institution Press

January 30, 2 pm: Susan Solomon

Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Science, MIT

Three Environmental Success Stories and What They Tell Us About Climate Change
Environmental success stories DO EXIST and change has been achieved through a combination of science, public policy, industry participation, and the engagement of citizens. Solomon, recipient of the nation’s highest scientific honor, the US National Medal of Science, will reveal lessons learned that provide key guidance for addressing today’s environmental challenges, ensuring our sustainable future.

February 6, 2 pm: Timothy Barringer

Paul Mellon Professor and Chair of the Department of the History of Art at Yale University

Curating Victorian Radicals: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Arts and Crafts Movement Today
“Victorian Radical”? It sounds hyperbolic, but for artists in Victorian Britain who confronted questions raised by the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century, it was an apt moniker. They spoke out against mass production, pollution, climate change and social issues in congested cities, and their solutions often centered on ideas of beauty that recalled a time when material objects reflected society’s values.

READ UP! Victorian Radicals: from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement by Timothy Barringer, Martin Ellis and Victoria Osborne
This exhibition catalogue is a generously illustrated and exciting new study of the Victorian era that features rarely seen works, provocative essays, and a striking, period-inspired design. The full spectrum of the Victorian avant-garde is in magnificent display.
$48.00  tax, shipping and autographed bookplate included, 2018, hardcover, 280 pages, American Federation of Arts, DelMonico Books and Prestel

February 13, 2 pm: Diedra Harris-Kelley

Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation

Romare Bearden: Artist of the African-American Experience
Artist Romare Bearden was best known for innovative collages depicting scenes of African American life and culture, though he was also an activist, author, educator, baseball player, armed serviceman, song writer, and social case worker. His paintings are replete with references to music, literature, religion, and classical artistic periods, a reflection of the fact that he was primarily raised in a Harlem pulsing with the unmistakable energy of the Harlem Renaissance.

READ UP! Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series by Stephanie Mayer Heydt, Robert G. O’Meally, Rachael Z. DeLue, and Paul Devlin
This exhibition catalogue features the reassembly of Bearden’s autobiographical Profile series at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Beyond providing the opportunity to explore this body of work, the project investigates the roles of narrative and self-presentation for an artist who made a career of creating works based on memory and experience.
$40.00  tax and shipping included, 2020, hardcover, 152 pages, High Museum of Art Atlanta and University of Washington Press

READ UP! The Romare Bearden Reader edited by Robert O’Meally
This collection brings together new essays and canonical writings by novelists, poets, historians, critics, and playwrights such as Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, August Wilson, Farah Jasmine Griffin, and Kobena Mercer. They contextualize Bearden’s life and career within the history of modern art, examine the influence of jazz and literature on his work, trace his impact on twentieth-century African American culture, and outline his art’s political dimensions. The Reader also includes Bearden’s most important writings, which grant readers insight into his aesthetic values and practices and share his desire to tell what it means to be black in America.
$30.00  tax and shipping included, 2019, soft cover, 424 pages, Duke University Press

February 20, 2 pm: Thomas Hull

Professor, Department of Mathematics, Western New England University

Origami: Where Art, Math and Science Meet
Origami, the art of paper folding, has been practiced in Japan and all over the world for centuries. This ancient art has proven an invaluable tool for high tech modern applications – robotics, airbag design, deployment of space structures, and even medicine. When the National Science Foundation invests millions of dollars towards studying engineering and science applications of origami art, you know it’s serious.

February 27, 2 pm: Libby Copeland


The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Has Changed Our Understanding of Family, Ethnicity, and Identity
The cultural phenomenon of at-home DNA testing is not only an industry worth billions, with over 35 million people tested, it has also unearthed many family “surprises”, challenging the concepts of family, ethnicity, and identity. Copeland will unravel these implications – how we think about who we are, where we are from, and what defines family.

READ UP! The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are by Libby Copeland
Join journalist Libby Copeland as she investigates what happens when we embark on a vast social experiment with little understanding of the ramifications. Copeland explores the culture of genealogy buffs, the science of DNA, and the business of companies like Ancestry and 23andMe, all while tracing the story of one woman, her unusual results, and a relentless methodical drive for answers that becomes a thoroughly modern genetic detective story.
$25.00  tax, shipping and autographed bookplate included, 2020, hardcover, 304 pages, Abrams Press

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Museum Member Subscription: $50 per person
Non-Member Subscription: $75 per person

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Johanna and Ronald Becker
Santiago Neville
Cynthia Sinclair
Kathleen Shinners
Lockett Ford Ballard, Jr.
Mary Jennings

This event is made possible by your support of the Annual Fund.

Thank you to the Winter Speaker Series Committee

Johanna Becker, Chairwoman
Cristin Searles Bilodeau, Director of Community Engagement
Eleanor Doumato
Anne DuBose Joslin
Susan Kieronski
Santiago Neville
Kathleen Shinners