This illustrated lecture will focus on the development of technologies related to residential heating, lighting, and plumbing from the early 19th century through the early 20th century and show how they relate to the Farnsworth family’s efforts to introduce these conveniences and comforts in their home during this period.  The Farnsworth house was built in 1850, just at the time when significant advances in comfort were beginning to be introduced into middle class homes in America.  Over the following seventy-five years, the technologies behind the comforts we take for granted today were greatly improved and widely adopted.  The presentation will show how the Farnsworth family benefited from these advances through the introduction of central heating, improved lighting, and indoor plumbing in their home.

Lecture I—
Insults and Envy:
The Master and the Upstart on the Streets of Florence
Wednesday, May 6
The Strand Theatre

Giorgio Vasari, the world’s first art historian, wrote in his groundbreaking Lives that Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti had a sdegno grandissimo or a “great hostility” towards one another. This two-part lecture series will uncover the source of that hostility and trace its eruptions and their consequences not only for these two unsurpassed masters, but also for the entire art world. Conducted by the Farnsworth’s Director of Education Roger Dell (former lecturer in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Extension School), these illustrated lectures will examine specific architectural, sculptural, and painting projects during which these celebrated artists had some interaction with each other or were in direct competition with each other.

Join us for a special gallery tour of 3D: Contemporary Works from the Farnsworth, with Associate Curator Jane Bianco
Cost: Free with admission

John Bisbee, Zero, Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum


Join us for a special gallery tour of Andrew Wyeth: Temperas and Watercolors, with Exhibition Curator Amy Morey. 
Cost: Free with admission



Andrew Wyeth, Oil Lamp, 1945 tempera © Andrew Wyeth. Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth, Oil Lamp, 1945 tempera © Andrew Wyeth. Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth


Saturday, March 28, 4 p.m. in the Farnsworth auditorium

In this conversation we invite our three artists to discuss how their chosen media influences the purpose and meaning of their work and the role the viewer plays in its realization.

Ariel Hall is a performance and installation artist working across media and genres to explore notions of selfhood, place, and corporeal epistemologies. Ariel holds a master’s degree in Performance Studies from NYU. She has exhibited and performed at MoMA, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Thing-Spaces, and various public spaces in New York, Sao Paulo and beyond. She also writes and styles events and interiors. Ariel splits her time between her native Maine and New York City, satisfying the pull to both rural and urban extremes.

At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, a passion for domestic flower gardening swept through America’s middle class with all the righteous intensity of today’s “buy local,” green movement. Gardens were not frequently depicted in works of art until the late 19th century, when they began to appear as a primary theme in American impressionist paintings. This lecture will explore how these paintings pictured ideas popularly associated with gardens at that time, such as a reaction to conditions created by the Industrial Revolution and an American response to the aesthetic principles and ideologies of the English Arts and Crafts movement.

India is a land where color is honored and employed very differently than in the west. Colors are used riotously in fabrics, the decoration houses and streets, and in festivity. In honor of Holi, the Indian festival celebrating color and diversity, local photographer and author Stephen Huyler will narrate a slide show drawn from his 43 years of travel throughout India. He will discuss his active participation in the festival as well as portray ways in which color illuminates and enhances the lives of individuals all over the Indian subcontinent.