Janetta Rebold Benton, Ph.D. 
Email: JBenton@pace.edu
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janetta_Rebold_Benton 

CBS News Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley, interviewed by Faith Salie, for program about gargoyles, October 27, 2019, available on the following links:  

Fulbright Scholar Awards: 
♦ Graduate School of Art History, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China, spring 2018  http://en.caa.edu.cn/news/LatestNews/201803/t20180307_72182.html 

♦ Graduate School of Art History, European University, St. Petersburg, Russia, fall 2012

Future Lecture Series:
♦ 92nd Street Y,  New York City:
Two Fridays, December 11 & 18, 2020, noon-2:15 ONLINE Click here to see detail

Two Fridays, February 26 and March 5, 2021, 12 noon to 2:15 PM, ONLINE

♦ Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Two Fridays, November 6 and 13, 2020 noon-2:15 ONLINE

 Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC


Two Fridays, November 6 and 13,  2020, noon-2:15 ONLINE

The Renaissance, a genuine re-birth of culture in Italy between the mid 15th and mid-16th century, saw extraordinary artistic accomplishments in painting and sculpture. Artists found inspiration in the styles and subjects of ancient Greece and Rome. An interest in accurately--even scientifically--depicting the natural world developed. Recognition of the importance of each individual was reflected in art by the revival of portraiture and self-portraits. 

Friday November 6, 2020 noon-2:15 (ONLINE)
1.Botticelli (1445-1510): Sandro Botticelli depicted subjects taken from ancient art and literature, such as the Birth of Venus, with idealized, ethereal, immaterial figures of great beauty, created with flowing, undulating lines. Although the ideal proportions of antique anatomy were gretly admired, Botticelli’s figures display some perhaps surprising anomalies.

2. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519): Regarded as the “Renaissance man,” Leonardo da Vinci, was extremely adept in a variety of skills, including those of painter, architectural designer, engineer, and inventor. He created the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa, celebrated for her enigmatic facial expression.

Friday November 13, 2020 noon-2:15 (ONLINE)
3.Raphael (1483-1520): In spite of a life of only 37 years, Raphael is considered the paradigm of the High Renaissance in Italy because his style most closely approximates that of 5th-century BC Greece. Characteristics of Renaissance art seen in Raphael’s School of Athens include ideal body proportions, balanced composition, clarity of meaning, and illusion of depth.

4.Michelangelo (1475-1564): Michelangelo, the master of muscular male anatomy, painted the celebrated Sistine chapel ceiling for Pope Julius II, but considered himself to be a sculptor. He explained his approach to sculpture by saying, “I created a vision of David in my mind, and simply carved away everything that was not David.”


 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY


Two Fridays, December 11 & 18, 2020, noon-2:15 ONLINE

Impressionism, one of the most popular styles in the history of art, derives its name from an insult aimed at Claude Monet’s 1872 painting, Impression, Sunrise.

Leaving behind the dark colors, smooth surfaces, and subjects approved by the official Salon, the Impressionists painted with bright colors, let their brushstrokes show, and focused on scenes of everyday life. In fact, the artists’ goal was to capture an impression of what the eye sees in a fleeting glance.

Fri, Dec. 11: Impressionism Pt. I: Degas and Monet
Edgar Degas (1834-1917) is famous for his depictions of ballerinas—although more often in class and behind the scenes than on stage performing gracefully. He was called a “linear Impressionist,” a term he hated for its implication of careless accidental painting.

Claude Monet (1840-1926), key to the founding of Impressionism, painted outdoors in order to capture fleeting weather and atmospheric conditions on canvas. He painted with vivid tones using a technique referred to as “broken color.”

Fri, Dec. 18: Impressionism Pt. II: Morisot and Renoir
Berthe Morisot (1841-95) and her friend Mary Cassatt were rare women Impressionist painters in Paris. Morisot was praised by the other Impressionists for her skill in handling color. Favoring high value pastel tones, she painted portraits and landscapes.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), with his upbeat personality, continued to paint sensuous nudes when confined to a wheelchair with the brush strapped to his hand. Even when suffering chronic pain, painting was his preferred medicine.

This program takes place from 12-2:15 pm.



Two Fridays, February 26 and March 5, 2021, 12 noon to 2:15 PM, ONLINE

Post-Impressionism was less a reaction against Impressionism than a desire to improve upon it. Turning away from Impressionism’s intentionally objective recording of what the eye sees to a more personal interpretation, some Post-Impressionists painted slowly, methodically, using color for pictorial structure, while others used unnatural colors to convey their own emotion and to evoke emotion in the viewer. Unlike the Impressionists who exhibited together in Paris, the Post-Impressionists did not coalesce as a group.

February 26, 2021, 12 noon to 2:15, Cézanne and Gauguin

1. Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), perhaps the slowest painter ever, took up to 20 minutes between brushstrokes, which he referred to as “little planes.” Yet his methodical approach would lead to Analytical Cubism in the early 20th century. 

2. Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) abandoned a successful life in finance in Paris (as well as his wife and five children), for an exotic life of travel, especially to Martinique and Tahiti, seeking an unspoiled, non-European life. His colorful paintings evoke his new tropical surroundings.

March 5, 2021, 12 noon to 2:15, van Gogh and Tanner

3. Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) painted highly charged images executed quickly with pure brilliant colors, thick paint, and rapid brushstrokes. His paintings reflect the severe emotional swings he suffered; his life would end in suicide.

4. Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) was American by birth but moved to Paris to paint. An African-American, his paintings, often of Christian subjects portrayed with profound spirituality (his father was a bishop), brought him international success. 


 Smithsonian Journeys, Washington, DC

Smithsonian Expert Lecturer on the following trips:

♦ June 21-30, 2021 Loire Valley Canal Cruise,

Conference Papers

♦ International Society of Humor Studies Conference, University of Texas - Austin, invited plenary speaker, "Medieval Mischief: Wit and Humor in the Art of the Middle Ages," June 26, 2019.

♦ Institute for Medieval Studies,University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. Medieval Animals Conference. Invited keynote speaker, presentation on "The Medieval Menagerie: Animals in the Art of the Middle Ages,"April 25, 2017.

“The Museum as Cultural Magnet: Enhanced Experience, Increased Attendance,” The State Hermitage Museum, Museum of the 21st Century: New Educational Strategies, Proceedings of the International Conference 25-27 November 2015, The State Hermitage Publishers, Saint Petersburg, 2017, 128-33, pls. XV-XVI, with summary in Russian.

Lectures in China, 2018
Hangzhou: China Academy of Art, public lectures with translators: 1) Animals in the Art of the Middle Ages, 2) Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings

Beijing: Tsinghua University, Broadcast of my lecture on Andy Warhol, watched by more than 3,600 people
讲座回顾 | “波普教皇”安迪·沃霍尔的一生

Shanghai: Shanghai University, Winslow Homer; American Consulate, Winslow Homer

Nanjing: Nanjing University, 1) Georgia O’Keeffe, 2) Andy Warhol

“Andy Warhol: King of Pop”,lecture presented at Tsinghua University, Periodical of Tsinghua University Art Museum, Tsinghua University Press, Beijing, 2020, 33-39.

Chinese translation of two volumes of Arts and Culture, 4e, Tsinghua University Press, Beijing, forthcoming, 2020

Art Essentials: How to Understand Art, Thames & Hudson, London, forthcoming 2021

Janetta Rebold Benton is the Distinguished Professor of Art History at Pace University, NY. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Scholar Awards: In 2018 she was visiting professor in the graduate school of Art History, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China; in 2012 she was visiting professor in the graduate school of Art History, European University, St. Petersburg, Russia. Dr. Benton regularly presents subscription seminars at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, since 1988. She also presented subscription lecture series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, every season 1988-2011, and has lectured at The Cloisters, NYC; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach; the Schimmel Center for the Arts, NYC; 92nd Street Y, NYC, and elsewhere in America and abroad, including the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia and the Louvre, Paris, France. She serves as the Expert Lecturer on many Smithsonian Journeys and Metropolitan Museum of Art trips throughout the world. A former resident of Paris, she taught courses in art history there as the Art Historian at the American Embassy.

Dr. Benton’s newest book is How to Understand Art, Thames & Hudson, London, forthcoming 2021 in the Art Essentials series. The fifth edition of Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities is in preparation (Robert DiYanni co-author, Pearson/Prentice Hall, NJ, two volumes and combined volume, fourth edition, 2012; Chinese translation of the fourth edition forthcoming from Tsinghua University Press, Beijing, 2020; Chinese translation of the second edition, 2011. Handbook for the Humanities (Robert DiYanni co-author, Pearson/Prentice Hall, NJ, 2014, is published in paperback, as an E-book, and in Chinese translation, 2016. Her other books include Materials, Methods, and Masterpieces of Medieval Art, Praeger Series on the Middle Ages, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA, 2009, available in hardcover and as an E-book. Medieval Mischief: Wit and Humour in the Art of the Middle Ages (The History Press, Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2004, examines an engaging aspect of medieval culture. Art of the Middle Ages, Thames & Hudson, London, 2002, is published in the World of Art series. Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings, Abbeville Press, NY, 1997, is also published in French as Saintes Terreurs: Les Gargouilles dans l’Architecture Médiévale, 2000. Her book, The Medieval Menagerie: Animals in the Art of the Middle Ages, Abbeville Press, NY, 1992, a Book of the Month Club selection, is also published in French as Bestiaire Médiéval: Les Animaux dans l’Art du Moyen Age, 1992. Dr. Benton was the guest curator and catalog author for the 1995 exhibition Medieval Monsters: Dragons and Fantastic Creatures at the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY.

Articles and reviews written by Dr. Benton appear in the Periodical of Tsinghua University Art Museum (清华大学艺术博物馆馆刊), Beijing, 2020; IKON, Center for Iconographic Studies, University of Rijeka, Croatia, 2017; Proceedings of the International Conference, State Hermitage Museum Publishers, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2017 and 2015; Encyclopedia of Humor Studies, Sage Reference, Los Angeles, CA, 2014; Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition catalog, Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture, 2007; as well as in scholarly journals including Cahiers de Civilisation Médiévale, Poitiers, 1998; Arte Medievale, Rome, 1993; Artibus et Historiae, Vienna, 1989; and Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, 1985.

Dr. Benton was educated at Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, MDP diploma; earned her Ph.D. in Art History at Brown University; Master's degree in Art History at George Washington University; and Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at Cornell University.