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Noted Art Historian, Speaker and Curator Sharyn Udall to Speak at OU

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Sharyn Udall


NORMAN – Art historian, author and independent curator Sharyn Udall will be the keynote speaker at the Wylodean Saxon Memorial Lecture, giving a talk on “Portraits and Self-Portraits: Reframing the Experience of Looking,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma.

Udall has written, taught and lectured widely on 19th and 20th century American and European art.

The author of eight books, her special research interests include the art of the Southwest, American modernism, women in the visual arts and the creative connections among visual artists, performing artists and writers. In her most recent book, Dance and American Art: A Long Embrace, Udall explores how the American visual artists from the early 19th century through the mid-20th century used paintings, sculptures, photography and prints to embody the nature of dance. Her previous book, Carr, O’Keeffe, Kahlo: Places of Their Own, has been credited as the inspiration behind Emmy-nominated feature film Bone Wind Fire.

Udall also has published numerous exhibition catalogs, scholarly articles and essays, and has earned the New Mexico Humanities Council Essay Award for Into the Neon Sunset: Sources and Significance of Contemporary Cowboy Imagery. Her essay was featured in New Mexico Magazine.

Beyond her published works, Udall’s curated gallery exhibitions have been displayed in museums across the United States and throughout the world, including the Toronto Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She has presented to audiences at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, New Mexico Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City, as well as the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

An alumna of Colorado Women’s College, Udall earned an art history masters of art from Arizona State University and an art history doctorate from the University of New Mexico. She currently resides in Santa Fe.

The Wylodean Saxon Memorial Lecture is funded through a generous gift from Mrs. Saxon’s husband, the late Bill D. Saxon, an OU alumnus and longtime supporter who died in 2014. The gift, announced in 2005, was made in memory of Mrs. Saxon, who died in 2003, and included an endowment for the directorship of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

Wylodean Cornelison Saxon was a lifelong student of the arts. Her appetite for knowledge about art and art history took her to museums all over the world, but her heart always stayed close to Norman, the community where she was born and raised. Her dedication to the arts was reflected in her ongoing participation on the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Board of Visitors.

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is located on the corner of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street, at 555 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus. Admission to the museum is complimentary to all visitors, thanks to the generosity of the OU Office of the President and the OU Athletics Department.

Limited seating is available for the 6:30 p.m. dinner and talk by reservation. Reservations, additional information and accommodations are available by calling OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784 emailing or clicking here to RSVP online.

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