Sam Fox School guest speakers go online

Nationally renowned artists, architects, designers and scholars host virtual talks and lectures; Kemper Art Museum continues new 'In Conversation' series

Top row, from left: Natilee Harren, Walter J. Hood and Margarita Jover. Lower row: Jamal Cyrus, Mika Rottenberg and Eleanor Davis.

The urban environment is woven from many threads — ecology and geography, but also hidden social patterns. As both a landscape designer and public artist, Walter J. Hood creates ecologically sustainable environments that also tease out local histories and speak to the aspirations of marginalized communities.

This fall, the MacArthur “Genius” fellow will discuss his practice — which encompasses city parks and museum grounds as well as traffic islands, vacant lots, freeway underpasses and other neglected spaces — for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

Titled “Hybrid Landscapes,” Hood’s Sept. 26 talk is presented as part of the Sam Fox School’s fall Public Lecture Series and as part of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum’s “In Conversation” series. Other events will feature artist Jamal Cyrus and curator Stephanie Weissberg (Oct. 7), illustrator and comics artist Eleanor Davis (Oct. 22), architect Deborah Berke (Oct. 26), Holocaust scholar Michael Rothberg (Nov. 14) and artist Mika Rottenberg (Nov. 18).

Combined, the series will include 20 virtual presentations by nationally and internationally renowned speakers.

Landscape design concept by Walter J. Hood for the International African American Museum in Charleston, S.C. Now under construction, the museum marks the point where an estimated 40% of all enslaved people brought to the United States once disembarked. (Image: Hood Design Studio)

‘In Conversation’

Events will begin Sept. 12 with art historian Natilee Harren, assistant professor at the University of Houston School of Art, and Meredith Malone, associate curator for Washington University’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. Their talk, which is also part of the “In Conversation” series, is held in conjunction with “Multiplied: Edition MAT and the Transformable Work of Art, 1959–1965.” The critically acclaimed exhibition opened last February but was forced to close for most of the spring and summer.

“In Conversation” will continue Sept. 29 with Geoff Ward, professor of African and African-American Studies in Arts & Sciences, who curated the Teaching Gallery exhibition “Truths and Reckonings: The Art of Transformative Racial Justice.” On Oct. 10, art historian Alexander Alberro of Barnard College will join Malone and WashU’s Ignacio M. Sanchez Prado, the Jarvis Thurston and Mona Van Duyn Professor in the Humanities in Arts & Sciences; followed by the Sam Fox School’s Constance Vale and Shantel Blakely on Nov, 7; and by Rothberg on Nov. 14. The latter talk is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences and the university’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity.

Jamal Cyrus, “Ancestral Relic,” 2020. (Photo courtesy of the artist)

Other highlights

Architect Margarita Jover, co-founder of the Barcelona-based firm aldayjover architecture, will discuss strategies for mitigating and reversing socioecological crises, on Oct. 12. Other architectural speakers will include Robert McCarter (Oct. 15), Robert Kahn (Nov. 16) and Eric Mumford (Dec. 3). Visual arts speakers will include Corey Escoto (Nov. 3) and Vanessa German (Nov. 11).

In addition, the Sam Fox School’s College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design will host a pair of roundtables — about architectural history and academia, and about architectural history and diversity, respectively — as part of its “Discussions” series  Sept. 30 and Oct. 28.

All events are free and open to the public and will be hosted online. RSVPs are required for individual lectures; links will be provided via the Sam Fox School website closer to the event dates. For more information, call 314-935-9300 or visit

Deborah Berke, Dickinson College Residence Hall (Photo: Deborah Berke Partners)

Fall 2020 speakers
* All times Central

11 a.m. Sept. 12
Natilee Harren
“The Artwork in Flux: Multiples, Fluxboxes, and the Transitional Commodity”
Kemper Art Museum’s “In Conversation” series. Meredith Malone will serve as respondent.

Noon Sept. 26
Walter Hood
“Hybrid Landscapes”
Harris Armstrong Fund Lecture
Co-sponsored by the Kemper Art Museum, the Sam Fox School’s Landscape Architecture program, and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Civic Affairs and Strategic Planning

5 p.m. Sept. 29
Geoff Ward
Gallery tour and conversation
“Truths and Reckonings: The Art of Transformative Racial Justice”

Noon Sept. 30
Discussions in Architectural History and Theory:
Architectural History and Academia
Barry Bergdoll (Columbia University), Beatriz Colomina (Princeton University), Arindam Dutta (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Joan Ockman (University of Pennsylvania)

6 p.m. Oct. 7
Jamal Cyrus & Stephanie Weissberg
MFA Lecture Series

11 a.m. Oct. 10
Alexander Alberro
“Activating the Spectator by Reshaping the Aesthetic Field: Op, Kinetic, and Participatory Art, 1959-1965”
Kemper Art Museum’s “In Conversation” series. Meredith Malone and Ignacio M. Sanchez Prado will serve as respondents.

5:30 p.m. Oct. 12
Margarita Jover
Abend Family Visiting Critic Endowed Lecture

Corey Escoto, “Deeper and More Troublesome,” installation view at Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York. (Photo courtesy of the artist)

6 p.m. Oct. 15
Robert McCarter
“The Architecture of Carlo Scarpa: Recomposing Place, Intertwining Time, Transforming Reality”
Architecture Faculty Lecture

6 p.m. Oct. 22
Eleanor Davis
Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Visiting Artist Lecture

6 p.m. Oct. 26
Deborah Berke
AIA St. Louis Scholarship Trust Lecture

11:30 a.m. Oct. 28
Discussions in Architectural History and Theory:
Architectural History and Diversity
Luis Esteban Carranza (Roger Williams University), Mario Gooden (Columbia University), Mary McLeod (Columbia University) and Patricia Morton (University of California, Riverside)

6 p.m. Oct. 28
Silas Munro
Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Visiting Artist Lecture

6 p.m. Nov. 3
Corey Escoto
MFA Lecture Series

11 a.m. Nov. 7
Constance Vale and Shantel Blakely
Kemper Art Museum’s “In Conversation” series

Vanessa German, “A Love Poem to Nia Wilson #2,” 2018. (Photo courtesy of the artist/Pavel Zoubok Fine Art)

6:30 p.m. Nov. 11
Vanessa German
Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture
Supported in part by funding from the Office of the Provost: Distinguished Visiting Scholar Program

Noon Nov. 14
Michael Rothberg
Co-sponsored by the Kemper Art Museum’s “In Conversation” series, the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences and the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity

6 p.m. Nov. 16
Robert Kahn
“The Architecture of James Stirling”

6 p.m. Nov. 18
Mika Rottenberg
Bunny and Charles Burson Visiting Lecture

6 p.m. Dec. 3
Eric Mumford
“Josep Lluis Sert: The Architect of Urban Design”
Architecture Faculty Lecture

6 p.m. Dec. 7
Shantel Blakely
“Zanuso vs. Mangiarotti: The Soul of a Joint”
Architecture Faculty Lecture

Mika Rottenberg, “Cosmic Generator” (still), 2017. (Photo: © Mika Rottenberg)