This Lilly Summer Seminar is planned for three weeks in the summer of 2016: from Sunday 12th June to Saturday 2nd July.
Each week takes up one of the three topics, Learning from the Past, Assessing the Present, Brainstorming the Future. The rhythm of each week is as follows: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays are class days in Orvieto, with a daily pattern of formal presentation of topics in morning; general discussion, led by appointed discussion leaders, in the afternoon; with evenings free for reading and private conversation and enjoying the town. Tuesdays and Thursdays are excursion days to six places where visits to 10 fresco cycles provide a shared set of references for our discussion and study. Weekends are free for independent travel, quiet time, convivial hours at a café, or group activities organized by the director. Seminar participants can enjoy a variety of opportunities for joining the town’s Roman Catholic community in worship and fellowship, whether on Sunday at the Duomo or the millennium-old parish church of San Giovenale, or during the week at the chanted Vespers of the cloistered Franciscan nuns or with the Roman Catholic charismatic renewal community at their Wednesday evening gathering of prayer and praise.
Most of our meals will occur in-house, in leisurely fashion, at the hands of the local cook for the Gordon programs. Periodic meals will be arranged at restaurants in town. Dining together is included in the Seminar budget. Participants are permitted to visit restaurants on their own, at their own expense.
WEEK 1: LEARNING FROM THE PAST
Art and community in early Renaissance Italy (125–1550)
Local Excursion to Orvieto’s own cathedral, with a focus on:
Excursion #1 to Florence, with a focus on the following fresco cycles:
Excursion #2 to Siena, with a focus on:
WEEK 2: ASSESSING THE PRESENT
The dislocation of the artist from community
Excursion #3 to Mont’Oliveto, to see:
Excursion #4 to Assisi, with a focus on:
WEEK 3: BRAINSTORMING THE FUTURE
Putting the arts and artists (back) in their place
Excursion #5 to Arezzo, with a focus on:
Excursion #6 to Rome, with a focus on:
The frescoes representing the four subject areas of Pope Julius’s library in the Vatican—Philosophy, Theology, Literature and Law—painted by Raphael simultaneously with Michelangelo’s scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, 50 meters away.