'Martin Luther and the Reformation's Artistic Challenges'

Internationally recognized scholar Jeffrey Chipps Smith will deliver a lecture titled "Martin Luther and the Reformation's Artistic Challenges" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in F.W. Olin Building Room 102 on the Luther College campus. A reception follows the lecture.

The event is open to the public with no charge for admission.

With the posting of the 95 theses on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther launched what became the Protestant Reformation. Although his text of disputation points did not touch directly on art, the visual arts soon became a contentious topic. The lecture will address why critics of the Roman Church targeted art, how art became a potent weapon for attacking religious adversaries, the Reformation's impact on artists in Germany and Luther's role in the creation of a new, specifically Lutheran art. 

The lecture serves as the college's 2017 Gerhard Marcks lecture. The Marcks series was endowed by former Luther College President H. George Anderson and Jutta Anderson in 1992 and established in 1994. Their generous gift allows the department of Visual and Performing Arts to bring distinguished lecturers in art history to campus on an annual basis.

Smith holds the Kay Fortson Chair in European Art at the University of Texas, Austin.  He specializes in Northern European art from 1400-1700, especially that of Germany and the Netherlands. His books and publications have focused on Nuremberg, Albrecht Dürer, German sculpture, goldsmith work, Jesuits, Northern Renaissance art and issues of historiography, among other topics.

In addition to having received fellowships and awards from the American Academy in Berlin, the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities and more, Smith has been a visiting scholar in residence at the University of Leipzig; a distinguished international visiting fellow at the University of Queensland, Western Australia, and Melbourne; and a visiting scholar at the University of Hamburg. 

He directed the intensive graduate seminar "Art, the Reformation, and the Cult of Martin Luther" at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel in July 2016. He has served on the board of directors, among other offices, of the College Art Association, Renaissance Society of America, Frühe Neuzeit Interdisziplinär, Historians of Netherlandish Art, and Sixteenth Century Society and Conference.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.

Jeffrey Chipps Smith