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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Leo Steinberg, one of this country’s most distinguished art historians, will speak on "The Mute Image and the Meddling Text" on Tuesday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Reed’s Vollum lecture hall. The lecture, sponsored by the Stephen Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts, is free and open to the public. His lecture will follow the opening reception for Works on Paper: American Art 1945-1975 at Reed's Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery. For more information, visit the Reed events website or call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755.

Leo Steinberg, a 1986 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellowship, was honored as the College Art Association’s distinguished scholar of 2002. He has published and lectured widely on Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th-century art. In 1983 Steinberg became the first art historian to receive an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. His most recent writings include Leonardo’s Incessant Last Supper (2001), Encounters with Rauschenberg (1999), and The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion (1983). Steinberg is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and London’s University College.

Born in Moscow, Steinberg spent his childhood in Berlin until moving to London, where he studied art at the Slade School, University of London. After World War II he settled in New York City, working as a freelance writer and translator, and as life-drawing instructor at Parsons School of Design. He studied art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, earning his doctorate in 1960 with a dissertation on the Roman Baroque architect Borromini. From 1962 to 1975 he taught at Hunter College and in 1972 was co-founder of the art history department of the Graduate Center, CUNY. In 1975 he was appointed Benjamin Franklin Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania and retired in 1991.

Steinberg has delivered the A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery in Washington in 1982 and the Gauss Lectures at Princeton in 1985. He has received honorary doctorates from the Massachusetts College of Art; the Philadelphia College of Art; Parsons School of Design, New York; and Bowdoin College, Maine. He has been a resident scholar at the American Academy in Rome and the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities.

The Stephen Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts was established by a generous 1988 gift to Reed from longtime friends of the college Edward and Sue Cooley and John and Betty Gray in support of art history and its place in the humanities. The intent of the program is to bring to campus creative people who are distinguished in connection with the visual arts and who will provide "a forum for conceptual exploration, challenge, and discovery." The program is named in honor of Stephen Ostrow as a tribute to his career and out of respect for his advisory role in the formulation of the Cooley-Gray gift and the design of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery. Ostrow was the chief of the prints and drawings division of the Library of Congress.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).