The Springfield Museums’ monthly tours and lecture schedule kicks off in May with the popular Thursday Museums à la Carte lectures, held weekly at 12:15 pm in the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.
Admission is $4 ($2 for members of the Springfield Museums); visitors are invited to bring lunch (cookies and coffee are provided). The programs are sponsored by Big Y World Class Market. For more information about Museums à la Carte, call 413.263.6800, ext. 488. This month’s lectures include:
- May 2 – Abstract Expressionism and Helen Frankenthaler; Richard O'Brien, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst. The origins and leading practitioners of the style, with a focus on Frankenthaler, the last member of this school.
- May 9 – The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell’s Secret; Seth Shulman, journalist and author. The acclaimed author details the surprising truth behind the telephone – a historical tale of romance, corruption, and unchecked ambition.
- May 16 – Coast to Coast in 48 Hours! Lindbergh's Dream; Anne Barrett from A Brief History! historical lectures. The little-known story of Lindbergh’s coast-to-coast air and rail service, as seen through the eyes of Anne Lindbergh’s great aunt Grace.
- May 23 – “USE DILATORY MEANS:” William Pynchon and the Native Americans; Rev. David M. Powers, independent scholar, retired United Church of Christ Congregational minister. Pynchon’s respectful attitude toward indigenous people suggested an alternative but unexplored path for Native-European relations.
- May 30 – Butterflies, Climate Change, and You: A Case Study of the Power of Citizen Science; Tom Lautzenheiser, Mass Audubon Regional Scientist. How observations of Mass Audubon’s volunteer naturalists have increased our understanding of our state’s natural environment.
Also scheduled in May are informal half-hour “mini-tours” every Sunday at 1 PM by volunteer docent educators. The tours highlight a different element of the unique collections of one of the four museums, and are free with Museum admission (check the Museums’ website or with the Welcome Center staff for an updated schedule of mini-tours). Topics for May are:
- May 5 – Rembrandt’s students and followers in the 17th Century; Nancy Mason, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. The stories behind the DMFA’s small but remarkable collection of Dutch 17th century paintings.
- May 12 – Women in Art; Ellen Peck Killoh, DMFA. A look at the depiction of women as goddesses, lovers, and idealized family members in the museum’s art and sculptures.
- May 19 – Stewardship in American Landscape Painting; Pat McCarthy, DMFA. How 19th century landscape painters like Church, Bierstadt, and Ranney influenced stewardship of the American landscape.
- May 26 – Velocipedes; John Howell, Wood Museum of Springfield History. The evolution of the bicycle from early foot power to modern bikes and motorcycles.
Monthly Walking Tours are presented in collaboration with the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association (AQCA). On May 11 from 10:30 am – noon, historic preservation consultant Gregory Farmer will present “The Massasoit Block and Paramount Theater: Planning for Rehabilitation,” highlighting the landmark building's unique features and how the proposed renovations will make it a model commercial rehabilitation project. Walking tours are free for Springfield Museums and AQCA members, $5 nonmembers.
Secure free onsite parking is available.