Lecture: High Renaissance Artist, Architect Bernini Explored

April 22nd, 2011

Chuck Benson, historian, architect, and former Green Beret, explores the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini – the leading figure in Roman Baroque architecture and art in the 17th century – on Friday, April 22, at 7 pm in the Essex Meadows Auditorium, 30 Bokum Rd., Essex. Dr. Benson's talk includes a humorous look at some of Bernini’s sculpture, which can be bawdy and is not often a topic of scholarly rumination.

“Gian Lorenzo Bernini was one of the greatest of Roman Baroque artists, architects, and certainly sculptors,” Dr. Benson said. “It could be argued that his mastery of marble even exceeded that of his esteemed predecessor of the High Renaissance, Michelangelo. Without question, Bernini exploded on the art scene of the 1600’s in Rome as a luminous, transcendent talent.”

His illustrated presentation is part of the Essex Library’s Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series (www.essexlib.org). Admission is free; please call the Essex Library (860) 767-1560 to register.

Dr. Benson has been teaching Art and Architectural History for more than twenty five years at various universities and colleges across the United States, and has led groups to explore and visit a variety of sites to Italy, England, Scotland, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Greece and Turkey. He also has led art and architecture trips to New York City, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.

His lecture credits include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, MOMA, the Whitney Museum, the Getty in Los Angeles, the Art Institute in Chicago, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He studied the history of art and architecture at Yale as an undergraduate, and holds advanced degrees from Columbia University. He also has studied at Cambridge and Oxford, as well as the University of Goettingen in Germany.

Dr. Benson currently serves as the Director of Colorado Operations, and Head of Design for a Group that specializes in the architecture and engineering of Satellite Operations Centers and Mission Control Stations. He currently teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and has taught at the Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

The Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series is sponsored by Centerbrook Architects (www.centerbrook.com) and is one of many programs presented by the Essex Library.

Photograph by Sarah Sampsel.