Lavine Lecture Series

The Leroy and Dorothy Lavine Lecture Series was established to honor the Lavines, two prominent Boston art patrons and longtime supporters of the MIT List Visual Arts Center. This lecture series, featuring distinguished art world speakers and presenters, serves the Boston arts community through its focus on modern and contemporary art.

Past Lavine Lectures

2023 - Lavine Lecture: Cyberfeminism Index Book Launch

MIT List Visual Arts Center will host the book launch for designer and editor Mindy Seu’s Cyberfeminism Index. The event will feature a performative reading by Seu and conversation with Kendra Albert. 

Bright green book on an angle. The front cover has black text that reads "CYBER-FEMINISM INDEX. MINDY SEU"

Mindy Seu, CYBERFEMINISM INDEX, 2022. Courtesy of Inventory Press

2019 - Lavine Lecture: Bertoia Backstory on the MIT Chapel Reredos

The List Center is pleased to present Celia Bertoia, daughter of Harry Bertoia and director and founder of the Harry Bertoia Foundation, for the 2019 Lavine Lecture. Celia Bertoia’s lecture Bertoia Backstory on the MIT Chapel Reredos will reflect on the work at MIT, demonstrate how this fit into his body of work and design, and give life to the relationship between Saarinen and Bertoia.

The MIT Chapel in pictured in front of a blue sky and trees.

Eerro Saarinen, MIT Chapel, 1954.

2017 - Lavine Lecture: Black Fire: The Struggle for Racial Justice in Charlottesville and Beyond, 1964 to the Present

The List Center is pleased to present Claudrena N. Harold, Professor of African American and African Studies and History at the University of Virginia, for the 2017 Lavine Lecture. Dr. Harold’s lecture Black Fire: The Struggle for Racial Justice in Charlottesville and Beyond, 1964 to the Present will reflect on the recent tragedy in Charlottesville and the longer history that precedes current struggles for racial justice. 

A man in a suit stands with a protest sign that reads "War Kills. ROTC feeds the war!"

Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold, We Demand (still), 2016. Single-channel, video, sound, 10:19 min. Courtesy the artists and Picture Palace Pictures.

2016 - Lavine Lecture: Nature Is Never Finished: Land Art Conservation in the 21st Century

The 2016 Lavine Lecture presents a discussion between Francesca Esmay and James Nisbet, tackling the complex matter of eroding land forms within the cultural context of shifting categories of nature and culture. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

A white balloon floats over a spiral jetty, beach, and ocean.

Photo Credit: Katie Sonnenborn, Spiral Jetty research trip organized by Francesca Esmay for Dia Art Foundation & the Getty Research Institute, 2009.

2015 - Lavine Lecture: Surface Tension, Screen Space: A Talk by Giuliana Bruno

Join us for this special talk by Giuliana Bruno, Emmet Blakeney Gleason Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University. Professor Bruno’s talk “Surface Tension, Screen Space” is presented in conjunction with the List’s current exhibition, Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space. The gallery will be open before the presentation.  

Grass and branch textures are projected through layers of glass.

Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space. Exhibition Installation view: MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2015.

2014 - Lavine Lecture: Joan Jonas: A Meter-Making Argument / A Talk by Gregory Volk

Join us in continuing the celebration of Joan Jonas in the lead-up to the 2015 Venice Bienale through this special Lavine Lecture with art critic and curator Gregory Volk. Joan Jonas, a brilliant practitioner and pioneer of video, performance, and installation art, is among the most significant artists of the past several decades. 

A woman in a white coat walks a dog.

The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things, 2005 Performance at Dia Beacon.

2008 - The Leroy and Dorothy Lavine Lecture: Light Trap for Dan Flavin a Talk by Jeffrey Weiss

This talk will represent Dan Flavin’s landmark Green Gallery exhibition in 1964 as a dividing point in the development of his work. Focusing on the precise nature of the fluorescent lamp (both the object and the light) as Flavin’s sole medium, it will bracket Flavin in the context of the rise of so-called minimal art, seeking instead to position his early work within a more complex historical narrative centered on the re-emergence of Marcel Duchamp as an art world figure in New York circa 1960.

An installation by Dan Flavin consists of parallel LED light beams.

Dan Flavin, Untitled (for Conor Cruise O’Brien) 5c, 1990, Gift of Dorothy and Roy Lavine, Photo by Chuck Mayer Photography.