Lecture

Degas Through His Own Eyes: Failing Vision and Changing Styles in an Aging Artist

Degas Through His Own Eyes: Failing Vision and Changing Styles in an Aging Artist

Date: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Dr. Michael Marmor, Professor of Ophthalmology, Stanford University
Type: Lecture

Over the last 40 years of his career, Edgar Degas’s vision became progressively blurred, ultimately to the point where he would have been declared legally blind. His pastels became rougher, although his blurred vision smoothed over these "imperfections" in his own view. The Museum’s collection of Degas bronzes shows a similar progression of style. The famous Little Dancer has wonderful details, but late in Degas’s life, his sculptures became rougher, and the details of face, hair and hands disappeared. Dr. Michael Marmor reviews the problem of failing vision in aging artists and poses the question of whether and how it was a factor in their late styles. By simulating the defects of vision, Marmor sheds light on just what the artist could and could not see.


Theater | Free with admission | Stickers for ensured seating are distributed in the Main Entrance gallery starting at 3:00 p.m. Members enjoy early seating between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m.; general admission seating begins at 3:45 p.m.