Trompe l’oeil and Modernity
The C. Richard Hilker Lecture
Judith Barter
Thu, December 5th, 2013 | 6:30 pm

Note: This event has reached capacity.



During the 1870s, American trompe l’oeil painting enjoyed a rebirth. Usually seen as trickery, deception, or humor, Dr. Judith Barter’s lecture addresses trompe l’oeil as a type of painting that contained modern ideas. These contain narratives that reflect a new consumer culture, standardization and professionalism, memory and reality, and the very nature of painting itself. Set against the background of department stores, photography, and optics, works by Harnett, Peto, Haberle, and Cope sought to redefine the meaning of contemporary painting that foreshadows issues of twentieth-century American art.

This is a special program presented free of charge by the Sansom Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports numerous causes. Since 2001, the Foundation has held a series of scholarly lectures to celebrate and commemorate the leadership of the late C. Richard Hilker, its past President. Tickets must be reserved in advance.


Dr. Judith Barter is the Field-McCormick Chair and Curator of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of numerous books and exhibitions, including Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman (1999), Edward Hopper (2007), and American Art in the Age of Impressionism (2011), and two major collection catalogs, American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago (1999) and American Modernism at the Art Institute of Chicago (2009). Her recent publications include For Kith and Kin: Folk Art at the Art Institute of Chicago (2012), and she is the author of the forthcoming Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture and Cuisine (November 2013).


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


Tickets to this program are extremely limited and must be reserved in advance.

By phone: Please contact New-York Historical’s in-house call center at (212) 485-9268. Call center is open 9 am–5 pm daily.
In person: Advance tickets may be reserved on site at New-York Historical’s Admissions desk during museum hours.
*Online reservations are not possible for this event.

Creative: Tronvig Group