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Enduring and Impermanent: A History of Mural Painting

Tuesday, December 15 at 7 pm

Enduring and Impermanent:  A History of Mural Painting 
Presented by Morgan Ridler, PhD.

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                              Enduring and Impermanent: A History of Mural Painting


 The Village of Sleepy Hollow’s new mural project the Wishing Wall along the Hudson River waterfront was developed   as a temporary community mural. Its removal loomed on the horizon from its very inception. While the project is   temporary, its aspirational conceptual framework as a wishing wall is eternal and long lasting. The tension between   the enduring aspiration of mural paintings and their impermanent existence is central to the history of mural painting more broadly. People have been painting directly onto walls for tens of thousands of years as part of spiritual practices, storytelling, ornament and community building. These murals were often thought of as long lasting and perhaps permanent features of our buildings. However, murals are often some of the most fragile of art practices because of both natural and manmade forces. Rootedness to place is a strength but also a vulnerability. In this lecture, art historian Morgan Ridler, PhD, traces the history of mural painting from the earliest examples by our prehistoric ancestors through the contemporary period, with a particular focus on temporary or destroyed murals of the twentieth century. Murals are never forever but their ideas can live on.

Sponsored by:  Historical Society Serving Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown * Village of Sleepy Hollow * Warner Library

Morgan Ridler, PhD. is an art historian based in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Dr. Ridler completed her PhD in Art History at The Graduate Center, CUNY in 2016. Her current research focuses on Bauhaus wall painting, wallpaper and collaborations between painter and architect. She has published her work in academic journals and in the edited collection Bauhaus Bodies: Gender, Sexuality, and Body Culture in Modernism’s Legendary Art School (Bloomsbury, 2019). She teaches at The Cooper Union in New York and Montclair State University in New Jersey.