Janetta Rebold Benton, Ph.D. 
Email: JBenton@pace.edu
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janetta_Rebold_Benton 

  • Article:  “The Museum as Cultural Magnet: Enhanced Experience, Increased Attendance,” The State Hermitage Museum, Museum of the 21st Century: New Educational Strategies, Proceedings of the International Conference 25-27 November 2015, The State Hermitage Publishers, Saint Petersburg, 2017, 128-33, pls. XV-XVI, with summary in Russian.

  • Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: All-day Saturday seminar, May 20, 2017-- Home Is Where the Art Is: Connecting Creativity and Place  Click to see detail below.

  • Smithsonian Journeys, Washington, DC: Study Leader on two trips in 2017. Click to see detail below.

  • Book: HANDBOOK FOR THE HUMANITIES (Robert DiYanni, co-author),  Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2014

  • Fulbright Senior Scholar, Graduate School of Art History, European University, St. Petersburg, Russia, August 2012 - January 2013.

Schimmel Center for the Arts, NY, NY

Spring 2017, 4 lectures, Wednesday, 12:15 - 1:15 PM


Where did these geniuses actually live and work? Sneak a peek into the private homes (and personal lives) of famous painters, sculptors, and architects. Dr. Benton compares their environments to their masterpieces. Did the artists' homes, including the surrounding gardens, neighborhoods, and countryside, influence their art?

1. February 8, 2017   Italy: Fra Angelico at San Marco monastery in Florence, Leonardo da Vinci in Vinci and the Clos Lucé in Amboise, Raphael in Urbino, Giorgio Vasari in Arezzo

2. February 15, 2017   Northern Europe: Albrecht Dürer in Nuremberg, Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp, Rembrandt in Amsterdam

3. February 22, 2017   France: Claude Monet in Giverny, Pierre-Auguste Renoir at Les Collettes in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Auguste Rodin at the Villa des Brillants in Meudon, Vincent van Gogh in Arles, St-Rémy, and Auvers

4. March 1, 2017   North America: Frida Kahlo at the Blue House in Mexico City, Georgia O'Keeffe at Ghost Ranch and Abiquiú in New Mexico, Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin East  and West in Wisconsin and  Arizona, Philip Johnson's Glass House in Connecticut

For Information: http://schimmel.​pace.edu/genre/lecture

Phone (866) 811-4111 or (212) 346-1715

The conversation continues: Each lecture is followed by refreshments hosted by Dr. Benton.

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

All-day  seminar, Saturday, May 20, 2017

Home Is Where the Art Is: Connecting Creativity and Place

Where did some of the most important and creative visual artists actually live and work? Sneak a peek into the private homes (and personal lives) of famous painters, sculptors, and architects. Dr. Benton compares their environments to their masterpieces. Did the artists' homes, including the surrounding gardens, influence their art? Or did the artists create homes to accommodate their image of an ideal domestic environment? And what was the life style enjoyed in these homes (and with whom was it shared)?

1. Italy: Fra Angelico, a pious Dominican monk frescoed the walls and monks' cells at San Marco monastery in Florence, where he lived, and depicted the Annunciation occurring in the architecture of his monastery, newly built by Michelozzo. Mantegna's mathematical interests appear in the home he designed entirely himself in Mantua, based on a circle within a square.  Raphael's childhood home in Urbino provides an example of a typical 15th-century home. Leonardo da Vinci began his life in rural, rustic Vinci, but concluded it in his own château, the Clos Lucé in Amboise, as the guest of King Francois Ier of France.  The great biographer, Giorgio Vasari, painted his homes in Arezzo and Florence to elevate his social status.

2. Northern Europe: Albrecht Dürer, whose scientific interests equal those of Leonardo da Vinci, lived in a large half-timber home in Nuremberg. Peter Paul Rubens made a fortune and displayed it in his home/studio in Antwerp as well as his château, Het Steen. Rembrandt, a brilliant painter, lacking Rubens's financial skill, was forced to declare bankruptcy and lost his fine brick home in Amsterdam.

3. France: Claude Monet lived in a home painted in vivid colors, with an extensive garden he designed, including the lily pond that appears in his paintngs, in Giverny. After achieving financial success, Pierre-Auguste Renoir built a home with an extensive garden at Les Collettes in idyllic Cagnes-sur-Mer in the south of France. Auguste Rodin lived in his Villa des Brillants in Meudon, outside Paris, where he had his sculpture studio, and also had a Paris address. Vincent van Gogh had 38 addresses in 37 years of life; we follow him in Mons, Paris, Arles, St-Rémy, and Auvers where his troubled life ended tragically.

4. North America: Frida Kahlo chronicled the difficulties of her life in her intimately personal paintings; she was born and died at the Blue House in Mexico City. Georgia O'Keeffe found the solitude and open space she craved at Ghost Ranch and Abiquiú in New Mexico. Frank Lloyd Wright created his own distinctive homes at Taliesin East  and West in Wisconsin and  Arizona. Philip Johnson built his iconic Glass House in Connecticut

For Information: https://smithsonianassociates.org/ticketing/Tickets/Reserve.aspx?id=238851

 Smithsonian Journeys, Washington, DC

As the Smithsonian Expert on the following trips, I present several formal lectures on each, as well as many informal talks.


1. Smithsonian Journeys trip: "Essence of London," July 12-20 2017. For information: http://www.smithsonianjourneys.org/tours/london-stay/expert/

2. Smithsonian Journeys trip: "Saint Petersburg and the Baltics," August 15-28, 2017.  For information:  http://www.smithsonianjourneys.org/tours/stpetersburg-baltics/itinerary/


1) Highlights of Italy, May 21-June 5, 2018. For information: http://www.smithsonianjourneys.org/tours/italy/itinerary/

2) Great European Journey, June 12-22, 2018. For information: ​http://www.smithsonianjourneys.org/tours/europe-train-cruise/itinerary/

3) London: One-Week Stay in England , July 5-13, 2018. For information: http://www.smithsonianjourneys.org/tours/london-stay/itinerary/

Conference Papers

Institute for Medieval Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 
Medieval Animals Conference, Invited keynote speaker, presentation on "The Medieval Menagerie: Animals in the Art of the Middle Ages,"April 25, 2017. For information: http://www.unm.edu/~medinst/events/archives/2016-17/2017-sls-schedule.pdf

The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia,   
"The Museum as Cultural Magnet: Enhanced Experience, Increased Attendance," Museum of the XXI Century: New Educational Paradigms. Third International Roundtable, November 2015.

Janetta Rebold Benton is Distinguished Professor of Art History at Pace University, NY. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, 2012-13, as Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Art History, European University, Saint Petersburg, Russia. 

Dr. Benton presents subscription lecture series at the Schimmel Center for the Arts, NYC, and subscription seminars at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. She presented subscription lecture series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art every season 1988-2011, and has also lectured at The Cloisters, NYC; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach; and elsewhere in America and abroad, including the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia and the Louvre, Paris, France. She is a lecturer on Smithsonian and Metropolitan Museum of Art trips throughout the world. A former resident of Paris, she taught courses in art history there as the Art Historian at the American Embassy.

 The author of eight books, her latest, HANDBOOK FOR THE HUMANITIES (Robert DiYanni co-author, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2014), is published in paperback and as an E-book. ARTS AND CULTURE: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HUMANITIES (Robert DiYanni co-author, Pearson/Prentice Hall, two volumes and combined volume, fourth edition, 2012) is also published in Chinese (2011). MATERIALS, METHODS, AND MASTERPIECES OF MEDIEVAL ART (Praeger Series on the Middle Ages, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA, 2009) is available in hardcover and as an E-book. MEDIEVAL MISCHIEF: WIT AND HUMOUR IN THE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES (The History Press, Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2004) studies an engaging aspect of medieval art. ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES (Thames & Hudson, London, 2002) is published in the acclaimed World of Art series. HOLY TERRORS: GARGOYLES ON MEDIEVAL BUILDINGS (Abbeville Press, NY, 1997) is also published in French as SAINTES TERREURS: LES GARGOUILLES DANS L'ARCHITECTURE MÉDIÉVALE (2000). Dr. Benton was the guest curator and catalog author for the 1995 exhibition MEDIEVAL MONSTERS: DRAGONS AND FANTASTIC CREATURES at the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY. Her book, THE MEDIEVAL MENAGERIE: ANIMALS IN THE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES (Abbeville Press, NY, 1992), a Book of the Month Club selection, is also published in French as BESTIAIRE MÉDIÉVAL: LES ANIMAUX  DANS  L'ART DU MOYEN AGE (1992). Articles by Dr. Benton appear in the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HUMOR STUDIES, Sage Reference, Los Angeles, CA, 2014; the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition catalog, SET IN STONE: THE FACE IN MEDIEVAL SCULPTURE, 2007; as well as in scholarly journals including Cahiers de Civilisation Médiévale, Poitiers, 1998; Arte Medievale, Rome, 1993; Artibus et Historiae, Vienna, 1989; and Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, 1985.

Dr. Benton was educated at Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, MDP diploma; earned her Ph.D. in Art History at Brown University; Master of Arts degree in Art History from George Washington University; and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornell University.