Lecture: H. Reed Armstrong, "'To Kalon': The Quest for the
Good and the Beautiful from Classical Greece to the Present"
April 23, 2016 7:00 PM
Join us for this, the fourth of a series of lectures for 2016, entitled "In the Beauty of Holiness: Art, Architecture, and the Transcendent".
Hamilton Reed Armstrong
'To Kalon': The Quest for the Good and the Beautiful from Classical Greece to the Present
This presentation will be an illustrated historical survey of the concept of goodness and beauty: from the Classical Greek understanding of the natural order; to the supernatural vision of Medieval Christianity; to Renaissance humanism; to the Baroque fusion of nature and grace; and on to the confusion begun in the early 20th century and the present day attacks on both the Beautiful and the Good as seen in the visual arts.
Following the lecture, there will be a light reception with an opportunity to greet the speaker.
About Hamilton Reed Armstrong
Mr. Armstrong was born in Greenwich, CT, and studied art as a child with Hungarian sculptor Carl Iluva, and later in the 1950’s, with Walker Hancock, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After returning from travels in Europe on a P.F.A. Cresson Scholarship, he apprenticed with the established American sculptor Fredrick Shrady. Much of Mr. Armstrong's work was produced during an extended stay in Spain, (1964 - 1980) where his work was extolled by internationally recognized critics Raul Chavarí, and Cecílio Barbarán as a revitalization in the 20th century of the Spanish mystical tradition of the “Golden Age” as seen in the work of such artists as El Greco, Zurbarán, Alonso Cano, and Martinez Martiñez. Mr. Armstrong's work is reproduced in the UNESCO Encyclopedia of World History (Edicion Planeta 1977, Vol. II). His sculptures are displayed in museums, churches, public places, and private homes both here in the U.S.A. and abroad.
As well as his sculptural endeavors, Mr. Armstrong has been active in Catholic art education. He has taught studio art at the Heights School in Potomac MD. and the history of art at Christendom College in Front Royal, VA. He was previously Director of the Magi Center for Religious Art at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC and is presently Professor of Fine Arts at the International Catholic University, Notre Dame, IN. Mr. Armstrong has also lectured at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.
He has written articles concerning the visual arts for a variety of Catholic magazines and periodicals including; Crisis Magazine, Communio, Latin Mass, and the Journal of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.
Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and was the recipient of the 2005 “Humanitarian Award” from The American Maritain Association. He is also a Grand Officer in the Chivalric Order of Skenderbeg.
Ever attentive to the Mystical tradition, Armstrong believes that, "All great art is the product of inspiration, and that the painter, the poet, the playwright and prophet are all of the same guild. They are purveyors of visions."
Lest anyone dismiss the above as idyll speculation, ponder the words of the eminent French art historian René Hughyé:
"Many think of art as a mere diversion, a thing that is marginal to the real business of life, they do not see that it [visual art] looks into life’s very heart and lays bare its unconscious secrets, that it contains the most honest confessions, confessions that have within them the least element of calculation and must therefore be accounted especially sincere. The soul of – the individual- and of an age no longer wears a mask, it seeks and discloses itself with the prophetic knowledge that is to be found both with the highly sensitive and the possessed."
For more information on Mr. Armstrong's work, please visit his website.