The Astronomer (c. 1668), Johannes Vermeer

What makes Vermeer a great artist? It could be how he used color and his unabashed use of expensive and natural pigments. It could be his innate capacity to achieve uncanny realism without any formal training. It could be his poetic use of light and shadow. Tim Jenison says it's how Vermeer utilized a system of optical technologies to create his works.

This Community Lecture offered a special screening of the documentary Tim’s Vermeer. The film follows Tim Jenison’s obsessive pursuit to prove that Vermeer’s works were a product of scientific innovation. Following the film, producer Farley Ziegler, Tim Jenison himself, and SFI Professor Jessica Flack discussed the film, the space for science in and around art, and what constitutes a real painting. 

Watch the talk (73 minutes). Due to copyright, video from this community lecture does not include footage from the documentary. "Tim's Vermeer" is available for rent or purchase through Amazon instant video.

Tim Jenison is considered the visionary force behind the desktop video revolution. He was an early personal computer enthusiast, seeing their potential to integrate his many passions: electronics, music, film and video. Jenison recently attempted to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art, and that historic research project is now the subject of the acclaimed documentary, Tim's Vermeer

Farley Ziegler’s Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art  was called "among the great art documentaries of the past half-century” by The Wall Street Journal. Tim’s Vermeer is the latest in a long string of Ziegler’s award-winning productions, including Penn Jillette’s hit comedy The Aristocrats and a collaboration with Peabody-award winning monologist Joe Frank. 

Generous underwriting from Thornburg Investment Management, with additional support from The Lensic Performing Arts Center, makes SFI's Community Lecture series possible.

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