Although artists were considered lower in social status than nobility, they were respected in Renaissance Italy, and especially Florence which was one of the earliest European cities to honor artists by name and provide them with respectable stipends and visibility. In Florence, visual artists were elevated above craftsmen and trades professionals and were expected to communicate with sophistication and an extensive knowledge of history, philosophy, and theology. How did daVinci’s knowledge affect his art? What is it about his art, especially the Mona Lisa, that is so compelling.
Dr. Andrew Connors is Curator of Art at the Albuquerque Museum. Previously he served as Senior Curator at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque and as Associate Curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He has curated dozens of exhibitions primarily in the areas of United States Latino Art, Colonial Art from Puerto Rico, Contemporary art, and Graffiti. He is currently working on an exhibition and book on the history of jewelry in New Mexico from prehistory to the present. As a lecturer, guest teacher, or consultant, he has worked with the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Office of Folklife Programs, Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and the Getty Center for Education in the Arts. He earned his PhD in Folklore and American Studies at George Washington University.