Dickson Series lecture series presents 'The Visibility of the Eiffel Tower'

October 17, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Department of Art History will host an upcoming Dickson Memorial Lecture, "The Visibility of the Eiffel Tower," by Northwestern University Professor Hollis Clayson, at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 in 112 Borland Building on the University Park campus.


 The Illuminated Tower at the Exposition Universelle, 1889.  Library of Congress. 

IMAGE: Library of Congress

Hollis Clayson, professor of art history and Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities, specializes in 19th-century Europe, especially France; and transatlantic exchanges between France and the United States.

The annual Dickson Memorial Lecture Series in Art History brings leading scholars in art history to Penn State to share their latest research and meet with students. Often the topics of the lectures relate to courses that are currently being taught.

About the Dickson Memorial Lecture Series

Established in 2011, the lecture series is made possible by an endowment created by the late Mary Neilly of State College, who graduated from Penn State in 1947 with a degree in journalism. Two years later, when she was managing editor for the Penn State Alumni Association, she took an art history course from Harold E. Dickson (1900-87). She said she never forgot this course and its extraordinary professor, and created the endowed lectureship as a memorial to an exceptional teacher and scholar.

Dickson, one of the founders of the art history department, graduated from the then Pennsylvania State College in 1922, with a degree in architectural engineering; he earned master's and doctoral degrees in fine arts from Harvard University. He taught at Penn State beginning in 1923, with the title of “instructor of watercolor.” Art history began at Penn State as a popular, one-credit “art appreciation” course, and eventually developed into a department. A respected and productive scholar in the field of American art and architecture, Dickson played an instrumental role in finding the funding for and selecting noted muralist Henry Varnum Poor to paint the Land-Grant Frescoes in Old Main.


Last Updated October 23, 2019