Michelangelo, ‘David’ to share spotlight in MSU program

Contact: Karyn Brown

Victor Coonin (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An internationally recognized authority on one of the greatest artists of all time—and, arguably, his greatest creation—will speak Sept. 21 at Mississippi State University.

“Michelangelo’s David: From Renaissance Icon to Modern Activist” is the title of Victor Coonin’s address to begin at 4 p.m. in Foster Ballroom U of the Colvard Student Union.

Free and open to all, the event is co-sponsored by the Institute for the Humanities’ 2016-17 Distinguished Lecture Series and the Department of Art.

Coonin will highlight research undertaken for his 2014 book-length monograph titled “From Marble to Flesh: The Biographies of Michelangelo’s David” (Florentine Press). He is the James F. Ruffin Professor of Art History at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where he has taught since 1995.

Over his professional career, Coonin has been honored with a number of scholarships from the prestigious J. William Fulbright, Samuel H. Kress and Andrew W. Mellon foundations. His writings on Italian Renaissance art have been featured in such major journals as the Burlington Magazine, Metropolitan Museum Journal and Artibus et Historiae.

In addition to a doctorate from Rutgers University, he holds a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s study-abroad campus in Florence, Italy, and a bachelor’s from Oberlin College. For more biographical information, visit www.rhodes.edu/bio/cooninv.

“It is a great honor to have Professor Coonin share his expertise about one of the most important works in human history,” said art department head Angie E. Bourgeois. His presentation “promises to cause us to think critically about the evolving impact of Michelangelo’s David on cultures from its creation in the Renaissance to our own time.”

William Anthony Hay, Institute for the Humanities director, said Coonin’s professional work epitomizes “how an iconic artwork develops a life of its own as successive generations bring to it their own understandings.

“We are delighted to have him open the distinguished lecture series for the 2016-17 academic year,” Hay added.

MSU’s Institute for the Humanities is a unit of the College of Arts and Sciences, while the art department is part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. For more on each, see www.ih.msstate.edu and www.caad.msstate.edu/caad_web/art/home.php.

Other details about Coonin’s campus visit is available from Hay at whay@history.msstate.edu or Bourgeois at abourgeois@caad.msstate.edu. Karyn Brown, College of Arts and Sciences communications director, may be reached at kbrown@deanas.msstate.edu or 662-325-7952.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.