Masters Series

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About the Peristyle

A classical concert hall whose name means “an area surrounded by columns,” the Peristyle’s most distinguishing architectural feature is a curving row of 28 Ionic columns which surround the main seating area, arranged in tiers reminiscent of theaters of ancient Greece. Designed by architect Edward B. Green, the 1,750-seat Peristyle was built as part of the Museum’s 1933 major expansion.

Masters Series Events

The TMA Masters Series consists of public programs featuring world-renowned artists, scholars, musicians and others who are invited to share their knowledge and talents at the Museum. Held in the grand Peristyle Theater, the lectures and performances are oftentimes free of charge.

The Masters Series is sponsored in part by the TMA Ambassadors.

tma ambassadors logo

Photo © Tony Powell. 2015 Art In Embassies Reception. Blair House. January 21, 2015-112Artist Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley discusses his work prior to the opening of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. His signature portraits of everyday men and women riff on paintings by Old Masters, replacing European aristocrats with contemporary African American subjects, drawing attention to their absence from historical and cultural narratives.

February 9, 2017 | 6 p.m.

paul durcanPoet Paul Durcan

A celebrated voice in contemporary Irish literature, poet Paul Durcan presents an illustrated dramatic reading of work from his new book, Wild, Wild Erie. The collection of fifty poems is inspired by works he selected from the Toledo Museum of Art’s world-class collection, and marks his first collaboration with an American museum.

October 13, 2016 | 6 p.m.

Fred TomaselliArtist Fred Tomaselli

The Toledo Museum of Art’s Masters Series continues with New York-based visual artist and birder Fred Tomaselli, whose exhibition Keep Looking: Fred Tomaselli’s Birds is on view at the Toledo Museum of Art through August 7.

May 12, 2016 | 6 p.m.


Curator David. W. Penney with Collectors Charles and Valerie Diker

The Masters Series continues with David W. Penney, guest curator of Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection, and collectors Charles and Valerie Diker. Penney is associate director of museum scholarship at the National Museum of the American Indian; the Dikers have one of the most renowned private collections of American Indian art.

Feb. 11, 2016 | 6 p.m.

George ShackelfordGeorge T.M. Shackelford

A noted curator and Edgar Degas scholar, George T.M. Shackelford will discuss the origins and development of the painter’s interest in the ballet, placing the Toledo Museum of Art collection’s Dancers and Rehearsal Room in the continuum of the artist’s series of works.

Dec. 10, 2015 | 6 p.m.

Dr. Johnnetta B. ColeDr. Johnnetta B. Cole

In her role as director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Dr. Cole has been at the forefront of not only African art, but issues of African-American culture and identity. Before taking on her role at the Smithsonian, Dr. Cole served as president of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women.

Oct. 8, 2015 | 6 p.m.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts Director and President Kaywin Feldman.

Kaywin Feldman

“Making art and art museums essential to everyone” – that was Kaywin Feldman’s goal during her tenure as president of the Association of Art Museum Directors. She continues to be a force in the museum world, both as director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and as board chair of the American Alliance of Museums. Feldman will offer a candid discussion on the challenges facing museums in the 21st century during her lecture.

June 4, 2015 | 6 p.m.

Darra Goldstein

Photo credit: Caleb Kenna

Darra Goldstein

Goldstein will bring her thoughtful approach to the culinary arts when she presents “Looking at Cookbooks: Seven Centuries of Visual Feasts.” Her talk will reveal the kitchen manual’s role as an aesthetic symbol of our culture and will be followed by a book signing.

February 19, 2015 | 6 p.m.

Brett LeonardBrett Leonard

Born in Toledo, Brett Leonard is a visionary American film and video director, writer, and producer. Mr. Leonard joins TMA Director Brian Kennedy in a conversation about the creative possibilities of digital technology.

September 25, 2014 | 6 p.m.

Sean ScullySean Scully

Irish-born artist Sean Scully holds fast to idea of the abstract, in part because he is so comfortable with ambiguity. “The interest I think in the work is that I’ve combined intimacy with monumentality,” he said in a rare 2011 interview with The Guardian. “And there are no certainties in my paintings.”

May 1, 2014 | 6 p.m.

Dr. Eric Haskell

The Art of André Le Nôtre with Dr. Eric Haskell

The son of King Louis XIII’s head gardener, André Le Nôtre grew up to become one of history’s greatest green thumbs, designing gardens at Versaille, Vaux-le-Vicomte and the Tuileries. Largely regarded as European history’s greatest landscape architect, Le Nôtre’s designs revolutionized French formal gardens.

March 13, 2014 | 6 p.m.

Paul TimmanPaul Timman, Hollywood tattoo artist

Like many native Toledoans, Paul Timman took art classes as a child at the Toledo Museum of Art. Those early experiences eventually led to a Hollywood career as a tattoo artist to stars like Angelina Jolie and Ben Affleck. He specializes in tribal work and traditional Japanese designs, many of them inspired by Japanese woodblock prints.

December 5, 2013 | 6 p.m.

Robert EdselRobert Edsel, Best selling author

How does art survive war? It was the question Robert Edsel wanted to answer when he wrote The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. He will discuss the Monuments Men’s legacy and their depiction in a major feature film directed by George Clooney. Co-sponsored by the Toledo Lucas-County Public Library.

October 10, 2013 | 6 p.m.

Trombone ShortyConcert: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Return

The New Orleans native will return to the Peristyle for a repeat engagement presented by the Art Tatum Jazz Society in what’s sure to be a can’t-miss concert—he brought down the house during his first, October 2011 appearance there.

September 18, 2013 | 8 p.m.

Wally Caruana, Aboriginal art expert

Wally Caruana was senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra from 1984 to 2001 and has written widely about Aboriginal art. He will discuss the emergence of the Aboriginal art movement and its significance today. Co-sponsored by the TMA Ambassadors.

June 6, 2013 | 6 p.m.

An Evening with Jaume Plensa

A famed artist and poet from Barcelona, Spain, Jaume Plensa created TMA’s newest addition to the Welles Sculpture Garden: Spiegel (“mirror”), composed of two crouching giants given shape by a steel latticework of letters and characters, white during the day and lit up at night. Co-sponsored by the TMA Ambassadors.

March 14, 2013

Gary Tinterow

Gary Tinterow, the new director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and 28-year veteran of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, will discuss Édouard Manet’s fondness for Spanish art and for the artist Diego Velázquez in particular. Co-sponsored by the TMA Ambassadors.

October 11, 2012

An Evening with Fred Wilson

Conceptual artist Fred Wilson discusses his work with museums, in which he brings out historical and racial complexities in often familiar objects. A distinguished visiting fellow at Skidmore College, Wilson has twice represented the U.S. at the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition. Co-sponsored by the TMA Ambassadors.

June 15, 2012


John Clarke: Vesuvius and the Villa: New Discoveries in Pompeii

One of the world’s top scholars on ancient Pompeii, John Clarke of the University of Texas at Austin, discusses findings of a major study of a huge luxury villa that dates 50 BC–AD 79. Co-sponsored by the TMA Ambassadors.

April 12, 2012


Jay Shafer: Tumbleweed and the Tiny House Movement

The founder of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company—a component of TMA’s Small Worlds exhibition—and a recognized leader in the small living movement, Jay Shafer discusses the growing movement toward living smaller and simpler. Co-sponsored by the TMA Ambassadors.

March 8, 2012


Concert: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue: For True

Fresh off appearances on Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, and the prestigious Montreux, Newport and Playboy Jazz Festivals, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are the hottest act in contemporary jazz. Co-sponsored by the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Society.

October 25, 2011


Pieter Biesboer: Frans Hals’ Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape

The emeritus curator of paintings at the Frans Hals Museum (Haarlem, the Netherlands) sheds light on the history and importance of this new acquisition by the Toledo Museum of Art. Co-sponsored by the TMA Ambassadors and the Mellon Foundation.

October 13, 2011


International Museum Day Presentation: Museums and Memory

Directors from three major Midwest museums—Brian Kennedy (TMA), Graham Beal (Detroit Institute of Art), and David Franklin (Cleveland Museum of Art)—discuss the state of these grand “temples of art.” Moderated by art journalist and blogger Judith Dobrzynski.

May 18, 2011


An Evening with Frank Stella

Artist Frank Stella and TMA director Brian Kennedy reunite for a discussion of the exhibition Irregular Polygons (April 8–July 24, 2011). Moderated by Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes. Co-sponsored by the TMA Ambassadors.

April 7, 2011

 Ernst van de WeteringRembrandt Laughing and Ernst van de Wetering

The world’s leading authority on Rembrandt will discuss the authentication process that was used to validate  that Rembrandt Laughing is indeed a portrait from the hand of Rembrandt Harmensz.

March 3, 2011