Dancers for the Harlem Renaissance: Josephine Baker, Johnny Hudgins, and Jack Johnson 

By Robert G. O’Meally

February 15 • 6:00p

FIA Theater

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the lecture Dancers for the Harlem Renaissance: Josephine Baker, Johnny Hudgins, and Jack Johnson on Wednesday, February 15, 6pm, will not be in-person but will be shown virtually, via Zoom or YouTube. 
Dr. Robert O’Meally will present this lecture as Part One of a two-part lecture series dealing with the Harlem Renaissance. Part Two will be in person at a later date this year, to be announced.
You can watch the Zoom lecture in one of two ways:

Register here or watch live on the FIA’s YouTube channel.

Robert G. O’Meally

In this slide-show talk, Robert G. O’Meally will outline the dates and places of the Harlem Renaissance and highlight some of its major movers and shakers: W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, Sterling Brown. He will also give a brief overview of dance of the period, both stage choreography and social dance, but his emphasis will be on the multi-talented Josephine Baker and one of her mentors, Johnny Hudgins, an international dance star in his own time who is now virtually lost to history. The importance of

Jack Johnson, that dancer in the boxing ring who became the first African American to become

Heavyweight Champion of the World will also be explored. Many Harlemites—and then Black people all over America— who never heard of Du Bois were aware that these three cultural icons had changed the course of Black cultural history forever. They were Harlem Renaissance leaders who need to be brought back to center stage. 

Robert G. O’Meally is the Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has served on the faculty for thirty years. The founder and former director of Columbia’s Center for Jazz Studies, O’Meally is the author of several publications, including Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday and Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey. For his production of a Smithsonian record set called The Jazz Singers, he was nominated for a Grammy award. He has held Guggenheim, Cullman, and Library of Congress Fellowships, and was a recent fellow at Columbia’s new Institute for Ideas and Imagination at the Global Center/Paris.

co-sponsored by

The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture logo

The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture has been established to address the topics of art, religion, and history, and is funded annually by The Sheppy Dog Fund, Dr. Alan Klein, Advisor.

Coffee with a Curator


Archived lectures from 2020-2022

The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture: From Cordoba To Cardamon: The World of The Cairo Geniza
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Gary Rendsburg
During the 1890s, the contents of the Cairo Geniza, the storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue built ca. 900 in Fustat (Old Cairo), came to the attention of scholars in England and elsewhere. The discoveries constituted nothing less than a revolution in the student of the Middle Ages. 

The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture | The Book of Marvels: Imagining Asia in Late Medieval France
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Markus Cruse
This lecture examines one of the most famous and sumptuous manuscripts produced in medieval Europe. The Book of Marvels, today preserved in the National Library of France, was produced circa 1410 for the crusader John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. Its compilation of works on Asia, including Marco Polo, and 265 miniatures offer a sweeping portrait of people, places, animals, and customs from the Middle East to China. We discuss how The Book of Marvels came to be and why it is such a valuable record of the global past.

New Archaeological Evidence for the Biblical Kingdom of David

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Michael Pytlik
This talk discusses why the he ancient site of Khirbet Qeiyafa, or Biblical Sha'arayim, was selected for excavation, the exciting finds, and the scope and reach of the kingdom associated with the historical kingdom of David.

‘There came a deadly pestilence’: Art in Tuscany Before and After the Black Death
Guest Lecturer: Dr. C. Griffith Mann
This talk considers the societies and art produced in Tuscany before and after this global epidemic, with a special focus on works of art in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This recording was sponsored by Friends of Modern Art in memory of Dr. Sarah Jordan Lippert.

The Baroque
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Taylor Hagood
In this lecture, Taylor Hagood will explore the forces driving the development of baroque architectural style and the powerful images of Caravaggio, Velazquez, Rubens, Rembrandt, and other artists throughout Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Neha Vedpathak – Artist Talk
For the exhibition Time (Constant, Suspended, Collapsed)
Neha Vedpathak and Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Tracee Glab will discuss the artist's work and process. 
Sponsored by the Bray Charitable Trust. This recording was sponsored by Friends of Modern Art in memory of Dr. Sarah Jordan Lippert.

The Greatest Bible Ever Written 
Kennicott no. 1, La Coruña, Spain, 1476
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Gary Rendsburg
Dr. Rendsburg presents a general background of Hebrew Bible manuscripts from before the age of printing and then focuses on the Kennicott Bible, its layout, format, biblical text, and beautiful illuminations.

Notre-Dame of Paris: In the Light of the Fire
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Lindsay S. Cook
In this illustrated talk, Dr. Lindsay S. Cook discusses the past, present, and likely future of the cathedral of Paris through its material remains, graphic traces, and digital doubles—including the laser scans produced of the building before and after the fire.

The Silk Road Made Visible: Asian Influence on Medieval European Art
Guest Lecturer: Dr. Mark Cruse
This presentation discusses the influence of Asian art and materials on the design, production, and collecting of art in Europe in the late Middle Ages. Dr. Cruse examines the presence of Asian objects in European collections, and the ways in which contact with the East transformed manuscript illumination, monumental painting, sculpture, and other artistic media in Europe. 

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Taylor Hagood
The immigrant son of a Hungarian rabbi, Harry Houdini remains the most famous magician and greatest escape artist the world has known. From his fabulous escapes to his mysterious death, Houdini's life is itself a kind of grand magic illusion filled with a multitude of secrets and still-unsolved mysteries. 
The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture has been established to address the topics of art, religion, and history, and is funded annually by The Sheppy Dog Fund, Dr. Alan Klein, Advisor.For more Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture, click here.