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Susan Lawrence Dana and Her Artwork – Lecture

June 4 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm



Monday, June 4th at 7 PM

Springfield Art Association

M.G. Nelson Family Gallery, 700 North Fourth StreetSpringfieldIL


The client and her artwork —  Studies of the Dana-Thomas House and its vast collection typically focus on Frank Lloyd Wright and other collaborating artists. But what does the artwork of the house say about the owner? How is the art a reflection of her, what message does it convey? Dr. John Arthos will explore the relationship between art and the people who purchase and live with it – the patron/client/owner. Join us as we explore this fascinating view of the Flower in the Crannied wall statue and Susan Lawrence Dana.

About the presentation — Rhetorical concepts such as performance, presentation, and representation can help us think through the complex identity of Susan Lawrence as a daughter, heiress, patron, and progressive activist who used her extraordinary Wright home as a quasi-public platform—in an era when women did not have much access to the public stage—to spark her many ambitious, iconoclastic plans as a leading social figure in Springfield. The Flower in the Crannied Wall, the statue that stands in the vestibule of the home’s front entrance, will serve as the focal point of my discussion. The hybrid identity of this white terra cotta figure—half sylvan nude, half art-modern spire—resonates in complex ways with Susan’s own complex identity. I will imagine how these two figures would welcome visitors at the Dana House entranceway and initiate them into the bewitching experience that lay in store for them.   Dr. John Arthos


About the speaker – Dr. John Arthos is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Indiana. He specializes in using interpretation and rhetoric as a way of analyzing poetry, architecture, music, painting, philosophy, argumentation, politics, ethics, religion, history and literature.

The Dana-Thomas House Foundation was incorporated in 1983 to promote, preserve and protect the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in Springfield, IL. This event is sponsored in cooperation with the Springfield Art Association.


June 4
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Springfield Art Association
700 N. 4th Street
Springfield, 62701 United States
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