Foundations of the History of Christian Art November 2

Dr. John Spike, an author, lecturer and art historian who specializes in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, will be the next presentation in the Saint Vincent College Threshold Series at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 in the Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center on the campus of Saint Vincent College. His talk, entitled “Foundations of the History of Christian Art.”

Admission is free but reservations are required by submitting a request to

The lecture will be introduced by Br. Nathan M. Cochran, O.S.B., instructor in fine arts and director of the Saint Vincent Gallery at Saint Vincent College.

Dr. Spike served as juror for the Fourth Nationwide Catholic Arts Competition and Exhibition at Saint Vincent Gallery. The juried competition was held this past summer and seeks to foster the arts of the Western Christian tradition, but other artistic traditions of Christian subject matter were also considered. Winners of cash prizes will be announced at the conclusion of Dr. Spike’s lecture.

The exhibition will open with a reception in the Gallery from 5 to 7:30 p.m. preceding the lecture. The exhibition will continue from Nov. 3 to Dec. 9 during regular Gallery hours: 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The Gallery will be closed on Mondays and during the Thanksgiving holiday, November 21 to 25. Admission is free and open to the public.

Dr. Spike specializes in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. He is also an important critic of contemporary art and is past director of the Biennial of Florence. In 2007, Mr. Spike was named to the faculty of the Masters in Sacred Architecture, Arts and Liturgy organized by the European University of Rome and the Pontifical Athenaeum, ‘Regina Apostolorum.’ This year Dr. Spike joined the faculty of The College of William and Mary and serves as assistant director and chief curator of the Muscarelle Museum of Art.

During his career Dr. Spike has organized exhibitions and given lectures at many of the world’s most important museums: the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna; the Uffizi Gallery and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centraleof Florence; the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Pierpont Morgan Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Musée du Louvre, Paris; the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart; the National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta, Malta; and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He has also lectured at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Oxford Universities and the University of Malta.

He is the author of more than 25 art books and exhibition catalogs published in English, French, German and Italian. Some of them include: Young Michelangelo: The Path to the Sistine (U.S. edition 2010); Masaccio (1996) and Fra Angelico (1997). In 2001, Dr. Spike published Caravaggio, a monograph with complete catalogue raisonné of the paintings, which was revised and published in 2010.
Admission is free of charge for Dr. Spike’s presentation at Saint Vincent College. However, all seats in the Performing Arts Center are reserved and admission will be by ticket only. Requests for reservations may be made by email. Persons requesting tickets should send their name, address, daytime phone (include area code) and number of seats requested to the Threshold Box Office at All reservations will be confirmed by return email. Please note that tickets will be held at the box office for pickup upon arrival for the presentation; no tickets are mailed in advance. Tickets not claimed by 7:10 p.m. will be released.

Saint Vincent College established the Threshold Lecture Series in 1981 when the Kennametal Foundation of Latrobe made a substantial grant to the College for the creation of an ongoing series of lectures and cultural events.