Join us to discuss Bernini: His Life and His Rome, by Franco Mormando. Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680) was the last of the great universal Italian artistic geniuses: sculptor, architect, painter, playwright and scenographer. His artistic vision is still seen in the statues, fountains and buildings that transformed Rome into a Baroque paradise. Mormando leads us through Bernini’s many feuds and love affairs, scandals and sins, set against a vivid backdrop of popes and politicians, schemes and secrets. The discussion will be led by Lynn Harris. Read more »
Michael Stehr, Artist; Owner, Sistine Chapel Decorative Art
Stehr will discuss how Gian Lorenzo Bernini used his immense talents as an architect, painter and sculptor to define the unique visual style of the Baroque Age. Bernini, and his collaborators and rivals, accomplished their makeover of Rome by successfully pursuing the patronage of Popes, who dipped into the wealth of the resurgent Counter-Reformation Church to restore the monumental grandeur of the Eternal City.Read more »
The most dangerous man in Hitler’s cabinet, Reinhard Heydrich, was known as the “Butcher of Prague,” feared by all and loathed by most. Heydrich seemed indestructible – until two men, a Slovak and a Czech recruited by the British secret service, killed him in broad daylight on a bustling street in Prague, and thus changed the course of history. Binet’s story is a vivid and highly interesting approach to the historical novel.Read more »
Enjoy a Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure. Join Rick Evans for a memorable midday walk and discover the history and mysteries of Chinatown. Explore colorful alleys and side streets. Visit a Taoist temple, an herbal store, the site of the first public school in the state, and the famous Fortune Cookie Factory. There is a short break for a tea sample during the tour.
Join a more active Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Russian Hill is a magical area with secret gardens and amazing views. Join Rick Evans for a two-hour hike up hills and staircases and learn about the history of this neighborhood. See where great artists and architects lived and worked, and walk down residential streets where some of the most historically significant houses in the Bay Area are located.Read more »
1491 creates a picture of the Americas before the Europeans landed by synthesizing scientific discoveries from anthropology, archaeology and paleolinguistics. Mann arrives at startling conclusions about the civilizations thriving before Columbus: a far more urban, populated and technologically advanced region than generally assumed.Read more »