The Bavarian Rococo, the Outlier of Eighteenth-Century Art: Block Museum - Northwestern University
Skip to main content

The Bavarian Rococo, the Outlier of Eighteenth-Century Art

ornately built and painted church altar
Wieskirche, designed by the Zimmermann brothers, near Steingaden, Germany, 1745–1755, view toward altar.
5:00 PM-6:30 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Wed May 17, 2023
5:00 PM-6:30 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


Spring 2023 Warnock Lecture, presented by the Department of Art History

Bavarian rococo art and architecture has long received both attention and derision from art historians. It is incredibly sophisticated in design and seemingly totally out of sync with the broader narrative of European art: backward-looking, regionally influential, and exuberantly unrestrained in its abundant use of ornamentation. This lecture shall explore what we can do with this visually arresting art and suggest that it deserves a firmer place in art history.

Join us afterwards for a reception from 6:30-7:30pm.



Programs are open to all, on a first-come first-served basis. RSVPs are not required, but appreciated, as they help us anticipate attendance numbers.



About the Speaker:

Michael Yonan is Professor of Art History and Alan Templeton Endowed Chair in the History of European Art, 1600–1830, at the University of California, Davis. His areas of research are eighteenth-century European art, the decorative arts, material culture studies, and art historical historiography and methodology. He is the author of Empress Maria Theresa and the Politics of Habsburg Imperial Art (2011), Messerschmidt’s Character Heads: Maddening Sculpture and the Writing of Art History (2018), and with Stacey Sloboda is co-editor of Eighteenth-Century Art Worlds: Global and Local Geographies of Art (2019). In 2022 he was visiting guest professor at the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University, Sweden. He is currently writing a book on materiality in art history.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at