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Lecture on artist Schwarzburg at Marcella Sembrick Museum

BOLTON LANDING - Artist, professor, and philosopher Peter Schwarzburg was considered by many to be one of the greatest intellects of the 20th century who excelled in philosophy, science, teaching, and not least of all, landscape painting. The late Schwarzburg created about 100 paintings of Lake George (1945-2002) at the estate of Marcella Sembrich.

Neil A. Chassman, a professor and longtime friend of the artist will deliver the lecture "The Intersection of the Art of Peter Schwarzburg and the Estate of Marcella Sembrich" at the museum, 4800 Lake Shore Drive, on Wednesday, July 14. The cost is $5.

Chassman's talk will include a visual journey through the works Schwarzburg painted from scenic Sembrich Point, facing the Sagamore Hotel, which he says combine distinctly American and European traditions with a striking freshness and a powerful, sensitive individuality. Schwarzburg was a New York City resident but had spent summers in Bolton Landing since childhood.

Chassman grew up in New York City and has traveled, taught, and lectured throughout the U.S. and abroad. He was chairman, Department of Art History, Southern Methodist University; chairman, Department of Art and Art History, Western Illinois University; and Visiting Senior Professor, Brisbane College, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Chassman met the artist back in 1959 when he was a student and Schwarzburg was teaching at The New School in Manhattan.

"He was teaching phenomology and existentialism in the fields of psychology and philosophy," recalled Chassman. "Peter was so brilliant that in order to be his student you needed to be able to handle his intelligence, which was not easy because he thought in leaps and bounds."

Though his first love was painting, Chassman said he never taught it because "he wanted to keep his creative expression separate from his teaching." Still, Schwarzburg went on to teach some of the greats in the art world, including the sculptor Joel Shapiro, Tad Day, Simon Gaon, Ronald Denota, Richard Rash and Myron Heise.

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