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3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202, USA

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Join us for public symposium to accompany the Dorian exhibition on display in the Cooley Gallery.

Presentations by: Artists Eve Fowler and Storm Tharp; writer Sara Jaffe; and scholars Daniel A. Novak and Kimberly J. Stern

Facilitators: Jay Dickson and Stephanie Snyder

Lunch will be provided. Please direct questions to: cooley@reed.edu, 503.517.7851.


Oscar Wilde’s 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray is a rare work that chronicles an Orphic descent into art’s symbolic “soul,” examining the nature of human-object relations with fearless imagination and fantasy. Written during the waning of the Victorian era, the novel also presents a morbid case study of “Art for Art’s Sake,” the mantra of Aestheticism, articulated in English by Walter Pater in the late 1860s.

In keeping with Wilde’s philosophical, social, and aesthetic critique, the artists in the exhibition examine art’s capacity to figure and expand the representation and expression of the self—through art, and as art—in response to moral and political issues as critical today as they were in Wilde’s time. The larger exhibition project assembles artists, writers, and scholars for a public conversation with symposium attendees. A commissioned work of fiction by writer Sara Jaffe accompanies the exhibition and will be presented by the author at the symposium.

During the Cooley’s symposium, Portland-based artist Storm Tharp and writer Sara Jaffe will present their work alongside: Eve Fowler, Los Angeles-based artist; Daniel A. Novak, Associate Professor of English, University of Mississippi; and Kimberly J. Stern, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The symposium is organized by Jay Dickson, Professor of English and Humanities, Reed College; and Stephanie Snyder, Director and Curator, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College. The symposium is generously supported by the Department of English, and the Office of the Dean of Faculty. Dorian is curated by Stephanie Snyder.

More about the exhibition can be found here.

Event Details

  • william deegan
  • Sarah Wolfe

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