Why do people deface or destroy works of art? Why destroy the very thing created to bring joy, hope, healing and understanding to the world?

The destruction of works of art has been a continuing problem throughout recorded history, and continues into the present. Witness the demolishing of two ancient monuments — a Roman amphitheater and a Tetrapylon gate in the pre-Islamic city of Palmyra by ISIS militants between December 2016 and January 2017.

ISIS targeted Palmyra in May 2015 when it first gained control of the site and destroyed several of its most important cultural monuments, including the Arc of Triumph, the Temple of Bel, and the Temple of Baalshamin, as well as dozens of ancient statues and artifacts.

Visiting scholar Megan Holmes, professor of Italian Renaissance art history at the University of Michigan, addresses the conundrum of art destruction at noon Friday in a lecture in Room 165 at the School of Art at Kent State University, 325 Terrace Drive, Kent. It's free to the public.

Her talk "Rethinking 'Vandalism' and ‘Iconoclasm' " focuses on the intentional defacement of Italian paintings in the 14th and 15th centuries, and places the acts in the context of their times and in relation to conceptions about vandalism, iconoclasm and contemporary attacks on cultural heritage.

Holmes' scholarly interests include the social history of art, popular religion, visual and material culture, monasticism and the arts, and print culture. Her most recent articles focus on ex-votos (icons or objects displayed for religious offerings given to fulfill a vow), illustrated printed miracle books, and the representation of black Africans in Renaissance Florence. kent.edu/art/event/visiting-scholar-talk-megan-holmes.

 

Thursday

Kids Creative Playdate — “Jazz and Geometry Color Jam,” 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St. Best for ages 1-5 years (siblings welcome). Kids can test unconventional methods for making a single object or collaboration with friends. Smocks provided. $10 (free for members). Registration is required at https://bit.ly/2Uefbam.

Teacher Tour of New Exhibitions — Teachers are invited to a free 4:30 p.m. tour of the four new exhibits at the Akron Art Museum, with information, secrets and behind-the-scenes goodies. Space is limited. Registration is required at https://bit.ly/2Pi6Len.

Screen Print — Screen Printing Workshop at the Akron Art Museum, 6:30-8 p.m. Create a custom screenprint poster with Youngstown’s The Radical Notion, bearing the names of women artists in the Akron Art Museum collection, and get a tour of “Allison Zuckerman: Pirate and Muse.” $25 ($15 members). To register, go to https://bit.ly/2Pgi2eZ. 330-376-9186.

 

Friday

Kent openings — “Folds, Gestures, Movement” by Jenniffer Omaitz opens with a 5-8 p.m. reception at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, 215 S. Depeyster St., Kent. It's on view through March 30. “Memoirs of Disintegration” by Marie Bukowski also opens with a 5-8 p.m. reception at the KSU Downtown Gallery, 141 E. Main St., on view through Jan. 12. 330-672-1379.

New in Canton — “Continuum: Art of the Cleveland School and Beyond” opens with a 6-8 p.m. reception at the Canton Museum of Art, 1001 Market Ave. N. On view through March 3. 330-453-7666; https://bit.ly/2ANKvDN.

 

Dorothy Shinn writes about art and architecture for the Akron Beacon Journal. Send information to her at the Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640 or dtgshinn@att.net.