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Dr. Gregory Hedberg To Speak About The Influence Of Degas’ Famous "Little Dancer" On Modern Art

Kristen Catalano

Edgar Degas' Little Dancer (Courtesy Photo)

When a plaster cast of Edgar Degas' Little Dancer was discovered in a closet in Paris in 2004, Dr. Gregory Hedberg, an art historian and resident of Southampton, knew that this discovery was a huge revelation. On Saturday, July 1, Dr. Hedberg will host a talk in the Music Room of Southampton Historical Museum's 1843 Rogers Mansion discussing this discovery and its influence on modern art.

"Dr. Hedberg gave serious thought to a long-forgotten sculpture by Degas and reveals in this book his careful analysis on how Little Dancer changed modern art," said Tom Edmonds, Director of the Southampton Historical Museum.

Dr. Hedberg has long maintained that the plaster case of Edgar Degas' Little Dancer represented a revelation in art history. He believes that the plaster cast predates a reworking of the Little Dancer sculpture, which was a sensation in 1881.

His arguments and evidence is laid out in his new book Degas' Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen: The Earlier Version That Helped Spark the Birth of Modern Art. The book offers persuasive proof in many different categories, such as the arts, history, technology and science. During his talk Dr. Hedberg will offer an overview of his book and also discuss his reasoning's behind why he believes that the Little Dancer helped spark the birth of modern art.

Dr. Hedberg is a Senior Consultant of European Art at Hirschl and Adler Galleries in New York City. He received his B.A. in Art History from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. from New York University. For twenty years he served as a lecturer and fellow in a few different museums, but in 1987 he left the museum world and helped found an art school in NYC, The New York Academy of Art. In 1992, Dr. Hedberg became its Director of the Department of European Art at Hirschl & Adler Galleries. He has since curated several gallery exhibitions and travels around the country giving lectures on European art and contemporary realist painting.

Southampton Historical Museum's Degas' Famous "Little Dancer" and How it Influenced Modern Art lecture will begin at 5 p.m. Admission is free and a reception will follow the lecture. However, seating is limited and reserving a seat is mandatory.

Rogers Mansion is located at 17 Meeting House Lane in Southampton. For more information call 631-283-2494 or visit southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org

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