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Art Museum to host lecture on ‘Ghosted Bodies’

October 6, 2010

Photo of T-shirts on clotheslineNIU’s Art Museum will present “Ghosted Bodies: Fashion, Fine Art and Symbolism,” a lecture by Suzanne Eberle from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, in Room 102 of the Visual Arts Building.

While the human figure has been a major subject in the history of art, the ghosted body — missing but suggested by empty clothes — has been used more and more in the contemporary art world. Artists such as Maureen Connor, Joseph Havel, Anselm Kiefer, Yinka Shonibare and Karen LaMonte blur the boundaries between fashion and fine art, shaping textiles, glass, metal and plaster into body-less clothing that becomes multi-layered metaphor.

This lecture will explore how the absence of corporeal bodies and the resulting shapes of fashion address concepts of beauty and themes of social manipulation, loss, memory and desire.

Eberle is a professor and the chair of the Art History program at Kendall College of Art & Design of Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Mich.

She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Detroit, and specializes in modern and contemporary art and historical/aesthetic issues of the body, including the history of fashion and fashion theory. She has delivered papers, presentations and lead sessions at regional, national and international conferences, including College Art Association, the Costume Society of America, School of Visual Arts Conference on the Education of Artists and the Montreal McCord Museum Colloquium.

Eberle also trains docents and gives public lectures at regional and local museums.

A used clothing swap will be held after the lecture from 7:15 to 8 p.m. Clothing can be dropped off and viewed from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.

Located on the west-end first floor of Altgeld Hall, the galleries are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment for group tours. Exhibitions and lectures are free; donations are appreciated.

The exhibitions of the NIU Art Museum are funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, the Friends of the NIU Art Museum, and the Arts Fund 21.

For more information, visit or call (815) 753-1936.