UM Art Professor to Discuss ‘Monkey Business’ in Oct. 6 Lecture

September 29, 2016

MISSOULA – In conjunction with the annual University of Montana School of Art Faculty Exhibition, Valerie Hedquist, professor of art history and art criticism, will present the lecture “Monkey Business” at 5:10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, in Social Science Building Room 356.

The UM School of Art Faculty Exhibition is on display through Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Gallery of Visual Arts, which is located on the first floor of the Social Science Building. The lecture and exhibition are free and open to the public.

Hedquist’s research is inspired by the early 16th-century drawing by Titian of the classical sculpture of the priest Laocoön and his sons. The Venetian artist surprisingly replaced the heroic, idealized male figures of the original Greek work with a trio of struggling monkeys.  Since that time, monkeys have occasionally shown up in paintings and prints, acting like humans as they eat dinner, play cards, look at art and occasionally wreak havoc. Hedquist will explore what message the artists convey when they depict monkeys assuming the role of humans, and whether human folly or the wisdom of monkeys is on display.

Hedquist has taught art history and art criticism at the UM School of Art since 1999. Her research interests are 17th-century Dutch art and 18th-century English portraiture. Hedquist has been published in numerous journal articles, book chapters and reviews and has several ongoing research projects including a book about Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.

For more information call Cathryn Mallory, UM Gallery of Visual Arts director, at 406-243-2813 or email Information about the Gallery of Visual Arts is available online at


Contact: Cathryn Mallory, director, UM Gallery of Visual Arts, 406-243-2813,