Society features

The Society of the Four Arts unveils its 2022-23 season

A former director of the Society of the Four Arts once described the 86-year-old institution as a liberal arts college, so rich and nourishing was its cultural offering.

This idea will be showcased in abundance in the upcoming 2022-23 season, which is the first in a few years unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, four arts executives released the full season schedule; in addition to its Campus on the Lake series, book discussions, and lecture series, the society offers an extensive list of art exhibitions and musical performances.

“The Society of the Four Arts is proud to have scheduled another full season of programming for 2022-2023, featuring four art exhibitions, 20 live performances and 20 high-definition screenings from our cultural partners The Metropolitan Opera, National Theater Live and Great art on screen,” said Four Arts spokesman David Darby.

Opening December 3 at the Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery is Hard bodies: contemporary Japanese lacquer sculpture, an exhibition of 33 works by 16 artists working in the ancient tradition of urushi, or lacquer, but using it for new uses from the 1980s. The traveling exhibition, presented as the first-ever study of such a sculpture draws works from the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The show runs until January 22.

The next step is Contemplating Figure: Portrait Drawings and Oil Sketches from Jacques-Louis David to Lucian Freud, which examines the history of portraiture from the 18th century to the present day. The exhibition, which opens February 4 and ends April 2, features 81 works by artists including Aubrey Beardsley, Edgar Degas and Pierre Bonnard, as well as David and Freud.

Alongside this exhibition, a survey of landscapes is carried out by contemporary Austrian artist Eduard Angeli. The 11 works of Eduard Angeli: Cities on Water are large landscapes depicting three waterside cities: Venice, St. Petersburg (Russia) and Istanbul, the latter being where Angeli began his career in the late 1960s after graduating from Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. The exhibition marks the 80-year-old Angeli’s first exhibition in the United States and was curated by Four Arts chief executive Philip Ryland.

The last art exhibition of the season is dedicated to photography, especially African wildlife. The second annual Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards will announce the winners in October in Nairobi, after which the collection will travel, arriving at Four Arts on April 26 and running until June 4. The awards are named after a former president of Tanzania who was a supporter of wildlife conservation and is sponsored by the African Wildlife Foundation and Nature’s Best Photography.

All art exhibitions will take place in the O’Keeffe Gallery. Admission is $10, but free for society members and children 14 and under.

In the Gubelmann Auditorium, across from the O’Keeffe Gallery, musical performances by the Four Arts will include the Emerson String Quartet (January 29), which is in the middle of its farewell tour; veteran American pianist Emanuel Ax (January 8); the Dutch piano duo of brothers Lucas and Arthur Jussen (February 12); the Romeros Guitar Quartet (January 22); and on November 30, a holiday concert by San Francisco male vocal ensemble, Chanticleer (“A Chanticleer Christmas”).

The Four Arts continues its collaboration with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in March, with pianist Wu Han presenting three programs under the heading “Schubert Revealed.” The programs (5, 8 and 12 March) examine the work of Franz Schubert through the links between his songs and instrumental works; by his compositional influences, in particular Beethoven; and through the works of the late period, including the String Quintet in C.

In addition to classical music, the Four Arts features bluegrass by Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers (April 16) and a jazz program on February 1 called “Sing and Swing: Our American Songbook,” featuring members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. , singers and trumpeters Bria Skonberg and Benny Benack III.

Special this year is a March 22 performance by the National Dance Company of the Republic of Georgia, on their first US tour. Its program, “Fire of Georgia”, highlights the folk music and culture of this Transcaucasian country.

Also standout is “Winter Journey”, a two-part event featuring winter travela 2019 film starring Bruno Ganz based on the memoir of longtime NPR classical music host Martin Goldsmith, whose musician parents escaped the Nazis (March 23; Goldsmith will be on hand for a Q&A- responses), and on March 29, a memoir-related concert and film featuring a wind and piano sextet performing music by composers silenced by the Holocaust.

The Esther B. O’Keeffe Speaker Series opens in January with 13 speakers, including Spanish opera star Placido Domingo, talking about her life in music (January 28); retired General David Petraeus (January 10) on American leadership in the world; Palm Beachers Leonard Lauder (January 3) and Ken Griffin (March 7); Fox News commentator Jesse Watters (February 21); photographer Sally Mann (March 28); and Christie’s Vice President John Hays (January 17), who will discuss the US art market and the painting of Emanuel Leutze Washington crossing the Delawarewhich recently sold for $45 million.

Also this year, film series featuring nine performances (some live, some already taped) of the Metropolitan Opera in New York will continue. The series begins on December 3 with Donizetti’s Lucia of Lammermoor, starring Palm Beach County’s Nadine Sierra as Lucia. The National Theater of Britain is seen in five plays including Shakespeare Henry V (January 28), with Kit Harrington of game of thrones in the title role.

Also in theaters is Great Art on Screen, a collection of five documentaries from November 20 to April 15, including a look at Italian modernist Amedeo Modigliani (December 11). Additionally, there is a filmed rendition of Nutcracker (December 17), performed by the Ballet Company of the National Opera of Ukraine.

Finally, there’s a series of 19 films, all of recent vintage, opening with Sam Mendes’ 2019 World War I story, 1917 (Nov. 18). Most are shown twice and cost $10 each.

Don’t overlook the company’s Campus on the Lake lifelong learning programs, which feature a host of educational events, including a series on playwright George Bernard Shaw by British theater director Richard Digby Day and “A Survey of Southern Culture” by Taylor Hagood. , professor of American literature at Florida Atlantic University.

Also on the program are lectures by conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas; Hugo Vickers, an expert on the British royal family; Bob Colacello, founder of Interview magazine; and author Andrea Wulf, who will talk about his latest historical work, Magnificent Rebels: Early Romantics and Self-Invention.

Meanwhile, the Gioconda and Joseph King Library continues its Florida Voices author series and Talk of Kings, Page Turners, and Biography Book Club book discussion groups.

Family programs include “Carols on the Lawn,” performed by the Palm Beach Atlantic University Choir (December 4) and Children’s Ballet Rita finds her home (February 25), performed by the Miami City Ballet School and the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago.

Tickets for most programs go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. on Nov. 1, “and we hope customers will take advantage of our diverse cultural offerings in person,” Darby said.

Face masks are optional indoors, he said, and virtual and recorded programs will also be available throughout the season at For more information, visit or call 561-655-7226.