On Masterpieces and Mysteries

Jennifer Dasal is curator of modern and contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art. After graduating from the University of California, Davis, she earned an M.A. in art history from Notre Dame and worked as assistant to the curator of Western art at Notre Dame’s Raclin Murphy Museum. So this episode was something of a homecoming—just without the actual coming back to campus.

Jennifer is the author of the book ArtCurious: Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd, and Strangely Wonderful in Art History, published earlier this year by Penguin Books. ArtCurious the book was inspired by ArtCurious the podcast, a show she launched more than four years ago and has written, produced, and hosted ever since.

In this podcast, Jennifer introduced us to several of the fascinating stories she unwinds in the book, ranging from the CIA’s connection to Abstract Expressionism and everything you thought you knew about Norman Rockwell to the mystery of the Mona Lisa’s twin sister. There was also the matter of whether we know who actually created what some in the art world consider the most influential piece of the 20th century—which, oh by the way, happens to be an upside-down urinal.

And as descriptive as that last sentence sounds, talking about visual art in an audio medium isn’t usually so simple. That makes what Jennifer does on episodes of ArtCurious all the more impressive, and why we made sure to ask her about the podcast, as well.

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About the Podcast:

“With a Side of Knowledge” is a podcast produced at the University of Notre Dame. It features interviews with fascinating people from both Notre Dame and elsewhere that take place over brunch—or if we’re really in a pinch, coffee.

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November 24, 2020

Art and HistoryAbstract ExpressionismArtArt HistoryArtCuriousbookCIADadaJennifer DasalMona LisaNotre DamePaintingpodcastWith a Side of Knowledge