UMKC’s Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair hosts event April 28

Instructor Carolyn Benton Cockefair believed that everyone – not just traditional college-age students – should continue learning. In honor of this sentiment, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is hosting its 44th annual Carolyn Benton Cockefair Continuing Education Series.

As part of this year’s series, John Richardson and Gijs van Hensbergen will present “New Lights on Picasso” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 28 in the UMKC University Center’s Pierson Auditorium; 5000 Holmes Rd., Kansas City, Mo. Admission is free. RSVP online at https://tickets.cto.umkc.edu/public/ or by calling (816) 235-6222.

Born in London, Richardson has worked as an industrial designer, art and ballet critic and head of art auctioneer Christie’s U.S. operations. He became a close friend of Pablo Picasso in 1950s France, where he established a private museum of Cubism near Avignon. He has since become the preeminent Picasso biographer. His four-volume biography, “A Life of Picasso,” has garnered wide acclaim, including England’s prestigious Whitbread Prize, and critics hailed the third volume as the best life of an artist ever written. He has also published a memoir, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a collection of essays titled “Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters” and books on Manet and Braque.

An art historian and author, van Hensbergen has written for The Wall Street Journal and Burlington Magazine and has appeared on BBC Radio and the Discovery Channel. In addition to his collaboration with Richardson on the fourth volume of the Picasso biography, van Hensbergen wrote the critically-acclaimed “Antoni Gaudi: The Biography and Guernica: The Biography of a 20th Century Icon.”

The series, formed in 1966 by Cockefair’s former students, has brought such intellectuals as Tess Gallagher, James Michener, Jeane Kirkpatrick, John Updike and Tom Wolfe to Kansas City. Its purpose is to continue what Cockefair started when she first came to the then University of Kansas City in 1947.

Throughout her 17 years at the University, Cockefair drew a following from students and non-credited students who were attracted to her Socratic style of teaching and her ability to link history to current events.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC

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