published 3.16.2017

Fiona Shaw, Judith Thurman, Michael Bierut, and More Join Onassis Cultural Center New York For Dynamic Spring Programs

by Onassis Foundation USA






Actress Fiona Shaw, Author Judith Thurman, Designer Michael Bierut, and More Join Hosts Simon Critchley and John Freeman for Public Conversation Series in the Gallery 

Dynamic Spring Season Tied to Theme of Emotions Also Features Family Sundays, Guided Tours, and a Special Concert of Byzantine Hymns for Holy Week 

Programming Begins: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Exhibition on View Through June 24, 2017


 On Tuesday, March 21, the Onassis Cultural Center New York will kick off a dynamic, cross-disciplinary spring season of public programs, presented in conjunction with the major new exhibition A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC – 200 AD. Admission to the exhibition and all programs at the Onassis Cultural Center New York is free. 

 Programs at the Onassis Cultural Center New York will include:

  • the signature Let’s Walk discussion series, hosted by philosopher Simon Critchley and author John Freeman, who hold peripatetic conversations in the gallery with an eclectic mix of well-known guests;
  • a rotating series of Family Sundays featuring interactive tours, live music, art projects and guided conversation for children and families;
  • regular guided tours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:00 pm;
  • and a special concert of Byzantine hymns for Holy Week , performed in the gallery on April 3, in collaboration with the Axion Estin Foundation.

Programs presented off-site will include:

  • a joint presentation with the New York Public Library (NYPL) of Clytemnestra Revisited, a conversation featuring authorColm Tóibín on his new book House of Names with poet Louise Glück;
  • and a series of events at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), including a conversation between writer Rebecca Solnitand photographer, art historian and author Teju Cole, as well as a theatrical presentation of texts by dissenting voices from throughout U.S. history.

In a lighter vein, illustrator Brooke Barker, author of the bestselling Sad Animal Facts, will produce a series of drawings on the theme of emotions, which will be posted weekly on the Onassis Cultural Center New York’s website and social media and displayed on a video monitor in the gallery foyer.

Additionally, Carnegie Hall, a program partner of the Onassis Foundation USA, has curated a playlist to accompany the exhibition, which plays in the gallery as an introduction to the exhibition, and is also available at and on Spotify. Ranging from the Byzantine funeral mass to medieval songs, Baroque opera, an aria from Cherubini’s Medea sung by Maria Callas, and contemporary works by Osvaldo Golijov, Arvo Pärt and Alfred Schnittke, the playlist highlights musical expressions of emotion through diverse genres and time periods, with special attention to the human voice. 


  Let's Walk

  • Thursday, March 23 : Simon Critchley with Angelos Chaniotis, co-curator of A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC – 200 AD and Professor of Ancient History and Classics, Institute for Advanced Study
  • Wednesday, March 29: Simon Critchley with actress and director Fiona Shaw
  • Thursday, April 6: John Freeman with poet Lawrence Joseph
  • Thursday, April 13: Simon Critchley with Peter Meineck, Professor of Classics in the Modern World at New York University
  • Thursday, May 4: John Freeman with essayist Garnette Cadogan
  • Thursday, May 11: Simon Critchley with author and New Yorker staff writer Judith Thurman
  • Thursday, May 25: Simon Critchley with designer Michael Bierut

Family Sundays

  • March 26 and April 23Emotions of the Gods (ages 5-9) A tour about the significance of emotions in Greek myth, with live music to highlight the emotions behind the artifacts. Families will be invited to create artworks and music inspired by the exhibition, guided by guest artists and musicians. On April 23 at 11:30 am, there will also be a special tour presented in Greek.
  • May 21 and June 11Everyday Emotions (ages 5-9) A tour exploring the importance of everyday emotions through the stories of ancient Greece. Families will be invited to create artworks and original music inspired by the exhibition, guided by guest artists and musicians.
  • April 23 and May 21Messages from Ancient Greece (ages 10-12) A tour exploring how ancient Greece inscriptions teach us about emotions in our own society. Participants will have the opportunity to create music to accompany stories in the exhibition.

Sessions of scheduled programs with tours begin at 11:30 am and last approximately 75 minutes each, with advance registration required. Drop-in art activities in the Atrium are held from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm. 

Public Tours 

The Onassis Cultural Center New York offers guided tours of A World of Emotions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:00 pm. 

The Onassis Cultural Center New York at BAM

  • Tuesday, March 21: A People Speak, a theatrical presentation of texts by dissenting voices from throughout U.S. history
  • Sunday, March 26Unbound: RebeccaSolnit with Teju Cole, a conversation with writer Rebecca Solnit and photographer, art historian and author Teju Cole

Onassis Programs at Live from the NYPL

  • Monday, May 15Clytemnestra Revisited, featuring author Colm Tóibín on his new book House of Names and poet Louise Glück

Additional programs will be announced in the coming weeks. 


Onassis Cultural Center New York 

Olympic Tower, 645 Fifth Avenue (at 51st Street) New York, NY 10022

ADMISSION:      Free


A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC – 200 AD is a groundbreaking exploration of emotional life in ancient times and its contemporary reverberations. Prompting questions about how we express, control, manipulate, or simulate feelings in our own society, the exhibition brings together more than 130 masterpieces from internationally renowned museums—including the Acropolis Museum, Athens; National Archaeological Museum, Athens; Musée du Louvre, Paris; British Museum, London; and Musei   Vaticani, Vatican City—many of which are on view in the United States for the first time, and some of which have never been seen before outside Greece. Together, these objects provide a timely opportunity to think about the role of feelings in our personal, social, and political lives, while helping to advance the relatively new field of the history of emotions. 

A vibrant large-scale diptych painting, Black Frames commissioned from artist Jannis Varelas is installed on the Art Wall in the Onassis Cultural Center New York’s atrium space as a contemporary counterpoint to the exhibition, which remains on view through June 24, 2017. 

For more information, including full schedule:

ABOUT THE ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTER NEW YORK The Onassis Cultural Center New York explores Greek culture from antiquity to today, through a diverse program of exhibitions, events, and online engagement for audiences of all ages and interests. All programs and exhibitions—from scholarly to those designed for families, novices, and experts—are presented free of charge to make the experience accessible to all. 

ABOUT THE ONASSIS FOUNDATION USA The Onassis Foundation USA , an affiliate of the parent Foundation in Greece, is committed to the promotion of Greek culture. By cooperating with educational and cultural institutions in Greece and throughout the Americas, the Onassis Foundation USA promotes cultural relations. The mission of the Onassis Foundation USA is realized through two major initiatives, one cultural and educational for the general public through its Onassis Cultural Center New York, and one academic, the University Seminars Program, that places eminent scholars from all over the world in universities in North and Latin America for courses on topics related to Hellenic civilization.        

Media Contacts: Eleanor Goldhar / Maria Galanou,

Onassis Cultural Center New York /

917.732.7166 / 917.913.0787 

 Meryl Feinstein Polskin Arts & Communications Counselors / 212.715.1625


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