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Cultural Studies

Welcome to WICE's Cultural Studies department.  We are pleased to offer a variety of events covering history, culture and the arts – past and present, French and beyond.  Our program also includes outings to films, exhibitions and performing arts events.  All are presented by experts in the field in an intimate setting inviting discussion and further exploration.  

Please feel free to contact us at culturalstudies@wice-paris.org with any questions, ideas and thoughts.


More Details

Upcoming cultural study courses

    • 18 Jan 2019
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Picquet Grenelle
    • 5
    Register

    NY Public LibraryThe term “program music” is sometimes uttered rather contemptuously by the musical “glitterati”, so could it possibly apply to works of their idol, Beethoven?  Well, sometimes “yes”. as our instructor will demonstrate through a look at Beethoven’s softer side as a lover of nature, revealed to us in his Sixth Symphony. The composer, with impeccable musical structure, stuns his fans with this work, which is also known as the Pastoral Symphony! The polemic is not about his beautiful melodies and perfect chordal structure but because he gave us a narrative to follow along with the symphony. Beethoven opens our imagination to the countryside where you can hear a nightingale, a cuckoo, a summer thunderstorm, peasants making merry, the meandering of a stream ….


    Can we actually accept this tone-painting as true program music and acknowledge that he wants us to see, in our mind’s eye, the scenes that he so sensitively evokes?  As we listen to excerpts from this remarkably accessible yet complex work, we will join the 200-year-old debate on whether or not the Pastoral Symphony is a pure-form musical work or just another example of chaotic program music.


    About the instructor: As an American harpist, Lauren Woidela has travelled to three continents performing solo, chamber and orchestral concerts.   As an instructor, she has given lectures for the musicology department of Université de Paris-Sorbonne, focusing on 19th & 20th century music.  She hosted and produced her own radio program for the former KXTR: Kansas City’s Classical Music Radio Station, captivating her audiences by bringing a fresh new view on classical music.


    • 24 Jan 2019
    • 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM
    • Meet at café La Coupole, 102 boulevard du Montparnasse, 75014 Paris
    • 10
    Register

    City Art InsiderPerhaps more than any other neighborhood in Paris, Montparnasse has changed since the last century, a time when artists were living and creating in the area. There are still a few places recalling those glorious days and this gallery walk will reveal them to you.


    The past meets the present at former artists’ studios like the Villa Vassilieff, now a contemporary art center, and a lithography studio where such artists as Matisse and Chagall worked. You will also visit a selection of contemporary art and photography galleries that showcase the creations of artists working today.  

    About the instructor: Caroline Etter, art consultant, historian of art, and friend to both collectors and artists, has been immersed in the Paris art scene for 20 years.  After graduating with a degree in 20th-century decorative arts from the Sorbonne, she started her career working at the Villa Médicis in Rome and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.  Since then she’s been a curator, a journalist and a gallery manager.  She has created her own company helping private as well as corporate clients understand and buy contemporary art.

    Photo Credit: City Art Insider

    • 15 Feb 2019
    • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Picquet Grenelle
    • 15
    Register

    Often synonymous with each other, French composers Debussy (1862-1918) and Ravel (1875-1937) took the world by storm by introducing new sensuous harmonic colors breaking tradition from centuries of heavy Germanic aesthetics. Too quickly does one group their music together by calling it Impressionism, a label deeply loathed by both and is not the most accurate term to describe their works. In the world of Debussy and Ravel, textures and symbolism are what drives their fantastical and dreamlike melodies.  


    A closer look in into the lives of Debussy and Ravel reveals the two were frenemies; they respected one another but also were pitted against each other by their loyal audiences and a rival harp commission. Were their pioneering piano solos and exciting chamber and orchestral music really that similar as some critics threw around the word “copying” while comparing their compositions? Where do the similarities stop or are they actually early twentieth century twins? We’ll answer these questions by looking into their works, which are some of the most celebrated compositions of this era. 


    About the Instructor: As an American harpist, Lauren Woidela has traveled to three continents performing solo, chamber and orchestral concerts.  As an instructor, she has given lectures for the musicology department of the Université de Paris-Sorbonne, focusing on 19th & 20th century music.  She produced and hosted her own radio program for the former KXTR, Kansas City’s classical music radio station, captivating her audiences by bringing a fresh new view to classical music.

    • 21 Feb 2019
    • 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM
    • Café des Beaux-Arts, 7 quai Malaquais, 75006 Paris: metro Mabillon
    • 10
    Register

    City Art InsiderThis gallery walk is a behind the scenes look at the contemporary art world, and will introduce you to some of the most important actors and the more local French players in the Parisian art scene.  


    Beneath the golden cupola of the L’Académie française and close to the prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts, our visit will take you to a section of Saint-Germain-des-Prés with a long tradition in the arts. You’ll see top galleries representing modern and contemporary art, plus galleries specializing in antiques, Art Deco, Fifties furniture and contemporary furniture. This mix of history, art and design is a delight for any art lover or anyone interested in learning more about the arts.   


    About the instructor: Caroline Etter, art consultant, historian of art, and friend to both collectors and artists, has been immersed in the Paris art scene for 20 years.  After graduating with a degree in 20th-century decorative arts from the Sorbonne, she started her career working at the Villa Médicis in Rome and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.  Since then she’s been a curator, a journalist and a gallery manager.  She has created her own company helping private as well as corporate clients understand and buy contemporary art.

    Photo Credit: City Art Insider


    • 16 Mar 2019
    • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • WICE, 10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris: metro La Motte Picquet Grenelle
    • 13
    Register

    When the Nazis occupied France in June 1940, Parisian women faced a perilous and uncertain future. Over the next four years, a bewildering number of new laws restricted their freedoms and turned their pre-war lives inside out, forcing them to make decisions unimaginable before the war. Some chose to write secret journals, to work for the resistance, to collaborate, or to simply find a way to survive. After the Liberation, a few became celebrated heroines or infamous villains, while the remarkable exploits of many more were quickly forgotten. In surveying a variety of fascinating women’s stories, this talk will explore the profound changes they witnessed and the lasting legacy of their actions.

    About the Instructor: Nigel Perrin is a researcher with the University of Kent, with a long-standing interest in occupation and resistance. He is an authority on the work of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in France, and the author of Spirit of Resistance, a biography of SOE agent Harry Peulevé.

    Photo credit: Public Domain

    • 28 Mar 2019
    • 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM
    • Meeting point TBD
    • 10
    Register

    Each year in March, the Paris art scene celebrates the medium of drawing with dedicated art fairs, and exhibitions in galleries, museums and temporary venues. We will explore this versatile medium and its various expressions by looking at works by artists from the 19th century to today, exhibited in beautiful art locations around the Palais-Royal.


    About the instructor: Caroline Etter, art consultant, historian of art, and friend to both collectors and artists, has been immersed in the Paris art scene for 20 years. After graduating with a degree in 20th-century decorative arts from the Sorbonne, she started her career working at the Villa Médicis in Rome and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Since then she’s been a curator, a journalist and a gallery manager. She has created her own company helping private as well as corporate clients understand and buy contemporary art.

    Photo Credit: City Art Insider

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10 rue Tiphaine, 75015 Paris, France
01 45 66 75 50  |  wice@wice-paris.org

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