Art Synthesis at Björklunden

From June 12 – 17, Lawrence University’s Björklunden is offering The Grand Synthesis with Eric Simonson.

Since Aeschylus, artists have attempted the ideal of unifying all arts into one. Composer Richard Wagner articulated this concept in his early 19th-century essays, using the term Gesamtkunstwerk. Since Wagner’s time, the 20th-century advent of film, video technology and recorded sound have added new colors to the palette of artistic expression. This class will explore artistic attempts throughout history to cross-pollinate different mediums into a single art form. Wagner will be examined, as well as Shakespeare, the Greeks and American Vaudeville. The discussion will advance to contemporary artists such as Robert Wilson, Andy Warhol, Peter Gabriel, Frank Gehry, Peter Sellers, Peter Brook, Robert LaPage, and Cirque du Soleil.

Lectures will feature Rick Cleveland, an Emmy Award winner and writer/producer of West Wing, Six Feet Under, House of Cards, and Mad Men; Lydia Diamond, a Broadway playwright and award winning writer of Stick Fly and The Bluest Eye, and Smart People; Mark Clements, the Artistic Director of Milwaukee Repertory Theater; and Steven Haas, a local Door County artist, sculptor of kinetic art.

Simonson is a writer/director for film, television, theater, and opera.

This seminar will take place at Björklunden’s lodge, just south of Baileys Harbor. Seminar classes meet weekday mornings and some evenings with remaining free time open for exploration of the area. Each seminar includes meals prepared by Björklunden’s resident chef. For complete course information, call 920.839.2216, email [email protected] or visit

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