My Archaeology of Alcohol YouTube Series “Uncorked” with ArchaeologyNow

Dunk in to the incredible history and diversity of fermented beverages around the world and across the ages in Uncorked. This YouTube series is co-hosted by Lucas Livingston (Ancient Art Podcast) and Stephen Batiuk (University of Toronto) and produced by Archaeology Now, the Houston chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Visit the YouTube playlist for the complete Uncorked series.


Libations Video series

At this critical turning point in society — with the magnified intersections of health, psychological and physical well-being, and systemic violence, prejudice, and injustice — we are all the more committed to our communities.

This innovative, four-part, Zoom presentation series addresses the ceremonial and celebratory functions of beverages and drinking as well as the negative consequences of over consumption and addiction.

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Faded Memories Symposium Series

Held in conjunction with the Faded Memories exhibition, this symposium offers a series of presentations and conversations exploring art and memory.

Faded Memories exhibition with artist Eric Dean Spruth

In the first session of the symposium, Faded Memories exhibition artist and art therapist Eric Dean Spruth discusses the works and themes in the exhibition, exploring the mortality of memory through hand-sculpted combustible objects containing documented, individualized recollections. Among the thought-provoking concepts grappled in the exhibition are issues around mental health, well-being, forgetfulness, memory loss, and the artificiality of constructed memory. Spruth will discuss among other things how we continuously reconstruct our memories as we access them, traveling through neural pathways and leaving bits of toxicity or joy behind, forever altering the memory each time. (August 14, 2021)

Art Therapy, Creativity, and the Brain with Deb Del Signore

The Faded Memories Symposium Series continues in this second session with School of the Art Institute of Chicago professor of art therapy Deb Del Signore discussing the healthful benefits of creative expression on the mind and body, including a focus on people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. (August 14, 2021)

Life-story Art in Later Life with Jon Kay

In the third and final installment of the Faded Memories Symposium Series, Jon Kay discusses the creation of narrative-driven works of art and how these objects support the artists as they age, exploring stories, memories, and self-identity in everyday life. Jon Kay is an associate professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University and the director of Traditional Arts Indiana at IU’s Cook Center for Public Arts and Humanities. (August 17, 2021)

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Libations Alzheimer’s Art Therapy Coloring Book

I’m thrilled to debut this amazing adult coloring book! The Libations Coloring Book is written by myself, Lucas Livingston, featuring original black & white and color illustrations by my friend and art therapist Eric Dean Spruth. This bilingual publication is designed as an art therapy resource for people living with Alzheimer’s and their care partners, but it is equally enjoyable and valuable for anyone.

Download, print, and share the Libations Coloring Book co-produced by the Arts for Brain Health Coalition (me) and Sacred Transformations (Eric) today!

An excerpt from the book:

A libation is a drink poured out in honor or memory of someone or something. The Libations Coloring Book unites us with drinks, coloring, and good company. The Arts for Brain Health Coalition & Sacred Transformations are pleased to bring you this activity book to support the health benefits of art-making, encourage thoughtful conversation, and enjoy togetherness and reflection through the comfort of food and drink. Just as it is important to exercise and nourish our bodies, we must also exercise and nourish our minds. Creating art has the power to heal, transform, and build community. Coloring is a relaxing way to express our creativity and share time with others in a calm and meditative activity. Coloring also helps with concentration and fine motor coordination.

World Goth Day, May 22

Sheltering at home these past two-and-a-half months, I feel a small pang of sadness every time I spot a talk or tour on my calendar that I was scheduled to lead at the museum. Despite — or perhaps in recognition of — the suffering of so many worldwide amidst the global pandemic, today, May 22, myriads of shrouded souls across the globe celebrate World Goth Day. While I may not be able to guide friends and strangers through the museum galleries in an exploration of iconic Goth music paired with masterful works of visual art, I can at least share my own personal pairings in this highly abbreviated manner. I hope you enjoy.

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Egyptomania, the Early Years – Piranesi, Gerome, Desprez (93)

Louis Jean Desprez, Tomb with Sphinxes and an Owl, 1779-84

Louis Jean Desprez, Tomb with Sphinxes and an Owl, 1779-84

This short excerpt from my lecture on the art and history of the Egyptomania phenomenon delves into its early origins. As Europe emerged from the Middle Ages, Egyptian antiquities pillaged during the Roman Empire were excavated from their slumber under Roman soil and newly erected across the city. Even before the translation of the Rosetta Stone, before Napoleon’s epic Egyptian expedition and publication of Description de l’Égypte, artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Louis Jean Desprez were already experimenting and defining what we would come to call Egyptomania. In the subsequent generation, academic painter Jean Léon Gérôme reveals a mature appreciation for ancient Egyptomania in his meticulous renderings of the the Roman Empire.

One Ring to Rule Them All (92)

This extended episode takes us on an unexpected journey across the Art Institute of Chicago to explore the artistry and influences of rings. We go well beyond personal adornment and discuss the significance and many meanings of “ring” as it appears in visual culture.


Le Grenouillard (Frog-Man), 1892
Jean-Joseph Carriès
French, 1855–1894
Art Institute of Chicago, 2007.78

Japanese Ukiyo-e Pictures of the Floating World (91)

Hishikawa Moronobu's Flower-Viewing Party with Crest-Bearing Curtain, 1676–1689
Hishikawa Moronobu
Flower-Viewing Party with Crest-Bearing Curtain, from the series Flower Viewing at Ueno
Japanese, 1676–1689
Art Institute of Chicago, 1925.1689

In this excerpt from my lecture on the Art Institute’s recent special exhibition Painting the Floating World: Ukiyo-e Masterpieces from the Weston Collection, I set the stage for what was Japan’s Floating World culture during the Edo Period of the Tokugawa Shogunate, 1615-1868. We touch on the origin of the term, the cultural climate in which it rose the popularity, and how the floating world psyche was expressed in Japan’s visual arts at the time.


Hishikawa Moronobu
Flower-Viewing Party with Crest-Bearing Curtain, from the series Flower Viewing at Ueno
Japanese, 1676–1689
Art Institute of Chicago, 1925.1689