Nicola Courtright of the Amherst College art-history faculty will present the address “The Cosmic Landscape of French and English Gardens” on Monday, March 11, at 4 p.m. at Hope College in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication through the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Courtright is William McCall Vickery 1957 Professor of the History of Art at Amherst College. Her publications span a range of areas within early modern Europe, including the art and architecture of the Vatican Palace, the subject of her 2003 book, “The Papacy and the Art of Reform in Sixteenth-Century Rome: Gregory XIII and the Tower of the Winds in the Vatican”; Bernini sculpture; Louis XIV’s bedroom in Versailles; and Rembrandt drawings. Most recently her research focuses on the construction of authority for French queens in the art, architecture and gardens of royal domiciles of the 16th and 17th centuries, the basis of a forthcoming book on Marie de Médicis’ residences. She is past president of the College Art Association and recent editor-in-chief of Grove Art Online, and is currently vice chair of the American Council of Learned Societies.

Hope is one of only 286 colleges and universities nationwide to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, which is the nation’s oldest and most widely recognized collegiate honor society.  The college’s Zeta of Michigan chapter was chartered in 1971.

The purpose of the national society, which was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, is to advocate and recognize excellence in the study of the liberal arts and sciences.  Institutions that have a chapter, 10 percent of America’s colleges and universities, have earned the right by demonstrating that the liberal arts and sciences are at the center of their educational program, and by showing that excellence in such studies is achieved, maintained and celebrated.

The national Phi Beta Kappa honor society’s Visiting Scholar Program makes scholars in a variety of fields available to campuses that have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.  As described on Phi Beta Kappa’s website, the purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the visiting scholars and the resident faculty and students.  The visiting scholars travel to more than 100 colleges and universities each year, spending two days on each campus, meeting informally with students and faculty members, participating in classroom discussions and seminars, and giving a public lecture open to the academic community and the general public.

The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.