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Walter Darby Bannard Talks

Darby Bannard, who co-produced this site, passed away October 2, 2016, leaving behind an incredible treasure of pictures, books, essays, and public talks. Previously, this site with its several essays by him, me, and others, along with other resources was archived as a static site. You can access that content here:  Plain Talk Menu.

From now on the first page of newCrit will be devoted to Darby speaking to audiences who liked art. If his published work is of interest, you can read almost everything he wrote at:  Walter Darby Bannard Archive.


On Pluralism: Western Michigan University, 1986

He gave this talk February 25, 1986 to students, faculty, and Kalamazoo community. It was a first class diatribe - negative as expected and a genre he was especially good with. Yet his negativity was subtle and dignified. He was a master of conjoining outrage, sohpistication, and plain speaking into an experience that was as rewarding aesthetically as it was for its truth telling. You can read my notes for introducing him here:  BannardIntro1986.pdf. Audio courtesy of John Link.

Talk Itself, 27:58


Q and A, Part 1, 17:30

Questions include:

Q and A, Part 2, 13:20

Questions include:


Speculations about Art and Quality: St. Lawrence University, 1987

Darby had a show of his paintings at St. Lawrence University in 1987 and spoke to those gathered to attend the opening. He was in good spirits, happy to be addressing people instead of balloons. His main point was that art is valued without using apriori criteria. Audio courtesy of Geo Raica.

Talk Itself, 25:17


Q and A, 30:12

Questions include:


The Life of an Artist: University of Miami, 2012

In 2012 Darby had a show at the Lowe Museum which is located in his home institution, University of Miami. He offered this talk as part of the preview reception on April 13, at Storer Auditorium in the UM School of Business. He did not speak about the show itself because it was available to be seen in the museum, from April 14 to June 3. The UM Annual Juried Student Competition opened the same day as Darby's show. So he talked about what the life of an artist is like, with attention to what that might mean for students. Audio courtesy of Gerardo Olhovich.

Talk Itself, 33:11

There is one question at the end:



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