FBCL's “Art & Architecture” Series Focuses on Baroque Art & Gothic Cathedrals in December

Sheba Akhtar

December 2023

Fort Bend County Libraries will have an educational series focusing on “Art & Architecture” this fall. In December, hear about the wonders and contributions of the Baroque period. A second program will focus on Gothic Cathedrals.

The programs are presented by Sheba Akhtar, a professor of architecture at Prairie View A&M University. She received her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania and taught art and architecture history for 20 years. She has practiced as an architect in the United States, England, Scotland, Jordan, and Pakistan. She is the author of “Of Colour and Form” and numerous articles on art and architecture.

The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Sugar Land Branch Library (281-238-2140), the Cinco Ranch Branch Library (281-395-1311), or the library system’s Communications Office (281-633-4734).


Art & Architecture: Baroque Art

Art & Architecture: Baroque Art” will take place on Saturday, December 2, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, in the Meeting Room of the Sugar Land Branch Library.

In this segment in the series, Sheba Akhtar will talk about the Baroque period, a style of ornately detailed European architecture and art from the 17th and 18th centuries. Learn about the formal and spatial complexity explored by Baroque architects such as Bernini, Borromini, and Cortona, and hear about the influence of artists such as Titan, Tinoretto, and Caravaggio.

Akhtar will also show how developments in science, navigation, and exploration impacted the Baroque period. Those attending the program will also hear how art and architecture were used in the service of religious propaganda in the Catholic Counter-reformation movement.


Art & Architecture: Gothic Cathedrals

Art & Architecture: Gothic Cathedrals” will take place on Saturday, December 9, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, in the Meeting Room of the Cinco Ranch Branch Library.

In this segment in the series, Sheba Akhtar will talk about the design origins of Gothic Cathedrals, which flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages, originating in 12th-century France and lasting into the 16th century.

Hear about how characteristics of the Gothic period -- including urbanization, economic prosperity, professional guilds, the crusades (1095-1291), and the veneration of the Virgin Mary -- influenced the design of structures such as the Basilica of St. Denis, Chartres Cathedral, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Akhtar will also talk about Abbott Suger and the incorporation of stained-glass windows in structures.