View All Calendars is the default. Choose Select a Calendar to view a specific calendar. Subscribe to calendar notifications by clicking on the Notify Me® button, and you will automatically be alerted about the latest events in our community.

Return to Previous

Event Details

February 8, 2024
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM


2.8.2024 The Two Noahs collage
Facebook Twitter Email

Virtual - A Conversation Between Two Noah Charneys: At the Intersection of Art and Ecology

Thursday, February 8, 2024

When researching authors to invite to Ashland in 2023, we discovered that there are TWO Noah Charneys and they know each other! One is a world renowned Ecologist and Conservationist whose book, "Trees Tell a Story" was fascinating to us. The other Noah is a noted art historian, specializing on art heists through the ages. His newly released book, "The Thefts of the Mona Lisa: The Complete Story of the World's Most Famous Artwork" is the perfect example of Noah's expertise in this field. We hope you can join us for what is going to be an unusual and enlightening discussion - where will the two Noahs intersect, where will they diverge? (and, this talk was meant to be because we just found out that our Noahs were born 1 day apart!).

This program will be at 2pm ET (Boston time)

You can buy signed books (by bookplate) by our Noahs from Aesop's Fable. Just write that you would like the book signed in the notes section at checkout. 

Buy signed books by Noah and/or Noah

About These Trees Tell a Story: The Art of Reading Landscapes:

Structured as a series of interactive field walks through ten New England ecosystems, this book challenges readers to see the world through the eyes of a trained naturalist. With guided questions, immersive photography, and a narrative approach, each chapter adds layers of complexity to a single scene, revealing the millions of years of forces at play. Tying together geology, forest ecology, wildlife biology, soil processes, evolution, conservation, and more, Noah Charney shows how and why landscapes appear in their current forms.

Charney’s stories and lessons will provide anyone with the necessary investigative skills to look at a landscape, interpret it, and tell its story—from its start as rock or soil to the plants and animals that live on it. Ultimately, Charney argues, by critically engaging with the landscape we will become better at connecting with nature and ourselves.

About Noah Charney, Ecologist:

Dr. Charney uses the tools of spatial ecology to guide conservation of sensitive species and ecosystems in the face of global change and expanding human populations.  Recent projects include: modeling impacts of climate change on Galapagos plants and tortoises; forecasting and mapping future tree growth across North America; developing computer algorithms to map forest structure with satellite data; untangling the ecology, evolution, and management challenges of unisexual salamanders; landscape ecology and conservation of vernal pool amphibians; and many other taxa in a variety of settings.  In the applied arena, as the executive director of a nonprofit in Nashville, Tennessee (Radnor to River), Dr. Charney works to transform how conservation planning is approached within the urban environment.  Dr. Charney’s forthcoming book from Yale University Press uses a narrative format to teach audiences how to read ecological stories in landscapes; his previous book – a co-authored field guide to insect tracking – won two national awards.

About The Thefts of the Mona Lisa: The Complete Story of the World's Most Famous Artwork:

Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait, called the Mona Lisa, is without doubt the world’s most famous painting. It achieved its fame not only because it is a remarkable example of Renaissance portraiture, created by an acclaimed artistic and scientific genius, but because of its criminal history. The Mona Lisa (also called La Gioconda or La Joconde) was stolen on 21 August 1911 by an Italian, Vincenzo Peruggia. Peruggia was under the mistaken impression that the Mona Lisa had been stolen from Italy during the Napoleonic era, and he wished to take back for Italy one of his country’s greatest treasures. His successful theft of the painting from the Louvre, the farcical manhunt that followed, and Peruggia’s subsequent trial in Florence were highly publicized, sparking the attention of the international media, and catapulting an already admired painting into stratospheric heights of fame. This book reveals the art and criminal history of the Mona Lisa.

Charney examines the criminal biography of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, with a focus on separating fact from fiction in the story of what is not only the most famous art heist in history, but which is the single most famous theft of all time. In the process he delves into Leonardo’s creation of the Mona Lisa, discusses why it is so famous, and investigates two other events in its history of theft and renown. First, it examines the so-called “affaire des statuettes,” in which Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire were arrested under suspicion of involvement in the theft of the Mona Lisa. Second, there has long been a question as to whether the Nazis stole the Mona Lisa during the Second World War—a question that this book seeks to resolve.

About Noah Charney, Art Historian:

Noah Charney is the internationally best-selling author of more than a dozen books, most recently, The Devil in the Gallery: How Scandal, Shock, and Rivalry Shaped the Art World, and including The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art, which was nominated for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Biography. He is a professor of art history specializing in art crime, and has taught for Yale University, Brown University, the American University of Rome, and the University of Ljubljana. He lives in Slovenia.

View Noah's last talk with us on his book, "Brushed Aside The Untold Story of Women in Art with author Noah Charney"

Please register for this event and you'll receive the link in the confirmation and reminder emails - make sure to check your spam folder for them, the email will be coming from

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Ashland Public Library and in partnership with a multitude of MA Libraries.  

Sign up for our Ashland Public Library Newsletters!

Facility Submit Event Print Email Event Subscription View RSS Feeds Select on Calendar Expand Collapse Previous Next Down Up Map Share Show more