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Make Good Lecture: Beauty Matters

Alastair Gordon, Roberta Green Ahmanson, Natali McCleary

What history can teach us about beauty, goodness and truth

What can we learn from the role of beauty in the historic church? How might the ancient relationship between beauty, goodness and truth speak to us today? The Make Good lectures present a special event with writer and philanthropist Roberta Green Ahmanson in conversation with artist and Morphē Arts co-founder, Alastair Gordon.


Roberta Green Ahmanson’s public activities are focused on deepening awareness and understanding of the role of religion in public life, the importance of knowing history to understand the present, and the vital role the arts play in shaping human experience.

Since 1986, Ahmanson has worked with her husband, Howard, in shaping the granting priorities of his private philanthropy, Fieldstead and Company. The Ahmansons’ granting has focused on relief and development work both in the United States and around the world; religious liberty issues also in the United States and abroad; and cultural issues ranging from the arts to education and politics. The Ahmansons’ long-term local granting interests include supporting the Pacific Symphony for over 20 years and the Orange County Rescue Mission for over 30 years.

The Ahmansons have sponsored a number of art exhibitions in the United States and Great Britain including Caravaggio: The Final Years and Sacred Made Real, both at the National Gallery in London. As the chair of the former Museum of Biblical Art in New York City, Ahmanson led the drive to secure Renaissance masterpieces from the cathedral in Florence, Italy, featured in the noted exhibition Sculpture in the Age of Donatello.

One of the Ahmansons’ largest current projects is the Visual Commentary on Scripture. Roberta is the current chair of WaterTable, a non-profit entity which aims to promote artistic flourishing in Los Angeles. She also chairs the board of Bridge Projects, Inc., a for-profit exhibition space also in Los Angeles.

In addition to these efforts, Ahmanson lectures throughout the United States, and is the co-author with Paul Marshall and Lela Gilbert of Islam at the Crossroads, 2002, and a contributor and co-editor with Marshall and Gilbert of Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion.

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