In the fall of 2014, the Adams Center began our popular “My Best Lecture” series, which spotlights faculty presenting on a topic that excites them and engages their students. The series connects colleagues across the university to engage meaningful conversations and to nurture our relationships with one another.

In this video, Dan McGregor presents his best lecture: The Casual Adventurer’s Guide to the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. For centuries, Michelangelo Buonarroti’s famous Sistine frescoes have been considered one of the towering achievements of Western Art. But why? Do they deserve their august reputation? Are they worth visiting, considering the twin headaches of being herded like tourist-livestock and shushed by guards? This lecture will unpack the secrets, symbolism, and cultural impact of this most famous cycle of paintings.