Prof. Greg Thomas: Craftsmanship and Display in France’s Chinese Museum

Date: 31 October 2017
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Venue: Room 7.58 Run Run Shaw Tower

Empress Eugénie created the Chinese Museum in the palace of Fontainebleau to display Chinese art objects looted by French officers at the palace of Yuanming Yuan in 1860. This talk analyzes the museum display to see how it evaluated and interpreted the Chinese religious and material culture contained in the museum’s collection. By focusing on the museum’s décor, it shows in particular how French craftsmen created ornament and framing devices that paid homage to Chinese craftsmanship while conveying parallels between French and Chinese imperial cultures.

Dr. Daniella Cecutti: Collecting, Collectors and the Market for Islamic Art from the 19th to the 20th Century

daniella-cecutti-poster-1Date: 24 January 2017
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Venue: Room 4.04 Run Run Shaw Tower

Daniela Cecutti is a graduate of the University of Udine (Italy), where she studied art history and specialised in non-European art. She obtained her PhD in 2013, after defending her dissertation on collections of Islamic arms and armour, entitled: “Collecting and the market for Islamic Art from the 19th to the 20th Century; Italy and the International context”. She has collaborared with several Italian museums; has published scholarly articles and essay in academic journals and exhibition catalogues, and has published a monograph on the subject of Italian collecting of Islamic art … (Please click on the image to read more)

Mr. Rufus Bird: Mounted Chinese Porcelain in the British Royal Collection

161207-seminar-birdDate: 7 December 2016
Time: 11:00am -12:30pm
Venue: Room 7.58 Run Run Shaw Tower

Moderator: Prof. Thomas

Rufus Bird is the curator in charge of decorative arts in the Royal Collection of Great Britain, with special expertise in mounts and metalwork. He is coming to the Department of Fine Arts to talk especially with students about the history of mounting Chinese porcelain and some of the exquisite porcelains and mounts in the Royal Collection. Professor Thomas will moderate the talk and discussion. (Please click on the image to read more)

Ms. Ruth E. Iskin: Posters as Art and Advertising in the Nineteenth Century

160926 seminar IskinDate: 26 September 2016
Time: 5:00pm
Venue: Room 7.58 Run Run Shaw Tower

During the nineteenth century designers invented a new form of art and advertising, using what was still a new medium –  colour lithography. They developed a new form of communication that relied primarily on images and set a new direction for modern graphic design. This richly illustrated talk features numerous posters from France, England and other European nations as well as the US, that promoted a wide range of products, services, and entertainments, including books, journals, cafe concerts and circuses; contemporary fashions and department stores; cameras, typewriters, and bicycles, and transportation services like the train… (Please click on the image to read more)

Mr. Greg Bryda: The Exuding Wood of the Cross at Isenheim

160421 seminar brydaDate: 21 April 2016
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: Room 4.34 Run Run Shaw Tower

This talk brings to light the late-medieval devotional trope of the exuding wood of the cross, which became popular in fifteenth-century allegories and served as the theological basis for one of the most celebrated but misunderstood ensembles of Gothic Germany: the high altar of the Antonite church at Isenheim sculpted by Nikolaus Haguenauer and painted by Matthias Grünewald. Resins, turpentine, pitch, and other tree exudates formed the basis of medieval medicine and were widely available for physicians as well as artists, who employed their distillates as paint thinner. A thick, viscous bodily humor that was a critical emulsive vehicle for the treatment of skin wounds, resin was also exploited figuratively as a mirror for the sacramental blood Christ shed on the cross… (Please click on the image to read more)

Dr. Letha Ch’ien: Across Time & Space with a Translated Pork-Wrapped Saint: Venetian Sixteenth-Century Narrative Painting and Civic Identity

160418 seminar Chi'enDate: 18 April 2016
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: Room 4.34 Run Run Shaw Tower

A medieval basket containing the pork-wrapped relics of St. Mark holds the key to the beguiling Renaissance painting cycle at the Scuola Grande di San Marco. Venetian painting appears to undergo a fundamental change in the mid-sixteenth century transition from Bellini to Tintoretto with a stylistic rupture that has been called a “caesura.” This paper argues the contrary: the so-called eyewitness generation and later mannerist paintings are in fact united by mode… (Please click on the image to read more)

Ms. Victoria Ehrlich: Between Nature and Culture: Visualising a Mythological Hero in Fifteenth-Century Florence

160414 Ehrlich PosterDate: 14 April 2016
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: Room 4.34 Run Run Shaw Tower

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle briefly delimits the realm of virtue by setting brutishness in opposition to superhuman virtue. This stark contrast—one that retained moral dimensions in the early modern period—was frequently visualised for fifteenth-century Florentine audiences in depictions of heroes doing battle with monstrous entities. Although such representations place the brutish and the superhumanly virtuous on either end of a spectrum, I argue that these types of figures also mirrored one another in significant ways…  (Please click on the image to read more)

Ms. Binna Choi, Ms. Annie Wan, Ms. Michelle Wong: “What does art do?” Mediating Gwangju Biennale 2016

160323 seminar choi wan wong webDate: 23 March 2016
Time: 2:30pm
Venue: Room 4.34 Run Run Shaw Tower

For this year, the curatorial team of Gwangju Biennale 2016 directs our attention with a simple question: What does art do? They aim to look at different “situations” where artworks and projects meet the public, and how that meeting can be meaningful. One potential situation is the university where art, as well as art history, is taught to future generations of practitioners… (Please click on the image to read more)



Glimpse of the Event:

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Dr. Jane DeBevoise: The Market as Imaginary in Post-Mao China

160301 seminar DeBevoiseDate: 1 March 2016
Time: 5:00pm
Venue: Room 7.58 Run Run Shaw Tower

In Hong Kong and China today, the art market is an influential, established and much debated institution. Yet its emergence on the mainland goes back only a few decades, before which point state support for the arts was dominant.

This paper examines the debates that emerged following the economic and institutional reforms that began the creation of the modern Chinese art market in the 1980s…  (Please click on the image to read more)

Prof. Julia Andrews: Women Artists in Twentieth Century China: A Prehistory of the Contemporary

Andrews talk 2015 posterDate: 18 March 2015
Time: 5:30pm
Venue: Room 4.34 Run Run Shaw Tower

Spanning the emergence of modern girl’s schools in the early twentieth century, the hey-day of painting societies in the 1930s, the establishment of the Maoist art establishment in the 1950s, and the emergence of new internationally-oriented forms of art in recent decades, this talk will present a selective overview of the work of women painters in the twentieth century… (Please click on the image to read more)