Lectures, Fall 2014
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Fall 2014 (pdf) >
Join us for these informal presentations on aspects of the Museum's collections and special exhibitions. Lunchtime Talks are usually held on Tuesdays at 12 pm in the Museum.
The Lyrical Line
By Stephen Margulies
By Margo Smith
Saturday Special Tours
These informal presentations on aspects of the Museum's collections and special exhibitions are usually held on the last Saturday of each month from 2 – 3 pm in the Museum.
The Lyrical Line
by Stephen Margulies
Special Lectures & Events
The Making of an Argument:
Gordon Parks and the Harlem Gang Leader Essay
by Russell Lord, New Orleans Museum of Art
Russell Lord is the Freeman Family Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). Lord previously held positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery, and has written widely on the history of photography. His recent publications include: Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument, and Edward Burtynsky: Water. He is also currently working on a book about the permanent photography collection at NOMA, and a book about early nineteenth century American photography to be published by the University of Washington Press. Lord’s exhibitions include: Photography, Sequence, and Time; Reinventing Nature: Art from the School of Fontainebleau; and What is a Photograph? Much of his research focuses on the relationships between photography and other visual media.
November 6 – 9
Films by Gordon Parks
Special screening in partnership with the Virginia Film Festival
Ellen Bayard Weedon Lectures in the Arts of Asia
Thursday, September 25
Laurence Sickman (1906–1988) and the Chinese Art Collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
by Colin Mackenzie
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is home to one of the finest collections of Chinese Art in the United States, including many works that are frequently included in the standard histories of world art. That the museum possesses such a concentration of masterworks is largely due to Laurence Sickman. Sickman began acquiring for the museum while he was a Harvard-Yenching scholar in China during the 1930s and later became Curator of Oriental Art and later director of the museum. This talk will explore the stories behind some of his most famous acquisitions as well as presenting new research on selected masterworks.
Colin Mackenzie joined The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 2009 as Senior Curator of East Asian Art, having formerly held curatorial positions at the Yale University Art Gallery, the Asia Society Museum, and Middlebury College. Dr. Mackenzie’s interests range widely from ancient China to contemporary Chinese art. He has contributed to a number of major exhibitions, including The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology, and co-edited the catalogue Asian Games: the Art of Contest. His recent publications and exhibitions include Masterworks of Chinese Art: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Journey through Mountains and Rivers: Chinese Landscapes Ancient and Modern, and The Chinese Art Book (co-authored).
Thursday, October 23
Mughal Influence in the Early Works of Nainsukh
by John Seyller
A few scholars recognized that a series of independent paintings of individual falcons—a subject introduced into Indian painting by the Mughals—were made in the Punjab Hills, but were mostly silent about when and where they were produced. Readings of previously undeciphered inscriptions on several of these works now place them firmly in the region of Jammu in the western part of the Punjab Hills, and date them to the 1730s. They are further attributed to Pandit Seu, a seminal figure in the history of Pahari painting, and to his two sons, Manaku and Nainsukh. Indeed, the falcon paintings are now established to be among the earliest works in Nainsukh’s long and illustrious career, and set the stage for his still more profound absorption of Mughal compositions, figure types, and surface effects in the 1740s.
John Seyller, Professor of Art History at the University of Vermont, is an acclaimed authority on Indian painting, with special focus on the imperial Mughal workshop and many individual manuscripts and painters of the 16th and 17th centuries. His books include The Adventures of Hamza, the catalogue of a groundbreaking exhibition organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and Eva and Konrad Seitz Collection of Indian Miniatures: Mughal and Deccani Paintings (2010). He is co-author with Jagdish Mittal of Pahari Drawings in the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art (2013), and Pahari Paintings in the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art (2014).
Thursday, November 13
Many Shades of Blue: The Hindu God Vishnu in Indian Paintings
by Joan Cummins
The Hindu god Vishnu is said to assume many different forms when rescuing humankind from forces of chaos. These divine manifestations, called avatars, are recorded in many of the religion’s most sacred texts—including the Bhagavata Purana, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Gita Govinda—all of which were illustrated by Indian artists for sumptuous manuscripts. This talk will introduce the lively stories of Vishnu’s avatars while also comparing the diverse painting traditions in which these stories were depicted.
Joan Cummins is the Lisa and Bernard Selz Curator of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Prior to her arrival at Brooklyn in 2007 she was curator of Indian and Southeast Asian Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is the author of Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior (2011), and Indian Painting: From Cave Temples to the Colonial Period (2006). She received her doctorate in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University.