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AAA at Noon: Time Travel by Thangka: Tibetan Treasures at the Asian Art Museum-San Francisco

For six hundred years, Tibet has been home to a religious tradition based on texts called the terma or treasures. Some of these texts occur in the context of thangka paintings or rare illuminated manuscripts; some were even viewed as actual bodies of the figures represented on them. Using the rich visual and narrative sources available in Tibetan thangka paintings associated with the terma tradition recovered from a monastery called Riwoche; this presentation explores how artworks associated with this tradition share many thematic and formal characteristics with tradition of speculative fiction more or less recently produced by Euro-American authors. Among these themes and characteristics are virtual bodies, time travel, altered identities, signs of a special destiny, and coded messages designed to be discovered at just the right time.

Curator's Circle: Chen Shen Ceramic Pillows of Cizhou Ware in 10th – 13th century China

During the Song and Jin dynasties of China (10th – 13th centuries) a decorative day-to-day household item, ceramic pillows of Cizhou ware, stand as symbols of the cultural commodities market. Where were they made, and how did they become a popular market product? Dr. Chen Shen gives an overview of the collection of Cizhou ware pillows at the Royal Ontario Museum, and explores features of the product that reflect commercial markets of the time, i.e.: how technology and design changes in craftsmanship were in accord with marketing growth (reducing production costs, employing skilled workers gathered in a central location, maximizing moulding production, etc.) Evidence also points to active publicizing of brands/workshops by competitive quality control (advertising). Dr Shen will reconstruct a vivid urban life with prospectus markets that were guided by public aesthetic tastes as well a need for company profits. Reception following.

Glory of Venice: An Artistic Evolution

This four session course will take participants on an extraordinary exploration of the creativity of Venice spanning the mid-1400s to early 1800s, a time when artists forged a Renaissance style that was distinctly Venetian. In the first session, Angelica Daneo, Curator of Painting and Sculpture, will share her curatorial insights on the special exhibition Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance which spans one of the most creative times in Venetian art history, when painters developed their own distinctive Renaissance style based on a sensitive understanding of the constructive and defining potential of light and color. In sessions 2 and 3, art historian Giulia Bernardini will lead an investigation into works of art and architecture from the fifteenth and sixteenth century that served to reinforce the civic and social cohesion so vital to maintaining Venice’s identity as La Serenissima (The Most Serene Republic).” In the final session, Molly Medakovich, Teaching Specialist for Adult Programs, will lead an exploration of Venice through the eyes of 18th-century artists.

Individual sessions are available for purchase:

First Session

Second Session

Third Session

Fourth Session

Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place: Member Lecture with Rebecca Hart

Rebecca Hart, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, will share with members her insights on staging of Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place, an exhibition of site-specific installations by 13 Latino artists that express contemporary life in the American West. Hart will share behind-the-scenes details on working with the artists and discuss the on-site development of these energizing installations as the artists transform the museum galleries.

Part II: Refining a World-class Collection of American Indian Art

Have you ever wondered how collections at a museum are developed and refined? What do curators look for, and how does that differ from developing a private collection? Join us for a two-part series with Native Arts curators who will pull back the curtain on this fascinating process that has resulted in one of the finest American Indian art collections in any museum.

Part 2: Dec. 6, 6 pm - Nancy Blomberg

The second part, presented by Nancy Blomberg, will explore the tough choices curators make when reviewing collections and identifying which works are no longer appropriate for our collection due to redundancy, condition, or mission.

Don't miss these rare opportunities to hear about the crucial steps that curators use to make impactful decisions.

Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s: Member Lecture with Florence Müller

Florence Müller, the Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Curator of Fashion, will share her curatorial insights on the making of Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s, an exhibition showcasing work by Japanese designers who started a fashion revolution in Paris. The exhibition features 70 looks by powerhouse designers Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Kansai Yamamoto, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, and Junya Watanabe, whose impact on fashion still resonates today. 

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