2019 Chinese Object Study Workshops – Applications

Date of event:   2019-02-28T00:00:00

June 10–14, 2019

Applications are now available for the 2019 Chinese Object Study Workshops, to take place in June at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in August at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto (please see descriptions below).  Application information is available here. The application deadline is February 28, 2019. 

The program is open to students enrolled in a graduate art history program (at the time that the workshop is held) at a North American or European university and pursuing a graduate degree in Chinese art. Graduate students from other art history-related programs and/or working closely with Chinese art objects are also welcome to apply. Applicants may be of any nationality and may apply for more than one workshop. A transportation stipend, lodging, and some meal support will be provided.

Students are welcome to apply for both workshops and can use one application package for both workshops. They should address their background and interest in each workshop in separate statements. One recommendation letter in relation to the two workshop topics is sufficient.

Workshop One: Chinese Textiles

Host: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Workshop Leaders:

Mei Mei Rado, Parsons School of Design

Yuhang Li, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Pengliang Lu, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dates: Monday–Friday, June 10–14, 2019

How should we position textiles in Chinese art history? What is the relationship between textiles and other media such as ink painting, mural, sculpture, and various decorative arts? How do we begin to approach a piece of brocade or tapestry? This workshop will survey the major types of textiles in China from the tenth to the nineteenth century and introduce students to the analytical languages, methods, and issues for studying Chinese textiles, a subject rarely taught in university art history programs.

Drawing on the excellent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we will focus on silks and examine a range of woven and embroidered flat textiles and garments. Students will first learn to identify the material components and fabricating techniques of selected examples, an indispensable step for further analyzing their design, function, and socio-cultural significance. Through close analysis of these examples, we will explore the multivalent roles of textiles in Chinese art and material culture—as artistic mediums, sign-bearing objects, structural and performative elements in religious and secular spaces, and social agent.

Workshop Two: Objects in Archaeological Context

Host: Royal Ontario Museum

Workshop Leaders:

Haicheng Wang, University of Washington

Tianlong Jiao, Denver Art Museum

Shen Chen, Royal Ontario Museum

Dates: Monday-Friday, August 19-23, 2019

A significant portion of Chinese artworks in most museums outside China were collected in the early 20th century. Objects that pre-date the Early Imperial periods of China often have come into the collections with unknown archaeological provenance. Today, with a century of advancement in the field of Chinese archaeology, we can review and re-examine these objects in museum collections. Archaeological context provides us with credible arguments about the dates, functions, ancient minds, and symbolisms of the objects under inquiry, which are often multi-layered and complex.

With the Royal Ontario Museum’s outstanding collections of Chinese art, this workshop would offer students an alternate approach to studying objects of early China. We will critically analyze ancient potteries, bronzes, jades, lacquers, stone and bone carvings, with a focus on China’s Bronze Age period (c. 16 century BEC – 1st century – from Shang to Han dynasties). In combination with learning how to read archaeological reports, students will be guided to look at the objects through an archaeological lens. This will enhance an in-depth examination of objects that are often studied for their aesthetic value alone, such as bronze mirrors, ritual vessels, belt hookers and buckles, tomb tiles and tomb figurines. Objects from the sites of Anyang and Luoyang will be featured in the workshop, and will be placed into the dynamic realms of material culture as means of studying ancient society and people.

Students are welcome to apply for both workshops and can use one application package for both workshops. They should address their background and interest in each workshop in separate statements. One recommendation letter in relation to the two workshop topics is sufficient.

Event Location