National Museum of Asian Art » Talks and Lectures

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Afterhours @ NMAA: Hong Kong Style

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/afterhours-nmaa-hong-kong-style-tickets-379998755507  Join us for an outdoor festival to celebrate summer and the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival! Enjoy art and music from across Asia with performances, food, and exclusive curator talks. Experience the museum galleries open late, purchase signature cocktails from Please Bring Chips, and taste food from local vendors, including Queen’s English, Lei Musubi, and Ruby Scoops. At 7:30 p.m. see Jackie Chan at his very best in a special outdoor screening of Drunken Master, perhaps the greatest kung fu comedy of all time, as part of our annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival.   · 5–8 p.m.: Museum galleries are open and food and drinks from local vendors are available to purchase.   · 5:30–6:30 p.m.: Curator talks on the exhibition Underdogs and Antiheroes: Japanese Prints from the Moskowitz Collection.  · 5–7:30 p.m.: Performance by DJ 2-Tone of Shaolin Jazz and live martial arts demos.    · 7:30–9:30 p.m.: Outdoor… Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Freer plaza. Cost: Free. Friday, August 12, 2022, 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM.

Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain

Free, no registration required Step into the exhibition Revealing Krishna and take a journey to Cambodia’s sacred mountain of Phnom Da with curator Emma Natalya Stein. Walk through a sweeping cinematic corridor and feel as if you are traveling by boat down the river to meet Krishna lifting Mount Govardhan, a monumental sculpture with a 1500-year history. Don’t miss this last chance to experience the exhibition with the curator before it closes on September 18. Venue: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Event Location: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Cost: Free. Saturday, September 10, 2022, 1:00 PM.

Satook: A Screening and Conversation

Register here. Join us in the Meyer Auditorium for a special screening of the film Satook, directed by praCh Ly. Created for the exhibition Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain, this short documentary examines the transformation of religious traditions through the ruptures of the Khmer Rouge genocide and immigration. Titled Satook, a word of blessing spoken at the end of Cambodian Buddhist prayers, the film centers on four intimate conversations with Loung Ung, Bonieta Lach, Mea Lath, and Pon Carvi Ly, who share their personal experiences, memories of their parents, and reflections on their communities, journeys, and beliefs. The screening will be followed by a conversation between praCh Ly and writer Loung Ung. Afterward, join us for a reception featuring Cambodian-inspired refreshments at 3pm and a Cambodian dance performance at 4pm. praCh Ly is a critically acclaimed and award-winning artist. He was first known as a musician, and his debut album was the first number one rap album in… Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Meyer Auditorium. Cost: Free. Saturday, September 10, 2022, 2:00 PM.

Sneak Peek—In Context: Childe Hassam’s "The Chinese Merchants"

Register here. Childe Hassam’s 1909 painting The Chinese Merchants pictures Chinatown in Portland, Oregon. The work is unusual both for Hassam, who typically created idyllic views of New England, and for Charles Lang Freer, who collected American and Asian art but who only ever purchased this one view of contemporary Asian American life. In The Chinese Merchants, Hassam creates a flattened, stage-like space with an array of darkened doors and windows that suggests a bustling commercial and domestic life largely inaccessible to both painter and viewer. This talk explores how Hassam, as a white artist from the East Coast, represented the neighborhood. Comparing Hassam’s efforts with other artists who took up the subject of Chinatown neighborhoods throughout the country, we recognize the development of a particular lexicon for envisioning Asian enclaves in American cities. This talk also explores how The Chinese Merchants entered Freer’s collections and what role it has served alongside the collector’s grouping… Event Location: Online. Cost: Free. Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 12:00 PM – 12:40 PM.

The Peacock Room: Behind the Scenes

Free, no registration required Get a behind-the-scenes look at the newly restored Peacock Room, a masterpiece of aesthetic decoration, with Lunder Curator of American Art Diana Greenwold. Before the Peacock Room became a work of art by James McNeill Whistler, it was the dining room in the London mansion of Frederick Leyland. Its shelves were designed to showcase the British shipping magnate’s collection of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain. Whistler completely redecorated the room in 1876 and 1877 as a “harmony in blue and gold.” This extravagant interior has been on permanent display since the Freer Gallery of Art opened in 1923 and is one of the most beloved artworks in the Smithsonian. After the talk, stay to hear performances of music inspired by the Peacock Room at 1 and 2 p.m. Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Peacock Room, Freer Gallery of Art. Cost: Free. Saturday, September 24, 2022, 12:00 PM.

Translocation of South Asian Art: Provenance and Documentation

Register here. This two-day event will occur on Thursday, October 6, and Friday, October 7. Washington, DC: 9–12 p.m. EDT daily London: 2–5 p.m. BST daily Berlin: 3–6 p.m. CET daily New Delhi: 6:30–9:30 p.m. IST daily From the seventeenth century onward, Western visitors to the South Asian subcontinent were actively acquiring as well as commissioning works of art for private and public collections. A complex network of individuals and institutions encouraged collecting and facilitated the strategic movement of art out of South Asia. In our contemporary moment, histories of South Asian objects in museum collections are under increasing scrutiny, and questions about the art market and museum ethics are at the forefront of people’s minds. While this webinar engages with those important issues, it primarily focuses on documenting the provenance and circulation of South Asian art before 1970 as a way to better understand and reckon with the collections that exist today. Divided into two half-day sessions, this w… Event Location: Online. Cost: Free. Thursday, October 6, 2022, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

Translocation of South Asian Art: Provenance and Documentation

Register here. This two-day event will occur on Thursday, October 6, and Friday, October 7. Washington, DC: 9–12 p.m. EDT daily London: 2–5 p.m. BST daily Berlin: 3–6 p.m. CET daily New Delhi: 6:30–9:30 p.m. IST daily From the seventeenth century onward, Western visitors to the South Asian subcontinent were actively acquiring as well as commissioning works of art for private and public collections. A complex network of individuals and institutions encouraged collecting and facilitated the strategic movement of art out of South Asia. In our contemporary moment, histories of South Asian objects in museum collections are under increasing scrutiny, and questions about the art market and museum ethics are at the forefront of people’s minds. While this webinar engages with those important issues, it primarily focuses on documenting the provenance and circulation of South Asian art before 1970 as a way to better understand and reckon with the collections that exist today. Divided into two half-day sessions, this w… Event Location: Online. Cost: Free. Friday, October 7, 2022, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

Sneak Peek—Reading Between the Lines: Japanese Calligraphy and Frames

Register here.  Calligraphy is language turned into art. It celebrates the artfulness of the written word and the different ways in which language can be interpreted visually and conceptually. In the traditional arts of East Asia, calligraphy has long been considered a form of personal and conceptual expression, where individuality and meaning are being projected through the way a text is written. In this way, most if not all pieces of calligraphy combine form and function. This talk focuses on the religious and secular works of Japanese calligraphy and analyzes how meaning is conveyed by form, materials, and the writer’s intention. The talk will also consider how the mountings—frames and integral structural of hanging scrolls—can correspond with and enhance the aesthetic and content of a work of calligraphy.    Frank Feltens is the Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. He holds a PhD in the history of Japanese art from Columbia University and i… Event Location: Online. Cost: Free. Tuesday, October 11, 2022, 12:00 PM – 12:40 PM.

The Sasanians in Context: Art, History, and Archaeology

10 a.m.—5 p.m. EST     Between the third and seventh centuries CE, the Sasanian Empire became one of the most dominant powers in the ancient world, extending geographically from Western to Central Asia. From monumental buildings and impressive rock reliefs to elaborately designed metal vessels and finely carved seals, these structures and objects provide a glimpse into the empire’s artistic diversity and its rich material culture. Recent scholarship has further expanded our knowledge of the Sasanian empire and has confirmed its enduring legacy beyond its geographic borders, long after the Arab conquest in the seventh century.     The Sasanians in Context: Art, History, and Archaeology gathers some of the most renowned national and international scholars to share their recent work on the Sasanians and their lasting artistic and historical contributions.       This symposium is generously supported by the Tina and Hamid Moghadam Fund and is organized in collaboration with the University of California, Irvine.… Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Meyer Auditorium. Cost: Free. Friday, October 21, 2022 – Saturday, October 22, 2022.