Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture Series on Chinese Archaeology and Art

Since the founding of the series in 1982, the Sammy Yukuan Lee Lectures in Chinese Archaeology and Art have brought to UCLA some of the world's leading scholars of archaeology and premodern Chinese art.

Supported through the generosity of the Lee Family Foundation and named in honor of the connoisseur and philanthropist who is the family's patriarch, these lectures are designed to reveal the glories of China's artistic heritage for appreciative viewers in Southern California and far beyond.

2012 Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

1958: On one of his earliest trips to Europe, he spoke mainly Mandarin, and hop-scotched from Rome, Milan, Zurich, Geneva Frankfurt, Bonn. Since then he has traveled to Europe at least once a year. (Provided by: Howard and Norma Lee)


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2011 Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

1958: On one of his earliest trips to Europe, he spoke mainly Mandarin, and hop-scotched from Rome, Milan, Zurich, Geneva Frankfurt, Bonn. Since then he has traveled to Europe at least once a year. (Provided by: Howard and Norma Lee)


Sammy Yukuan Lee (1902 - 2011)

Mr. Sammy Yukuan Lee, a beloved friend of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies and esteemed businessman, collector and scholar of Chinese antiquities, passed away on Sept. 9, 2011, at the age of 109. We express our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

Sammy Yukuan Lee

(October 14, 1902 - September 9, 2011)

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Mr. Sammy Yukuan Lee, a beloved friend of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies and esteemed collector and scholar of Chinese antiquities, passed away on Sept. 9, 2011, at the age of 109. We express our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

A generous philanthropist, Mr. Lee contributed to a wide range of causes in American higher education, art collection and cultural preservation. The UCLA Center for Chinese Studies expresses deep gratitude as one of his beneficiaries.

The Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Art and Archaeology was established in 1982 in celebration of Mr. Lee's 80th birthday. This series has hosted expert scholars and speakers from all over the world and provides invaluable cultural enrichment to the UCLA community and general public. During the past three decades, the Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture has remained the signature annual event of the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA.

Since the 1990s, the Sammy Yukuan Lee Foundation has also sponsored scholarships for undergraduate students at UCLA. The Foundation supported 4-year full-support scholarships for students beginning in the 1990s. In recent years, the Foundation has supported top students from premier universities in China to study abroad for three consecutive summers at UCLA, a European University, and Fortune 500 company or research institution, respectively. Besides serving as a stepping-stone to advanced educational and professional opportunities, the Sammy Lee undergraduate scholarships have provided recipients with invaluable international academic, cultural, and leadership experiences.

The Sammy Yukuan Lee Foundation has also supported many other programs and projects at UCLA-including the New Approaches to Chinese Studies lecture series of the Center for Chinese Studies-in some cases providing the spark that has set into motion important new projects, and in other cases providing timely and generous support that has sustained worthy programs. Mr. Lee's second son Howard has served as a member of the UCLA Foundation in recent years, providing generous financial support to UCLA and introducing other donors to the campus.

The Sammy Lee Foundation has made generous contributions to art and cultural institutions in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Thanks in large measure to the Foundation's gifts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) now holds among the most highly valued of Chinese lacquers in the United States. The Foundation has donated collections to the Tokyo National Museum, National Palace Museum in Beijing, Shanghai Museum, and Qingdao Municipal Museum and is now collaborating with the Shandong University to construct a website featuring lacquer pieces in major collections throughout the world.

Sammy Lee lived his later years in southern California with his youngest son, King Yang (John), near his second son King Hao (Howard), and third son King Sum (Sam), dividing his time between his latest research into Chinese archaic jades and his pursuit of the art of golfing. At least twice a year, he traveled to Tokyo to see his oldest son, King Tsi, and to Hong Kong to visit his fourth son, King Kong.

As he approached his 100th birthday, Sammy Lee retired to Qingdao in the Shandong province where he enjoyed the company and care of his niece, Liu Lee Xiuying, and her family.

He is survived by his four sons and daughters-in-law, seven grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. His reverence for Chinese art and culture, commitment to higher education, and the enjoyment of a full and vibrant life leaves a legacy for us all to follow.

Please click here to a statement by Mr. Sammy Lee's second son-Mr. Howard Lee.

To support the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies in honor of Sammy Lee, please click here

2011 Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

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Jonathan Hay "Maritime Beijing: Oceans and Empire in the Monuments of the Capital"
Saturday, November 05, 2011
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Transcript of Prof. Hay's Lecture

Jonathan Hay (born in Glasgow, Scotland, 1956) has taught at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, since 1990. He is the author of two books, Shitao: Painting and Modernity in Early Qing China (2001) and Sensuous Surfaces: The Decorative Object in Early Modern China (2010). He writes on a broad range of topics and periods in Chinese art history, as well as on the general theory of art history.

Event Photos



2010 Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

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Anyang Archaeology in the 21st Century: New Perspectives in the Search for the Shang Civilization

TANG JIGEN (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) presents the twenty-third Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture in Chinese Archaeology and Art

Event Photos

Shang is the earliest state to have left written records in Chinese history. Anyang, located some 500 kilometers south of Beijing, is known as the last capital site of Shang China. Since 1928, archaeologists have devoted great efforts to the study of Shang by excavating its buried remains. In the first ten years of the twenty-first century, archaeological work in Anyang has brought us a deep understanding of the mysterious state by adopting new fieldwork strategies and research methods. This lecture discusses the latest archaeological knowledge on the Shang. It focuses on Anyang's residential layout and social organization. It also strives to explore the association between the loss of cultural diversity and the collapse of Shang state.

UNESCO has declared the site of the Shang capital to be a cultural heritage site. That site, covering approximately 30 square kilometers, is located in and around what is today the village of Xiaotun, west of Anyang, in Henan province. This cite is commonly called Yinxu (literally, "the ruins of Yinz" by historians and archaeologists.

The World Heritage website of UNESCO describes the Shang capital in these words:
A number of royal tombs and palaces, prototypes of later Chinese architecture, have been unearthed on the site, including the Palace and Royal Ancestral Shrines Area, with more than 80 house foundations, and the only tomb of a member of the royal family of the Shang dynasty to have remained intact, the Tomb of Fu Hao. The large number and superb craftsmanship of the burial accessories found there bear testimony to the advanced level of Shang crafts industry. Inscriptions on oracle bones found in Yinxu bear invaluable testimony to the development of one of the world's oldest writing systems, ancient beliefs and social systems.

View the illustrated transcript »

2009 Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

The Buddhist Arts of Tea in Medieval China

Please enjoy a video pre-cap, the podcast recording, and images from the 22st Annual Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art, held on November 7, 2009: The Buddhist Arts of Tea in Medieval China , delivered by James A. Benn (McMaster University)

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Listen to the podcast »
View the slides (PDF) »




2008 Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

Burning the Books and Killing the Scholars: Representing the Atrocities of the First Emperor of China a public lecture by Anthony Barbieri-Low

Please enjoy three streaming flash videos from the 21st Annual Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art, held on November 1, 2008: Burning the Books and Killing the Scholars: Representing the Atrocities of the First Emperor of ChinaAnthony Barbieri-Low delivers the 21st Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art.

Sammy Lee 2008, Part 1

Sammy Lee 2008, Part 1

Length: 7:46

Sammy Lee 2008, Part 2

Sammy Lee 2008, Part 2

Length: 6:27

Sammy Lee 2008, Part 3

Sammy Lee 2008, Part 3

Length: 15:07


2007 Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

Please enjoy three streaming flash videos from the 20th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art, held on November 3, 2007: Forty-eight Buddhas of Measureless Life: Court Eunuch Patronage at the Sculpture Grottoes of Longmen, delivered by Amy McNair (Art History, University of Kansas)

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2006 Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

Please enjoy four streaming flash videos from the 19th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art, held on November 4, 2006: Poet Prince and River Nymph: The Luoshenfu in Verse and Painting, delivered by Roderick Whitfield, Percival David Emeritus Professor of Chinese & East Asian Art, School of Oriental and African Studies.

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Lectures

26th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

Yuan: Chinese Architecture, Mongol Patrons, Asian Archaeology
Saturday, November 02, 2013

2012 Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

Robert D. Mowry, the Alan J. Dworsky Curator of Chinese Art and Head of the Department of Asian Art at the Harvard Art Museums, and a Senior Lecturer on Chinese and Korean Art in Harvard’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture, will give the 25th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art.
Saturday, November 03, 2012

Anyang Archaeology in the 21st Century: New Perspectives in the Search for the Shang Civilization

TANG JIGEN (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) presents the twenty-third Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture in Chinese Archaeology and Art
Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Buddhist Arts of Tea in Medieval China

James A. Benn delivers the 22nd Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art
Saturday, November 07, 2009

Burning the Books and Killing the Scholars: Representing the Atrocities of the First Emperor of China

Anthony Barbieri-Low delivers the 21st Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art
Saturday, November 01, 2008

Forty-eight Buddhas of Measureless Life: Court Eunuch Patronage at the Sculpture Grottoes of Longmen

Amy McNair presents the 20th Annual Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture in Chinese Archaeology & Art
Saturday, November 03, 2007

The 19th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture: Poet Prince and River Nymph: The 'Luoshenfu' in Verse and Painting

Roderick Whitfield (Percival David Emeritus Professor of Chinese & East Asian Art, School of Oriental & African Studies, London) presents the 19th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Art & Archaeology
Saturday, November 04, 2006

The 18th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture: Recarving China's Past: 'Wu Family Shrines' and the Story of the Stones

Cary Y. Liu, Curator of Asian Art at the Princeton University Art Museum, will be the featured speaker at the 18th Annual Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art.
Saturday, November 05, 2005

The 17th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture: Yuanmingyuan: The Garden of Perfect Brightness - A Mirror for the Last Dynasty of China

Che Bing Chiu, Professor at the Centre de recherche sur l'Extrême-Orient de Paris-Sorbonne, presents the 17th Annual Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art.
Saturday, November 06, 2004

The 16th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture: Long-haired Monks? A Portrait of Two Chinese Buddhist Masters and its Many Contexts

Raoul Birnbaum, Professor and Rebele Chair in History of Art and Visual Culture at UC Santa Cruz, will be the featured speaker at the 16th Annual Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art.
Saturday, November 01, 2003

The 15th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture: Daoist Arts of the Ming Court

Stephen Little, the new Director Designate of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, will be the featured speaker at the 15th annual Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art.
Saturday, October 26, 2002

Complete List of Lectures >>


Articles

Large Turnout for Sammy Lee Lecture on Chinese Imperial Garden

17th annual Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art, 2004

Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture Explores the Self-Images of Buddhist Monks over the Centuries,

16th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art, 2003

Long-haired Monks?

Raoul Birnbaum presents the 16th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Art and Archaeology on Nov. 1, 2003

Dr. Stephen Little probes the forgotten history of the Ming Court's deep involvement with the Daoist religion

15th Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture Honors Sammy Lee's 100th Birthday, 2002

 

About the Series

The Sammy Yukuan Lee Lectures on Chinese Art and Archaeology

For more than two decades, the series has featured presentations by leading scholars exploring major issues in China's rich artistic heritage.

Sammy Yukuan Lee: A Biography

The story of Sammy Yukuan Lee and the Foundation that bears his name

Howard and Norma Lee
Sammy Yukuan Lee Scholarships for Undergraduate Students

Each year one student is selected to receive a full scholarship (fees, plus a living stipend) for four years.