Myths My Teachers Believed about Song-Yuan Painting History

Sammy Lee Seminar by Jerome Silbergeld, Princeton University


Friday, November 3, 2017
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Bunche Hall 6275

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and what this means for Chinese art historical practice today
Chinese painting history is a thriving, growing, changing, and diverse discipline. Song and Yuan painting lay at the core of my teachers' academic interests, Song naturalism and the rise of Yuan literati painting. Everything grew out of this. To some in my generation, many of our teachers' "fundamentals" now seem like old-fashioned myths, readily dispelled. To others, these remain central to their own beliefs and to their classroom and museum teaching. How will today's students respond to these issues, or will they still be  engaged? Will students even learn of "the way things used to be" in the discipline and the way in which these issues helped shape our entire field today?

Jerome Silbergeld is the P. Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Professor of Chinese Art History at Princeton University, emeritus, and was the director of Princeton’s Tang Center for East Asian Art. He has published more than eighty authored and edited books, exhibition catalogues, articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries, as well as curating seven museum exhibitions, on the subjects of traditional and contemporary Chinese painting, architecture and gardens, and Chinese cinema and photographs. These have dealt with such topics as art in times of political upheaval and conditions of intense censorship, the aesthetics of old age, perceptions and misperceptions of historical change, "bad" art and the articulation of the negative, the relationship between architecture and paintings of architecture, regional diversity in Chinese gardens, zoomorphic and anthropomorphic iconographies, and cinema's relationship to the premodern arts of China. Before coming to Princeton in 2001, he was previously the chair of Art History and director of the School of Art at the University of Washington/Seattle, where he taught for 25 years.

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies, Sammy Yukuan Lee Foundation