Lectures will be held at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
at 6.00 p.m., or with welcome drinks in advance, at 5.45 p.m. for 6.15 p.m., unless otherwise noted*.

Tuesday 5th December

5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Christie’s

Dr Beth McKillop, Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

New research on the V&A Collection of Kesi Tapestries

In 2010, Professor Wang Yarong, distinguished textiles scholar, visited the Victoria and Albert Museum by invitation, to review kesi tapestries. The researchers spent an intensive period in the Asian Department offices, meticulously studying the objects, which were then stored at South Kensington. Of about 100 objects researched and condition reported, some were in good condition while others had losses in threads or wefts or showed evidence of tearing or staining. A reciprocal visit to the Capital Museum, Beijing, was made by Helen Persson, who was then Collections Management Curator, Asia Department. The lecture will summarise the Chinese researchers’ findings and recommendations, and present the V&A collection of kesi tapestries.

Beth McKillop is a Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Previously she was V&A Keeper of Asia (2004-10), Director of Collections, and Deputy Director (2010-16). Her interests in Korean ceramics and book history are reflected in publications including Korean Art and Design, 1992 and the Korea sections of the Oxford Companion to the Book, 2010. Beth’s work on Chinese collections builds on 20 years of research at the British Library. With Frances Wood, she collaborated with Chinese scholars to research Dunhuang and other collections held by the Library.

 SPRING 2018 


Monday 15th January 2018

5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Duke’s of Dorchester

Linda Schulsky

The Burghley Porcelains

Four pieces of Chinese porcelain with European mounts dated to 1575-1585 that were part of the collection of the Cecil family at Burghley House were sold in 1888, became part of the collection of J.P. Morgan, and came to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1944. The fifth piece, which was also part of the Morgan Collection, has similar mounts to those on the other four, but “had the same silversmith’s mark” so probably it also had an “illustrious history.” These porcelains have been mentioned frequently, but no article has been written solely about them since Louise Avery’s article in 1944. Her article concentrated on the mounts, but I will speak mainly about the porcelains themselves. There were so very few Chinese porcelains in England at this time, that they are each named and recognized by scholars and collectors: the Trenchard Bowl, the Warham Bowl, the Lennard Cup, the Hardwick Hall ewer and the bowl from the Untermyer Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The existence of these pieces in England at this time is evidence for a globalized porcelain trade. The pieces themselves are important because their quality is so impressive, and also because porcelain was so rare in 16th-century England.

Linda Rosenfeld Pomper has an M.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania and in History of the Decorative Arts from the Cooper-Hewitt Parsons Program in New York City.  She has worked on museum exhibitions and has been a Gallery Talk speaker for the Education Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  She taught at the Parsons School of Design in the Undergraduate and Masters Programmes, and has been writing about Chinese export porcelain since the 1980’s.

Tuesday 13th February

5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis

The annual Sonia Lightfoot Memorial painting lecture

Dr. Clarissa von Spee, Cleveland Museum of Art

Multiples in Chinese Painting – Reassessing ‘dismissed’ paintings in historic museum collections

When dealing with Chinese painting, encountering multiples or so-called ‘twins’ (shuangbao) is a common phenomenon, whether working in a museum with a historic collection, in an academic environment, or an auction house. Multiples or ‘twins’ are here defined as similar or identical versions of paintings that correspond in theme, composition, and the choice of motifs. The discovery of a ‘twin’ version often arouses immediate questions of authenticity. Expanding the view to Europe and Japan, the lecture draws on new approaches in the field of European art history and includes the study of Japanese Kano-school artists; it explores the complexity of the phenomenon of ‘twin versions’ and re-attributes paintings, earlier dismissed as forgeries.

Clarissa von Spee is Chair of Asian Art and Curator of Chinese Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She was Curator of the Chinese and Central Asian collections at the British Museum from 2008 to 2016. Dr. von Spee received her PhD from Heidelberg University in Germany. Her publications include Wu Hufan. A Twentieth Century Art Connoisseur in Shanghai; The Perfect Brush-Chinese Paintings, 1300-1900; Modern Chinese Ink Paintings -A Century of New Directions; The Printed Image in China from the 8th to the 21st Centuries, and Modern Chinese Painting & Europe. New Perceptions, Artistic Encounters, and the Formation of Collections, co-edited with Michaela Pejčochová (Berlin 2017).

Tuesday 13th March

The Annual Woolf Jade lecture

5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by the Woolf Charitable Trust

Dr Ling Qin, Associate Professor, School of Archaeology & Museology, Peking University

Power in Things: the Neolithic jades and early complex societies in China

This talk will focus on the significance of Neolithic jades in the development of early Chinese civilization.  Focusing on the topics of materiality and entanglement, the talk will briefly go through all major jade traditions of the Hongshan, Lingjiatan, Liangzhu, post-Shijiahe and Qijia cultures with the updated archaeological discoveries. It will explain these cultural traditions as contexts within which jade objects took on a particularly important role in the creation and maintenance of power relationships within these cultural contexts and as metaphors that help us understand the fixed ritual system of later Bronze Age China.

Dr. Qin, Ling is Associate Professor of Neolithic Archaeology and Archaeobotany at the School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University, Beijing. She completed her PhD on Neolithic social complex in the lower Yangtze River area. She has worked extensively on Neolithic excavations and material cultures in China, jointly directing field-work in Zhejiang, Shandong, Shaanxi and Henan. Her current research projects and interests include the scientific research on Neolithic jades in Eastern China, early agriculture developments in lower Yangzte, and in Yunnan (southwest China), as well as the theory and practice of early civilizations study in a comparative perspective around East Asia.

Tuesday 10th April

5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis

Dominic Jellinek

Marcus Ezekiel: A Collector Rediscovered

Marcus Ezekiel’s biography and his relationship with Sir Percival David are fairly well known.  Much of his collection was sold, first at Christie’s in March 1930, and then at Sotheby’s in May 1946.  But until last year the origin of his collection has been something of a mystery.  This lecture will examine some of the documents that have been rediscovered, will consider possible influences on Ezekiel’s collecting, and make comparisons with some contemporary collectors.

Dominic Jellinek’s interest in Chinese art began when he joined Bluett and Sons in late 1978, where he stayed until the firm ceased trading at the end of 1992.  Having been able to acquire the archives of that firm, after a few more years of dealing he left the business to concentrate on research. Several years were spent working with his good friend Roy Davids on the book “Provenance”, a biographical dictionary of English and American collectors of Chinese ceramics, published in 2011.