LECTURES

A BLUE AND WHITE 'PALACE' BOWL MARK AND PERIOD OF CHENGHUA

A BLUE AND WHITE ‘PALACE’ BOWL MARK AND PERIOD OF CHENGHUA. Photograph courtesy of Sotheby’s.

SPRING 2017

PROGRAMME OF LECTURES

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*.

 

   

Wednesday 15th February

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

Dr Nancy Berliner, Wu Tung Curator of Chinese Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

“Unraveling an Aesthetic Revolution and the Critical Clues contributed by Ceramics”

The re-discovery of an utterly new style of painting that had appeared in China during the late 19th century – depictions of haphazardly arrayed half-burned book pages, torn calligraphies and deteriorating paintings – inspired a deep exploration into its origins and evolution. Nancy Berliner will discuss her investigations into understanding this revolutionary style, known as bapo, Eight Brokens, and describe how decorated ceramics provided critical clues along the path of unraveling this mystery.

Dr. Nancy Berliner is Wu Tung Curator of Chinese Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA. Dr. Berliner was previously at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), where she was the curator of Chinese Art since 2000. Among her many accomplishments there was the conception and development of the landmark Yin Yu Tang House project, which brought a 200-year-old rural Chinese merchant home to the Peabody Essex Museum (2003). In addition, she curated at PEM the much-lauded exhibition Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City in 2010, which travelled from PEM to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Milwaukee Museum of Art. Dr. Berliner is an interpretive advisor to the World Monuments Fund on the Forbidden City Qianlong Garden project. Before her tenure at PEM, she was the guest curator of Beyond the Screen: Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries at the MFA. Dr. Berliner is the author of The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City (Yale University Press, 2010); Yin Yu Tang, the Daily Life and Architecture of a Chinese House (Tuttle, 2003), selected as a Notable Book of 2003 by the New York Times Book Review Section; Friends of the House, Furniture of China’s Towns and Villages (Peabody Essex Museum, 1996); Beyond the Screen, Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1996); and Chinese Folk Art: The Small Skills of Carving Insects (Little, Brown, 1987). She was co-author with Edward Cooke of Inspired by China: Contemporary Furnituremakers Explore Chinese Traditions, and was editor of Juanqinzhai in the Qianlong Garden.

Tuesday 14th March

Annual Woolf Jade lecture and food reception sponsored by the Woolf Charitable Trust

Dr Shu-p’ing Teng, former Chief Curator of the Department of Antiquities, National Palace Museum

“Analysis and appraisal of diverse Islamic jades in the Qing Palace Collection”

Dr Teng Shu-p’ing will examine the origins and the ins and outs of the eastward transmission of jades from the Islamic world to the Qing Palace. She will look specifically at four regional styles of the Qing imperial collection divided by the shapes and motifs: Central Asia Jades, South Asia: Jades in the classic Mughal style, South Asia: Non-Mughal Indian jades and West Asia to East Europe: Ottoman jades. She will explore classifications by the function of objects (food vessels, vessels for use in chewing betel nuts and smoking, miscellaneous objects for use in daily life, objects for use in religious ceremonies and weapons and related objects. Finally she will share her views on the aesthetics and myth of the Qianlong emperor analyzed from the Imperial poems.

Shu-p’ing Teng’s major research interests are ancient Chinese history and the history of Chinese jades, especially that of the period of the Neolithic age and the early stage of the Historical period. She served as the research assistant in 1970-1974 for Dr. Chi Li of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, who is the founding father of modern Chinese archaeology. She was a researcher in the Department of Antiquities of the National Palace Museum for 40 years from 1974 to her retirement in 2013. She was also the Curator of the Jade Section from 1992 to 2002, and the Chief Curator of the Department of Antiquities from 2007 to 2009. She continues to carry out research and write articles. She is now editing monographs of the master pieces of jades in the National Palace Museum’s collection. Her publications include 11 monographs, 70 research articles, 110 popular essays and one CD Rom. She has been responsible for three special exhibitions of the Islamic jades in the years of 1983, 2007 and 2015 because she made detailed studies on the large collections of Islamic jades from India, Turkey and Central Asia.

Tuesday 2nd May

The Sir Michael Butler Memorial Lecture 2017

5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Katharine and Charles Butler

Professor Peter Y. K. Lam, Honorary Research Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Central Harmony: Zhonghe Tang Group (1671-73) Revisited

The lecture is co-authored by Peter Lam, May and Qinghua Huang and presented by Peter Lam

In 1662 Kangxi emperor ascended to the throne. But it was not until the 10th year of his reign (1671) that the first recorded imperial firing of porcelain items was conducted. Three years later warfare from the revolt of the Three Feudatories spread in Southern part of China. The Imperial Factory, kilns and workshops were sacked. A very characteristic group of plates, dishes and bowls with base-marks containing a hall mark and a cyclical year corresponding to 1671, 1672 or 1673 represents the quality and standard of the ceramic outputs in this short three year interval. This is the so-called Zhonghe Tang [Hall of Central Harmony] porcelain group. It has not been possible to identify the exact location of this hall in the Forbidden City nor in the old summer gardens during Kangxi time. Because of this, some scholars argued that this whole dated group was not commissioned by the Court in Beijing. In this revisit lecture these issues together with other related problems will be addressed taking into account of recent scholarship done in China and, most importantly, new information available from a large and important group of Zhonghe Tang shards recently found in Jingdezhen and Fouliang. This lecture will be delivered by Peter Lam in London on behalf of his co-researchers.

Peter Y. K. Lam is Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before his retirement in 2013 he had been with the Art Museum of the University for four decades and in the last fourteen years its Director/Professor.

May and Qinghua Huang, ceramic scholars in Jingdezhen, are both graduates (Department of Archaeology and Department of Law respectively) from Peking University. They are co-founders of Dongjiao Institute for ceramic studies.

Tuesday 30th May

The Inaugural Mok Family lecture sponsored by the Dr. Mok Hing Yiu Charitable Foundation

Dr. Paul Bevan

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

The Qianlong Emperor’s English Clocks: to China and Back. Baubles, Bells and Booty

The Qianlong emperor was a prolific collector of musical clocks and automata, and his collection numbered as many as 4,000 items – some of which can still be seen in the Forbidden City today. In this lecture the history of musical clocks in Qing dynasty China will be introduced by focussing in particular on two examples currently housed at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire – the subject of Dr Bevan’s recent research project involving the British Inter-University China Centre and the National Trust.

Dr Paul Bevan is a Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and teaches at the University of Oxford, specializing in Modern Chinese Literature. As Curatorial Researcher in Chinese Painting he recently assisted with the exhibition “Pure Land: Immortals and Immortality in Chinese Art” at the Ashmolean Museum. He has also acted as Historical Consultant for an exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society and as Ethnographic Consultant for the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter.

Dr. Mok Hing-Yiu (1923-2010), born in Hong Kong, was the great grandson of Mr. Mok Sze Yeung, first chairman of Hong Kong’s Tung Wah Hospital and who founded a sixty year dynasty of Mok family compradores at Swires. Dr. Mok followed the family traditions of scholarship and was awarded the King Edward VII Scholarship as the top scholar to read medicine at the University of Hong Kong at the early age of 16. He was awarded the Hong Kong Defence Medal and the Auxiliary Medical Service Medal in recognition of his war service.

Dr. Mok was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and was Founding Fellow of the Hong Kong College of Medicine and the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine.

In 1994 Dr and Mrs Mok founded the Mok Hing Yiu Charitable Foundation to sponsor and fund Christian causes, education and welfare services and research on Chinese Art. In 2007 – 2008 they founded the SKH Mok Hing Yiu College and endowed a total of five chaired professorships in Medicine and Distinguished Visiting Chairs at the University of Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr. Mok was also Doctor in Social Sciences honoris causa at both universities. The Foundation also help found the China Centre at Oxford, sponsored biennial lectures and funded a post graduate scholarship.

The Oriental Ceramic Society AGM

Wednesday 14th June

The AGM will start promptly at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by the lecture and a reception with canapés and drinks sponsored by Sotheby’s.

Dr Denise Patry Leidy, Ruth and Bruce Dayton Curator at the Yale University Art Gallery

Qingbai figure sculptures of the Song and Yuan dynasties

Dr Denise Patry Leidy will talk about how religious imagery appears early in the south, what is made at Qingbai and how it relates to practice at the time, and trade in Qingbai religious figures (documented for the Philippines but with a possible Korean connection).

Denise Patry Leidy, who was until recently the Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is now the Ruth and Bruce Dayton Curator at the Yale University Art Gallery. Dr. Leidy, who received her Ph.D. from Columbia, also served as a curator at The Asia Society, and at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A prolific author, her publications include How to Read Chinese Ceramics, Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom, The Art of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its History and Meaning, Mandala: The Sacred Architecture of Enlightenment, and Wisdom Embodied: Chinese and Daoist Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.