The Art Historical Art of Song China

A workshop at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

April 6–8, 2017


Richard Barnhart taught at Yale from 1967 until 1975 and later returned to a senior faculty position in 1979, having held a faculty position at Princeton University in the interim. His publications and exhibitions on Song, Ming, and Qing Painting have shaped the field of Chinese Art Studies for decades. Master of the Lotus Garden: the Life and Art of Bada Shanren (1990), authored together with Frederic Fangyu Wang, remains the definitive work on that artist. His exhibition Painters of the Great Ming (1994), revived scholarly interest in the professional masters of Ming times, and he received the Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award for Museum Scholarship from the College Art Association for his work on that show. View abstract

Kevin Carr is Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan. His work engages issues of visual narrative, hagiography, and the construction of history and national consciousness through art, as well as cultural exchange between Japan, Europe, and elsewhere. His book Plotting the Prince: Shōtoku Cults and the Mapping of Medieval Japanese Buddhism (2012) was published by the University of Hawaii Press. His current book project, Ecologies of Identity: Sacred Landscapes on the Margins of Medieval Japan, examines how land and landscape informed the ways in which people in Japan imagined themselves and others.

Chun Wa Chan is a graduate student in the History of Art at the University of Michigan specializing in Buddhist art in early Japan. His dissertation focuses on how the religious artifacts of this period constituted an essential index of the ways that cultural prestige and social differences were negotiated.

Joseph Chang is former curator of Chinese Art at the National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution. More recently he served as Senior Research Fellow in the Research Institute for Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. In both capacities he was responsible for major exhibitions of both imperial period and contemporary Chinese art.

Ashley Dimmig is a graduate student in the History of Art at the University of Michigan specializing in Islamic Art History with a focus on Ottoman architecture. She has recently published an essay in the July 2014 edited volume of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture.

Susan Dine works on premodern Japanese art and visual culture, particularly Buddhist works and objects that incorporate language. Her dissertation explores the increased number and types of Buddhist objects from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries.

Robert Harrist Jr. is Jane and Leopold Swergold Professor of Chinese Art History at Columbia University. He has published books and articles on Chinese painting, calligraphy, and gardens, as well as on topics such as replicas in Chinese art, clothing in 20th-century China, and contemporary artists such as Xu Bing. He has published important monographs on calligraphic theory and practice, as well as literati painting of the Song period. His most recent book, The Landscape of Words, studies the role of language in shaping perceptions of the natural world. It was awarded the Joseph Levenson Prize for best book in Chinese Studies (pre-1900) in 2010. View abstract

Hui-Shu Lee is Associate Professor in the field of Chinese art at UCLA. Her field of specialization is Chinese painting and visual culture in the pre-modern era, with a particular focus on gender issues. She also works extensively on representations of place, cultural mapping, and garden culture. Among her publications are Exquisite Moments: West Lake & Southern Song Art (2001) and Empresses, Art, and Agency in Song Dynasty China (2010).

Liu Jiuzhou is Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, Zhejiang University, and Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the Comprehensive Song Painting Catalogue, 23 volumes (2010) and the Comprehensive Yuan Painting Catalogue, 16 volumes (2012). Dr. Liu traveled the world over to personally view, select, and write on the most comprehensive collections of Song and Yuan painting in print anywhere. His research focuses on Chinese painting, Song through Ming.

Shane McCausland is Percival David Professor of the History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies China Institute. His experience with the dating and authentication of early period Chinese paintings is extensive, having authored the First Masterpiece of Chinese Painting: the Admonitions Scroll (2005). In addition he edited the 2001 conference volume devoted to Gu Kaizhi and the British Museum masterpiece. His 2011 book Zhao Mengfu: Calligraphy and Painting in Khubilai’s China, focuses on this influential artist’s role in the development of artistic self-consciousness in China, while The Mongol Century (2014), explores the complex interaction of visual cultures in China during the 13th and 14th centuries.

Alfreda Murck formerly was researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as consultant and researcher at the Palace Museum in Beijing. She has written extensively on word and image issues in the history of Chinese art, and has edited major anthologies on Chinese art theory and criticism of the imperial period. Her groundbreaking book, Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent, marshals a vast body of primary sources on the use of painting as a medium of protest by Northern Song literati. She now serves on the Department of Art and Archaeology’s Advisory Council, Princeton University.

Natsu Oyobe is Curator of Asian Art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and a Faculty Associate in the Center for Japanese Studies. Dr. Oyobe has published authoritatively on the Gutai movement in twentieth-century Japan and has curated important exhibitions featuring the work of contemporary East Asian artists.

Alexander Potts is the Max Loehr Collegiate Professor in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan. One of the foremost scholars of post-WWII artistic production in Europe and the United State, Professor Potts delivered the Slade Lectures in Fine Art at the University of Oxford in 2008 and the Kirk Varnedoe Memorial Lectures at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in 2009. He is the author of numerous publications on European art, including two monographs on 18th and 19th century sculpture, and art theory. His more recent Experiments in Modern Realism: World Making, Politics and the Everyday in Postwar European and American Art (2013), investigates the significance of experimental forms of realism in a wide array of media during the postwar period.

Martin Powers is the Sally Michelson Davidson Professor of Chinese Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan, and former director of the Center for Chinese Studies (now the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies). His work has twice been awarded the Levenson Prize for best book on pre-1900 China. In 2009 he was resident at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton writing a book on picturing justice in early modern China and England. The book is currently under review. Together with Dr. Katherine Tsiang, he has edited the Blackwell Companion to Chinese Art (2015) and Looking at Asian Art (2012). View abstract

Peter Sturman is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Professor Sturman is a leading expert on Song dynasty literati art and the theory of style that developed during that era. He has published numerous articles on Chinese painting and calligraphy, including influential studies on important period imagery and its relationship to social and political practices. His book Mi Fu: Style and the Art of Calligraphy in Northern Song China (1997) is the authoritative reference on that master. His exhibition and catalog The Artful Recluse: Painting, Poetry, and Politics in 17th-Century China (2012), was the winner of the College Art Association’s Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for museum scholarship. View abstract

Richard Vinograd is Christenson Professor in Asian Art at Stanford University. He is author of the influential study of portraiture Boundaries of the Self: Chinese Portraits, 1600 – 1900, as well as Chinese Art and Culture, which he co-authored with Robert Thorp. These books, along with his numerous articles, have been influential in developing the intellectual grounds for a comparative understanding of the arts of China and Europe. One of his current projects focuses on the role of painting and print media in the formation of the urban cultural imaginary in late imperial China. Another project is a book on the role of “China” in art theory, both within China’s own discursive tradition and in Europe and America. View abstract

Gerui Wang is a graduate student in the History of Art at the University of Michigan specializing in Song period painting. Her research concerns the interactions between art, public policy, and social practice. She has delivered scholarly papers at professional conferences on both modern and imperial period art.

Yu Hui is Director of Research at the Palace Museum in Beijing. He has published authoritative surveys of Song painting and Yuan painting, as well as a monograph on the history of the horse-painting genre in China. He is best known for 《隐忧与曲谏 : "清明上河图"解码录 》(Hidden Concerns and Indirect Dissent), his bold reinterpretation of the famous “Spring Festival on the River” by Zhang Zeduan. In that work he reveals a plethora of politically charged subjects in a painting formerly treated simply as genre painting.

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