Arts of Asia Fall 2018 - Desert Encounters: Arts, Cultures and Kingdoms of the Silk Roads

Arts of Asia Lecture Series
*Head of a Buddhist deity

Arts of Asia Fall 2018 - Desert Encounters: Arts, Cultures and Kingdoms of the Silk Roads

Instructor of Record: Sanjyot Mehendale, UC Berkeley
August 17, 2018 to November 16, 2018
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
August 17 (Opening Lecture) – Milton Marks Auditorium, State Building, 455 Golden Gate Avenue Lower Level; November 2 – location TBD; All other lectures at UC Hastings Snodgrass Hall, 198 McAllister Street
$175 Society members, $200 non-members for the series. $20 per lecture drop-in, subject to availability.

‘Steppe’ into the past on a cultural journey covering half the globe and 2500 years, from the first millennium BCE to the Qing period. Explore the art styles, cultural legacies and religions of lost kingdoms and mercantile communities along the so-called silk road. The cultural encounters along the trading networks facilitated the spread of ideas and development of artistic expressions.

Fourteen lectures by prominent scholars will dig into Achaemenid Persian and Bactrian golden hordes from the Oxus river valley, some of the oldest knotted carpets and embroidered silks from Pazyryk’s Iron Age culture, early Buddhist images from Gandhara, as well as the Eurasian trade in incense, spice and everything nice, and Tocharian cave murals near Kucha by the Taklamakan desert. Speakers will also decode Central Asian textile designs and illuminated Uighur manuscripts of the Manicheans of northwest China and tantric murals of the Dalai Lama’s private meditation chapel. They will also follow Sogdian merchants along their routes, the trade in jade boulders from the Kunlun Mountains, and more.

August 17
Series Introduction: Imag(in)ing the Silk Roads Study Guide
Sanjyot Mehendale, UC Berkeley
August 24
Transfers and Transformations along the Silk Road: Examples from Pazyryk and Tillya Tepe Study Guide
Karen Rubinson, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University
August 31
Persia in Central Asia: The Oxus Treasure
Kim Codella, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento
September 7
Spread of Gandhara Art in Iranian and Central Asian Context
Osmund Bopearachchi, UC Berkeley
September 14
Silk and Spice, and Everything Nice: Trade in Luxuries and Commodities across Eurasia
Sanjyot Mehendale, UC Berkeley

September 21
Art of Kucha on the Northern Silk Road Along the Taklamakan Desert
Monika Zin, Ludwigs-Maximilians-University of Munich

September 28
Textiles along the Silk Road
Mariachiara Gasparini, San Francisco State University

October 5
Ming China and the Silk Roads
Craig Clunas, Oxford University
October 12
The Uygur Era of Manichaean Art: Three Centuries of Innovation and Splendor
Zsuzsanna Gulacsi, Northern Arizona University
October 19
Sogdian Traders and Others along the Silk Roads

Judith Lerner, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World 
at New York University
October 26
The Jade Road in the Qing Dynasty
Patricia Berger, UC Berkeley
November 2
Visions of Emptiness: Unpacking the Murals of the Dalai Lama’s Nāga-House
Jacob Dalton, UC Berkeley
November 9
The Hero Rustam in Persian and Central Asian Art
Soroor Ghanimati, UC Berkeley
November 16
The Afghan Discovery of Buddha: Archeology and Art History in Pre-Taliban Afghanistan
Nile Green, UCLA

*Head of a Buddhist deity, approx. 600—700. China; Kucha, Xinjiang Province, Tang dynasty (618—907). Mural fragment, tempera on plaster. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Gift of Dr. Richard P. Scherman in memory of Lucian and Christine Scherman, B79D2. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.