INTRODUCTORY SURVEY Courses

 
seated figure with bovine head, nephrite, Hongshan culture (4700-2920 BCE), Northern China, Cleveland Museum of Art

seated figure with bovine head, nephrite, Hongshan culture (4700-2920 BCE), Northern China, Cleveland Museum of Art

Arts of China

This course explores a selection of major developments in the visual culture of China from ancient times to the present day. We consider works in multiple media including bronzes, jades, statuary, calligraphy, paintings, ceramics, and installations. We look into the roles of visual culture in society, the relationship of art to political authority, the place of objects in religious practice and experience, connections between objects and literature, and how visual culture relates to the expression of personal, social, national, and cultural identities. We pay particular attention to landscape painting; pictorial and sculptural programs of Buddhist grottoes; objects commissioned and collected by the imperial court; objects associated with Daoist, Buddhist, and Confucian religious practices and sacred sites; works produced during periods of non-Chinese rule under the Mongols and Manchus; the effects of non-Han Chinese styles and ideas on artists; and Chinese artists operating in the contemporary global art world. We also examine the role of art museums in selecting and interpreting Chinese objects in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


Arts of Japan

Ogata Korin (1658-1716),  Waves at   Matsushima  (detail), 18th century, Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Ogata Korin (1658-1716), Waves at Matsushima (detail), 18th century, Museum of Fine Arts Boston

This course explores a selection of major developments in Japanese visual culture from ancient times to the present day. We consider works in multiple media including paintings, statues, calligraphy, ceramics, woodblock prints, architecture, performance art, and installations. We look into the roles of visual culture in society, the relationship of art to political authority, the place of objects in religious practice and experience, connections between objects and literature, and how visual culture relates to the expression of personal, social, national, and cultural identities. We pay particular attention to objects associated with Buddhist religious practices and ideas, as well as paintings associated with artistic traditions such as Kanō, Rinpa, Maruyama-Shijō, bunjinga, yōga, and nihonga. We also examine the role of art museums in selecting and interpreting Japanese objects in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


Bayon, Angkor Thom, late 12th-early 13th century, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bayon, Angkor Thom, late 12th-early 13th century, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Arts of Asia

This course explores a selection of major developments in the arts of Asia from the Neolithic age to the present in a wide range of media including jades, bronzes, statuary, architecture, paintings, ceramics, and installations. We explore the historical, social, political, religious, and personal contexts for artworks made in India, China, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Attention will be paid to the material and stylistic qualities of art as well as art’s relationship to the ideas and practices of Buddhism and Hinduism.