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Past Event

Saturday University: The Story of the Camellia

Feb 2 2019

Seattle Art Museum

Plestcheeff Auditorium

10 AM – 11:30 AM

Sold Out

The Story Of The Camellia
Nicholas Menzies, Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Menzies tells the story of the camellia in China to demonstrate how traditional Chinese knowledge of plants gave way to scientific botany between 1850–1950. This was a century in which China saw the collapse of the imperial system of government, revolutions, civil wars, foreign occupation, and a questioning and upending of a millennial cultural legacy. A dramatic shift occurred from the 'traditional' study and representation of plants as objects steeped in a rich cultural heritage to the ‘scientific’ study of the plant as an organism within a hierarchy of plant relationships.

About the Presenter

Nicholas Menziesis the Li Research Fellow in Chinese Botanical Science at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. He served previously as Director of the Asia Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, and as Program Officer with the Ford Foundation in Kenya and China. He earned an MA in Oriental Studies from Cambridge University (UK), and a PhD in Wildland Resource Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Please note: South Hall doors open at 9:30 am.


JAN 19

The Harmonic Forest: Musical Structures Heard as Trees

JAN 26

First Satyagraha: Gandhi's Campaign Against Indigo Plantations in Early Twentieth Century India


The Story of the Camellia


Soybean Worlds

FEB 16

Jute and Peasant Life in the Bengal Delta


Fruit Trees, Family Trees, and Landscape Change: The Durians of West Kalimantan, Indonesia


The Japanese Basket 1845–1958: Mirror of Modernity



Full series tickets: $73; SAM members $39
SAVE: winter and spring series: $120; SAM members $62
Individual lecture tickets available at the door: $11, SAM members $6; free at the door for students with ID
Please arrive to your seat 10 minutes before the program starts, or your seat may be released.

Photo: Nicholas Menzies

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.