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Past Event

Saturday University: Zoroastrian and Manichean Arts

Dec 7 2019

Seattle Art Museum

Plestcheeff Auditorium

10 AM – 11:30 AM

Zoroastrian and Manichean Arts of the Silk Roads
Zsuzsanna Gulasci, Northern Arizona University

Zsuzsanna Gulasci is a historian of religious arts of pan-Asiatic religions. Her talk introduces two of the religions that spread from Mesopotamia and Persia into Central Asia and China during the Silk Roads era, as well as into the Eastern Mediterranean.

Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest continuously practiced religions, was the state religion of pre-Islamic Iran. Manichaeism, founded by the prophet Mani in 3rd century Persia, had a central place for sets of paintings for teaching (Mani’s Book of Pictures) that were adapted for different locales. Examples of these paintings have only recently been identified. Her use of digital imaging technology to study fragments of Uygur Manichaean art, from the northern Silk Roads area, has been revealing.

About the Presenter

Hungarian art historian Zsuzsanna Gulasci is Professor at Northern Arizona University. Her work on religions and arts of the Silk Roads includes Manichaean, Eastern Christian, Islamic, Zoroastrian, and Buddhist art. One project is to compare missionary religions with non-missionary religions that coexisted along the Silk Roads in terms of their teaching from art. Her research has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Getty Residential Scholar grant, and many other sources.

South Hall doors open at 9:30 am.


OCT 12

Silk Roads Revealed: The Begram Hoard of Afghanistan

OCT 19

Picturing the Buddha’s Last Moment c. 840 CE

OCT 26

The Maritime Silk Road: Goods, Ships and Cultural Diversity


Authenticity and the Reproduction of Buddhist Art and Artifacts in Medieval China


Zoroastrian and Manichean Arts of the Silk Roads

JAN 11

Silk and the Logics of Cosmopolitan Empire in Tang China

JAN 18

The 21st Century Silk Road: China’s Belt and Road Initiative



Full series tickets: $76; SAM members $43
Individual lecture tickets available at the door: $11, SAM members $7; 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.

By Ivan Mlinaric from Slovenia - Zoroastrian fire temple, CC BY 2.0

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