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Past Event

Saturday University: Authentic Reproductions in Buddhist Art

Nov 2 2019

Seattle Art Museum

Plestcheeff Auditorium

10 AM – 11:30 AM

Authenticity and the Reproduction of Buddhist Art and Artifacts in Medieval China
Hsueh-Man Shen, New York University

As Buddhism was transmitted to China, sacred objects were duplicated and replicated to satisfy the needs of local communities. Yet the replications pose a series of questions about authenticity. This lecture shows that using production techniques already available in China, and building on the Buddhist concept of a replica as an extension of its source, Buddhist practitioners re-created images, text, and relics imbued with the same authenticity as their original models.

About the Presenter

Hsueh-Man Shen is Ehrenkranz Associate Professor in World Art, New York University. She specializes in the art and archaeology of medieval China, with a focus on the period from the eighth to the twelfth centuries. She served as a contributor to the Getty Research Center exhibition and catalogue Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road. For the Asia Society New York exhibition Gilded Splendor: Treasures of China’s Liao Empire (907-1125), she was editor and a contributor to the catalogue. Her book Authentic Replicas: Buddhist Art in Medieval China was published in 2018.

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


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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.

Mogao Cave 237. Image courtesy of the Dunhuang Academy. Photographer: Zhang Weiwen.

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