Friends of Asian Arts and Cultures

Unknown artist (Neo-Assyrian, Mesopotamian), Tiglath-Pileser III Receiving Homage, 745/727 BC, Limestone relief carving. Founders Society Purchase, Ralph Harman Booth Bequest Fund. DIA No. 50.32

Past Programs Sponsored by the Friends of Asian Arts and Cultures

 
SUNDAY  MAY 22, 2016                                                                                           
 
 
CHARLES LANG FREER AND THE DISCOVERY OF KOREAN CERAMICS
 
Speaker:   Louis Cort     
                  Curator of Ceramics, Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art, Smithsonian Institution,  
                  Washington, D.C.
 
  
Detroit Industrialist and art collector, Charles Lang Freer, was deeply attracted to Korean ceramics of the Joseon period (1392 - 1910) with their simple forms, spare decoration and monochrome glazes.  Between 1896 and 1918, however, he expanded his collection to include celadon ceramics and stoneware from the earlier goryeo dynasty (918 - 1392).  This talk illuminates the scope of and reasons for the shift in Freer's significant collection of Korean art and ceramics. 
 
 SATURDAY  DECEMBER 5, 2015
 
 
 
 
 
A TYPICAL OPPORTUNITY: PROFESSOR FRANCIS W. KELSEY AND THE ADVENTURES OF ACQUIRING ISLAMIC MANUSCRIPTS
 
Speaker:  Evyn Kropf
                 Librarian for Near Easter and Religious Studies and
               Curator for the Islamic Manuscripts Collection University of Michigan
 
Discusses the fact that while Professor Francis W. Kelsey is well-known for his collecting activities in classical antiquities and papyri, the University of Michigan also has him to thank for the bulk of its Islamic Manuscripts Collection, including a number of exquisite specimens representing the masterful heritage of Ottoman calligraphy. 
SUNDAY  OCTOBER 11, 2015
  
VULNERABLE HERITAGE:  PROTECTING THE CULTURAL ARTIFACTS OF SYRIA AND IRAQ

 

The panelist will discuss the current state of protecting the cultural heritage of Syria and Iraq, providing a historical perspective on the artwork of the region and an overview of the effectiveness of the current protection efforts. A question and answer session, moderated by Geoff Emberling, Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Michigan’s Kelsey Museum of Archeology, will follow the lectures.

     

  
 

THE DESTRUCTION OF SYRIA’S CULTURAL HERITAGE: REALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF CURRENT PROTECTION EFFORTS


 Speaker: Salam Al Kuntar

                  Research Associate, Anthropology Department, New York University

 

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VULNERABLE HERITAGE IN IRAQ: HISTORY, PLANNING AND MITIGATION

 

 Speaker:  Carrie Hritz,

                  Geosciences Directorate/OAD,  National Science Foundation

  


 ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST GALLERY OPENING WEEKEND

SATURDAY OCTOBER 3, 2015
  
 
  
VERY ANCIENT STORIES FROM IRAQ: THE SUMMARIAN AND BABYLONIAN TABLET COLLECTION OF THE DIA 
 
Speaker:  Piotr Michalowski
                  George G. Cameron Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations,  University of Michigan 
 
Cuneiform--the first writing system in the world was invented in the southern part of ancient Mesopotamia, the land that is now Iraq, more than five thousand years a go.  This lecture will provide an introduction to the stories that have come down to us from the collection of such writings held by the DIA. 
 
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THE HISTORY OF THE CITY OF KISH, MESOPOTAMIA
 
Speaker:  Norman Yoffee
                 Professor emeritus , Department of Near Eastern Studies and Anthropology,  University of Michigan 
 
Objects in the DIA's collections come from a variety of times and places in ancient Mesopotamia.  The city of Kish flourished from about 3000 BCE to about 300 CE, that is, from about the beginning of Mesopotamia history to the end of the Mesopotamia tradition.  The history of Kish can be a lens on the history of the region, and this provides context for the objects in the DIA's new gallery.
 

 FRIDAY  OCTOBER 2,  2015
 
 
 
 
ART AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST:  A CURATOR'S PERSPECTIVE 
 
Speaker:  Geoff Emberling
                 Assistant Research Scientist, Kelsey Museum of Archeology, University of Michigan 
 
During the reinstallation of its permanent collection, the DIA has emerged as an international leader in exhibition development.  The Ancient Middle East Gallery, opening in October 2015. displays masterpieces in the collection and arranges them around innovative themes:  art as a product of technological and art as a technology in its own right.
 
 
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MINIATURE MASTERPIECES:  THE ART AND CULTURE OF MESOPOTAMIAN CYLINDER SEALS
 
Speaker:  Wayne T. Pitard
                Director, Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
 
Beautifully carved stone cylinder seals from Mesopotamia (ca.3400-400 BCE) acted as both utilitarian means for creating a "signature" on clay tablets and as a piece of personal adornment.  New photographic techniques allow scholars to study in new ways the artistic techniques of the carvers of these seals and enhance their ability to examine the religious  and political contexts of the scenes portrayed on the seals.