National Gallery Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts with Professor Wu Hung

Wu Hung, University of Chicago Department of Art History, will present the 68th Annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery of Art.

Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History, University of Chicago, will deliver the 68th annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts this spring. Please join the local alumni community in attending one or several of Professor Wu's March, April, and May lectures!

The series is entitled "End as Beginning: Chinese Art and Dynastic Time." Each talk is free and open to the public, and will be held in the East Building Auditorium at the National Gallery of Art on March 31, April 7, April 14, April 28, May 5, and May 12 at 2:00 p.m.


**For the April 28 lecture: Meet up with fellow alumni for a cup of coffee or snack in the Cascade Cafe at the National Gallery of Art East Building before the lecture, "Miraculous Icons and Dynastic Time: Narrating Buddhist Art in Medieval China." The Cafe is near Leo Villareal's beautiful sparkling light tunnel and the cascade fountain in the lower level of the East Building. We'll gather around 1:15 p.m. in the Cafe (look for a small UChicago sign) and then move to secure seats in the lecture theater around 1:45 p.m. For this meet-up, please let us know you're coming using the RSVP form to the right.

No advance registration is required for the other lectures in the series, but attendees should arrive early to secure seats.

The National Gallery event listing notes: "In his six-part series, Wu Hung will explore the narratives of Chinese art and their relationship to artistic production. The most lasting temporal framework in narrating Chinese art has been 'dynastic time,' which organizes factual accounts and channels the historical imagination through successive dynasties from the third millennium BCE to the 20th century. Wu Hung reflects on a series of questions: How did dynastic time emerge and permeate writings on traditional Chinese art? How did it enrich and redefine itself in specific historical contexts? How did it interact with temporalities in different historical, religious, and political systems? How did narratives based on dynastic time respond to and inspire artistic creation?"

March 31: The Emergence of Dynastic Time in Chinese Art

April 7: Reconfiguring the World: The First Emperor's Art Projects

April 14: Conflicting Temporalities: Heaven's Mandate and Its Antitheses

April 28: Miraculous Icons and Dynastic Time: Narrating Buddhist Art in Medieval China

May 5: Art of Absence: Voices of the Leftover Subject

May 12: End as Beginning: Dynastic Time and Revolution

About Wu Hung


Wu Hung has published widely on both traditional and contemporary Chinese art. His interest in both traditional and modern/contemporary Chinese art has led him to experiment with different ways to integrate these conventionally separate phases into new kinds of art historical narratives, as exemplified by his Monumentality in Early Chinese Art and Architecture (1995), The Double Screen: Medium and Representation of Chinese Pictorial Art (1996), Remaking Beijing: Tiananmen Square: the Creation of a Political Space (2005), A Story of Ruins: Presence and Absence in Chinese Art and Visual Culture (2012), and Zooming In: Histories of Photography in China (2016). Several of his ongoing projects follow this direction to explore the interrelationship between art medium, pictorial image, and architectural space, the dialectical relationship between absence and presence in Chinese art and visual culture, and the relationship between art discourse and practice.

Wu Hung has received many awards for his publications and academic services, among which he is most proud of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching at the University of Chicago (2007) and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Art Association (2008).

Wu Hung is Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia, and Consulting Curator of the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and sits on the boards and advisory committees of many research institutes and museums in the United States and China.

About the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts

The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts were established in 1949 to bring to the people of the United States the results of the best contemporary thought and scholarship bearing upon the subject of the fine arts.


Event Information

Cost: Free
No Registration Required


2:00PM - 4:00PM Sun 12 May 2019 ( Timezone: Eastern )


National Gallery of Art - East Building
4th St NW
Washington, DC 20565 USA

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Event Contact
Dennell Reynolds, AB'11