October 9, 2008 — With its extensive narrative reliefs and enigmatic upper levels, the Buddhist monument Borobudur – estimated at 1,200 years old — has long attracted pilgrims and tourists to central Java.
It has also attracted the attention of numerous scholars. On Oct. 23, one of those scholars, Hiram Woodward, will lecture on the monument to kick off the University of Virginia Art Museum's 2008 Ellen Bayard Weedon Lectures in the Arts of Asia.
Woodward, the Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art Emeritus at Baltimore's Walters Art Museum, will describe the monument and outline some of the more recent interpretations of its meaning, especially the ways its designers incorporated beliefs current in Chinese Buddhism at the time.
"Java's Great Buddhist Monument, Borobudur: Indian, Chinese and Javanese Perspectives" will be at 5:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall, room 153.
After serving in the Peace Corps in Thailand, Woodward attended graduate school at Yale University, where he earned a Ph.D. in art history in 1975. He taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Vermont.
He became curator of Asian art at the Walters Art Museum in 1986 and was responsible for the re-installation of the Asian art collection in Hackerman House, which opened in 1991. He retired in 2004.
He is the author of numerous publications, including "The Sacred Sculpture of Thailand" (1997). He has long been a contributor to Borobudur studies, having organized an international conference on the monument in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1974.
The University of Virginia Art Museum is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Parking is available on Bayly Drive off Rugby Road, or in the Central Grounds Parking Garage on Emmet Street.
For information, call 434-924-3592 or visit the museum Web site.