Japanese Traditions of Flower Symbolism and Arrangement Topic of U.Va. Art Museum's Weedon Asian Arts Lecture Oct. 6

September 22, 2011

September 22, 2011 — The University of Virginia Art Museum will host Robert Mintz for an Ellen Bayard Weedon Lecture in the Arts of Asia on Oct. 6. His lecture, "KadÅ�: Japan's Way with Flowers," will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall, room 153. 

Mintz's talk will examine Japanese traditions of flower symbolism and flower arrangement by sketching a developmental historical framework to support the rich tapestry of Japanese flower imagery encountered today. The earliest Japanese references to flowers and to their arrangement as a cultural practice date back to the 7th century. Originally compiled for presentation on Buddhist altars, flowers and the symbolic potential of their arrangement grew over many centuries to become one of Japan's most recognizable cultural practices. Emerging from the practice of offering flowers in the context of religious ritual, paintings and literature for secular audiences transformed flowers into potent, culturally symbolic forms. These cultural symbols live on today in the diverse practices of "ikebana" studied and taught throughout Japan and across the globe.

Mintz is the Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Md. He has been a visiting professor of art history at Central Washington University, adjunct professor of Asian art history at Seattle University and visiting professor of Japanese art history at the University of Washington. He currently teaches courses in the history of Chinese and Japanese art on an adjunct basis for Towson University. Currently his research focuses on issues arising from the interrelationship of Chinese and Japanese works of art with an emphasis on products of the 18th and 19th centuries.The Weedon Lectures are made possible by support from the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For information, call 434-243-2050 or email museumoutreach@virginia.edu.

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