February 28, 2008 — Every year, the University of Virginia Art Museum hosts the Ellen Bayard Weedon Lectures in the Arts of Asia, a series made possible through the generosity of the Weedon Foundation. This year's series, which began in September, continues March 12 at 5:30 p.m. with a lecture by Trudy Kawami titled "Across Time & Space in Asia: The Arthur M. Sackler Collections."
Kawami is the director of research at the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in New York and will speak about the Arthur M. Sackler Collections — covering both the collections themselves, which include art ranging from Chinese ritual bronzes and ceramics to Buddhist stone sculptures and the renowned Chu Silk Manuscript, the oldest existing Chinese written document, and the Asian art with which Sackler and the Sackler Foundation are associated.
Author of "Ancient Iranian Ceramics," Kawami holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. She is also author of "Monumental Art of the Parthian Period in Iran and Ancient Iranian Ceramics from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections," as well as numerous articles on ancient Near Eastern art and artistic and cultural connections between East and West Asia along the Silk Route.
The foundation was founded in 1965 by Dr. Arthur M. Sackler to make the large Arthur M. Sackler Collections accessible to "scholars, students, and the general public." The collection features more than 1,000 works of art that it lends to museums, features in traveling exhibitions and in a number of published works.
Sackler's was a significant life in the worlds of medicine and science, and is known for pioneering the first racially integrated blood bank in New York City, as well as being one of the first advocates for changes in the smoking industry. He founded "Medical Tribune," which is now published in six languages and 21 countries.
A student of art throughout his life, he once recalled that "one wonderful day in 1950 … I came upon some Chinese ceramics and Ming furniture. My life has not been the same since." His collection grew to include art from nearly every country in Asia, created from the 14th to the 20th century. His collection, since his death in 1987, has been featured all over the country, and currently has works featured at U.Va.
The University of Virginia Art Museum is open to the public without charge Tuesdays through Sundays, from 1 to 5 p.m. Parking is available on Bayly Drive, off Rugby Road and in the Central Grounds Parking Garage on Emmet Street.