Illuminating The Tale of Genji: New Art Historical Perspectives

April 13–14, 2019

On April 13–14, 2019, the symposium, “Illuminating The Tale of Genji: New Art Historical Perspectives,” was held in conjunction with the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated.

Symposium program:

Saturday, April 13 – At Columbia University
614 Schermerhorn Hall    

10:00 am         Welcome. Matthew Mckelway.
10:15–12:45    Motoaki Kōno (Seikadō Bunko Museum)
                          Masayuki Kawada (Kubosō Art Museum)
                          Aya Ryūsawa (Kinjō Gakuin University)
                          Haruo Shirane (Columbia University)
2–5:30 pm       Special focus on “Maboroshi no Genji emaki” (“Phantom Genji” handscrolls)
                          Naoko Kojima (Risshō University)
                          Midori Sano (Gakushūin University)
                          Tōru Takahashi (Independent scholar)
                          Estelle Bauer (Columbia University, INALCO)
                          Masako Watanabe (Independent scholar)
                          Discussion led by Melissa McCormick (Harvard University)

Sunday, April 14 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sacerdote Hall, Uris Center for Education (81st Street entrance)

10:30 am         Welcome. John Carpenter
                          Kyōko Kinoshita (Tama University)
                          Tomoko Sakomura (Swarthmore College)
                          Monika Bincsik (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
                          Matthew McKelway (Columbia University)

Rosetsu – Ferocious Brush

Museum Rietberg, Zurich, Switzerland
October 8, 2018

Students visited Zurich, Switzerland, to attend the international symposium, “Rosetsu in Context,” held in conjunction with, Rosetsu – Ferocious Brush (Sept. 5–Nov. 4, 2018).

Curated by Khanh Trinh (Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Museum Rietberg) and Matthew McKelway, “Rosetsu: Fantastische Bilderwelten aus Japan,” was the first major retrospective exhibition dedicated to the paintings of Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754–1799), held outside Japan. The highlight of the exhibition was a reconstruction of the interior space of the Main Hall of  Muryōji, the temple which possesses the best preserved group of paintings on sliding panels and hanging scrolls among a group of Zen temples in southern Wakayama Prefecture for which Rosetsu produced images in 1786-1787.

Symposium Program:

10:00.    Welcome. Albert Lutz, Director, Museum Rietberg
10:10.    Introduction. Khanh Trinh, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Museum Rietberg
10:30.    Noguchi Takeshi, Chief Curator, Nezu Museum 
               "The Tiger and Departure from Realistic Representation: Nagasawa Rosetsu
               in Comparison to his Master Maruyama Ōkyo”
11:30.    Alexander Hofmann, Curator for Japanese Art, Asian Art Museum, State Museums Berlin
               "The Genius and the Bores – Or: Whatever Happened to Rosetsu’s Contemporary
               Academic Painters?”
14:00.    Yukio Lippit, Professor, Harvard University 
               "From Kisō to Kijin: Reconsidering Eccentricity through Ike no Taiga’s Two Chinese Poets
14:40.    Kadowaki Mutsumi, Visiting Professor, Osaka University, “Itō Jakuchū and Zen”
15:45.    Matthew McKelway, Professor, Columbia University, "Nagasawa Rosetsu and Zen”
16:30.    Panel discussion. Discussant: Melanie Trede, Professor, University of Heidelberg


March 9—10, 2018.  Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University

One role of images in Japanese art is to bridge the gap between the viewer and the intangible-be it religious tenets, works of literature, or historical events.  This symposium will explore the ways in which images and material objects inspired movement of the mind or body, or helped a viewer to form connections to disparate ideas and places through time and space.  While pictorial content was an important factor for determining how a viewer might perceive a work of art, equally important was the image’s reception, use, and function.  What were the motivations for promoting movement or creating allusions to people, places, and ideas outside of the artwork?  Could any image be a conduct to a different time and location or were certain images endowed with specific characteristics and meanings that made them more suitable to this function?  By examining a variety of images across time, medium, and genre, we aim to attain a better understanding of how objects can inspire movement, create networks of meaning, stimulate the senses, and capture the imagination.

The conference began with the keynote lecture by Professor Midori Sano (Gakushūin University), on Thursday, March 9th.  Speakers on Saturday, March 10th, were Professors Samuel C. Morse (Amherst College), Andrew Watsky (Princeton University), Sherry Fowler (University of Kansas), Robert Goree (Wellesley College), Melanie Trede (Heidelberg University), Satomi Yamamoto (Kyōritsu Women’s University), Ryūsuke Masuki (Kobe University), and Daishi Chieda (Chūkyō University).

Keynote speaker Professor Midori Sano of Gakushūin University.

Professor Sano with symposium speakers Melanie Trede and Daishi Chieda.

Professor Matthew McKelway (discussant), and speakers Satomi Yamamoto, Andrew Watsky, Melanie Trede, and Robert Goree.

Muromachi Ink Painting Workshop

February 16, 2018.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the John Weber Collection.

The Burke Center, together with Professor Arata Shimao of Gakushūin University (Visiting Professor, Columbia, Spring 2018), held a special workshop on Muromachi period ink paintings in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the John Weber Collection. Students, curators, and scholars gathered for a special viewing of important Muromachi paintings at the Met, followed by presentations on related topics by Yukio Lippit (Harvard University), Shimao Arata, Aaron Rio (Minneapolis Institute of Art), and Matthew McKelway (Columbia University). The group continued to the home of Dr. Weber for a viewing of Muromachi paintings in his collection and for further discussions. The day ended with a reception followed by dinner.