Art and Belief in Early China

With MFA Chair of Asian Art Christina Yu Yu

In partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

DATE AND TIME: April 14*, 2021, 4:00 - 5:30 pm
FOCAL SKILLS AND DISPOSITIONS: Evaluating Visual Evidence, Inquiry, Developing Cross-Cultural Sensitivity
FEE: Partnership educators—no cost; Non-partnership educators—$200

Early China developed or imported a variety of belief systems that were often practiced as mutually compatible, from indigenous beliefs like ancestor worship, Daoism and Confucianism, to Buddhism that arrived from India in the first century CE. How did these systems interact, and how did they influence the forms and purposes of Chinese arts? In this virtual class, we will explore works ranging from early tomb objects to cave paintings and from temple complexes to landscape paintings to discern how they expressed early beliefs and values and gave them shape. We will draw upon the MFA's strong collection of early Chinese art to illuminate the subtlety and complexity of different regions, as well as continuities across China. Along the way, we will leave time for focused discussion about particular artworks that are rich in possibilities for classroom use, and consider ways to integrate art to clarify and add nuance to students' understanding of early religious and ethical beliefs.

Especially for educators of grades 6-12.



*Rescheduled from December 2, 2020




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