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The Sixty-Eighth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, 2019

About the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts

The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts were established in 1949 to bring to the people of the United States the results of the best contemporary thought and scholarship bearing upon the subject of the fine arts.

End as Beginning: Chinese Art and Dynastic Time

In his six-part series, Wu Hung will explore the narratives of Chinese art and their relationship to artistic production. The most lasting temporal framework in narrating Chinese art has been "dynastic time," which organizes factual accounts and channels the historical imagination through successive dynasties from the third millennium BCE to the 20th century. Wu Hung reflects on a series of questions: How did dynastic time emerge and permeate writings on traditional Chinese art? How did it enrich and redefine itself in specific historical contexts? How did it interact with temporalities in different historical, religious, and political systems? How did narratives based on dynastic time respond to and inspire artistic creation?

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