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Translation semester slideshow

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    Translation semester slideshow Translation semester slideshow Presentation Transcript

    • Translation Teaching Resources in the Galleries of theThe  images  contained  in  this  slideshow  are  provided  for  educa6onal  purposes.  Please  do  not  reproduce  without  the  permission  of  the  University  of  Michigan  Museum  of  Art.  
    • VISUALIZING TRANSLATION AT THE UMMAThis slideshow suggests artworks from the University of Michigan Museum of Artthat can be used to develop teaching curricula for the LSA Translation ThemeSemester. To view online records for these objects go to the digital portfolio athttp://tinyurl.com/translationslideshow.For more information on integrating the UMMA’s resources into your teaching orresearch contact the Mellon Academic Coordinator, David Choberka(dchoberk@umich.edu).UMMA’s collection is open for gallery visits and for special viewing in theErnestine and Herbert Ruben Study Center for Works on Paper and the ObjectStudy Classroom.To arrange guided or self-guided gallery visits for your classes contact Pam Reisterat umma-tours@umich.edu or call 734-764-0395. Please allow 2-3 weeks to planyour class’s visit.To arrange research or class visits to the Ruben Center for Works on Paper or theObject Study Classroom contact Anne Drozd through the reservation links athttp://www.umma.umich.edu/education/research.html or via email atcrc-reservation@umma.umich.edu. Please allow 15 business days to process objectviewing requests.----------Teaching and Learning Programs at UMMA are supported by a generous grant from theAndrew W. Mellon Foundation.
    • Transla6on  themes:   Ques6ons  about  transla6on:      event  =>  history  =>  myth   1)  What  is  transla6on?  How  does  tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce   transla6on  func6on?  object  of  use  =>  art  (assemblage,  found  art)   2)  What  can  be  translated?  What  object  of  use  =>  art  (design)   might  be  difficult  or  impossible  to  ritual  object  =>  museum  object   translate?  What  cannot  be   translated?  Why?  language  =>  language   3)  Is  a  transla6on  the  representa6on  gender  role  =>  gender  role   of  something  in  another  form,  or  marker  of  social  class/race  =>  social  class/race   something  new?  medium  =>  medium   4)  What  is  gained  in  transla6on?  venue  =>  venue   5)  What  is  lost  in  transla6on?  material  =>  material   6)  What  can  we  learn  from  the  experience  <=>  representa6on   transla6on  about  the  translator?  concept  <=>  visual  representa6on  art  <=>  consumer  culture  iden6ty  <=>  visual  representa6on   Roni  Horn  (United  States,  born  1955)   Key  and  Cue  No.  1182  culture  <=>  culture  (hybridity)   1994   Aluminum  and  plas<c  animal  form  <=>  human  form   Gi?  of  an  anonymous  donor,  2009/1.470  
    • Benjamin  West  (United  States,  1738–1820)   The  Death  of  General  Wolfe   1776   Oil  on  canvas   Gi?  of  William  L.  Clements,  acquired  1928,  William   L.  Clements  Library,  University  of  Michigan  (P-­‐2750)   Transla6on  themes:            event  =>  history  =>  myth            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce            medium  =>  medium            art  <=>  consumer  culture            iden6ty  <=>  visual  representa6on     Benjamin West and the Art of Empire (show opens September 22, 2012)  Perhaps  the  most  celebrated  pain6ng  in  eighteenth-­‐century  England,  Benjamin  West’s  The  Death  of  General  Wolfe  depicts  one  of  Great  Britain’s  most  famous  military  victories  (Cat.  1).  Completed  in  1770,  West’s  canvas  appeared  at  the  height  of  the  public’s  excitement  for  anything  associated  with  Major-­‐General  James  Wolfe,  whose  stunning  triumph  at  the  1759  Ba_le  of  Québec  gave  Britain  control  of  New  France  (present  day  northeast  Canada).  Although  Wolfe  died  in  the  brief  but  decisive  ba_le,  the  taking  of  Québec  became  the  pivotal  engagement  of  the  French  and  Indian  War  (1754–1763),  the  North  American  campaign  of  the  Seven  Years’  War  (1756–63),  and  signaled  Britain’s  ascendency  in  the  New  World;  Wolfe  instantly  rose  in  its  pantheon  of  heroes.  The  Wolfemania  that  followed  in  the  1760s  and  1770s  coincided  with  a  period  of  cultural  transi6on  in  which  newspapers  and  the  expanding  availability  of  consumer  goods  meant  that  Wolfe’s  exploits  at  Québec—par6cularly  his  death—could  be  commodified  and  disseminated  in  a  variety  of  media,  from  decora6ve  objects  to  prints.  It  was  in  this  cultural,  ar6s6c,  and  poli6cal  milieu  that  West’s  pain6ng  emerged  as  the  consummate  portrayal  of  the  na6on’s  most  iconic  hero,  one  that  helped  to  forge  a  dis6nc6ve  Bri6sh  imperial  iden6ty  that  galvanized  society  in  the  decades  before  the  American  Revolu6on.    
    • Ouk  Chim  Vichet  (b.  Phnom  Penh,   Transla6on  themes:  Oct  13,  1981)            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Apsara  Warrior  metal,  decommissioned  weapons            object  of  use  =>  art  ca.  2004                                (assemblage,  found  art)  Museum  purchase  made  possible  by            gender  role  =>  gender  role  Guy  and  Nora  Barron,  2007/2.79            concept  <=>  representa6on   Vichet’s  work  responds  to  the  Khmer  Rouge  period  in  Cambodia,  1975-­‐79,  under   the  rule  of  Pol  Pot.  Pot  and  the  Khmer  Rouge  Communist  party  renamed   Cambodia  Democra6c  Kampuchea.  This  four-­‐year  period  saw  the  death  of   approximately  2  million  Cambodians  through  poli6cal  execu6ons,  starva6on,  and   forced  labor.  Due  to  the  large  numbers,  the  deaths  during  the  rule  of  the  Khmer   Rouge  are  onen  considered  a  genocide,  and  commonly  known  as  the  Cambodian   Holocaust  or  Cambodian  Genocide.   Apsaras—from  Indian  and  Southeast  Asian  culture—are  female  spirits  of  the   clouds  and  waters  in  Hindu  and  Buddhist  mythology.  They  are  beau6ful,   supernatural  women,  youthful,  elegant,  and  proficient  in  the  art  of  dancing.   Khmer  classical  dance,  the  indigenous  ballet-­‐like  performance  art  of  Cambodia,  is   frequently  called  Apsara  dance.  Apsara  dance,  dis6nguished  by  stylized  hand   gestures  and  sinuous  body  movements,  dates  back  to  the  first  century  when  it   was  performed  for  royalty  to  honor  gods  and  dynas6c  ancestors.  Khmer  classical   dance  of  today  is  believed  to  be  connected  by  an  unbroken  tradi6on  to  the   dance  prac6ced  in  the  courts  of  the  monarchs  of  Angkor,  which  in  turn  drew  its   inspira6on  from  the  mythological  court  of  the  gods  and  from  its  celes6al  dancers,   the  Apsaras.   The  Khmer  language  has  a  complex  system  of  usages  to  define  speakers  rank   and  social  status.  Under  the  Khmer  Rouge,  these  usages  were  abolished.  People   were  required,  on  pain  of  death,  to  avoid  tradi6onal  signs  of  deference  such  as   bowing  or  folding  the  hands  in  saluta6on.  In   consequence,  Apsara  dancers,  whose  very  movements  embodied  signs  of   religion  and  royalty,  became  one  of  the  first  groups,  along  with  many  tradi6onal   ar6sts,  to  be  targeted  for  extermina6on  under  the  Khmer  Rouge.   Rooted  in  and  born  out  of  Cambodia’s  recent  history,  UMMA’s  Apsara  Warrior  is   emblema6c  of  the  rebirth  of  the  Apsara  dance  tradi6on  following  the  Khmer   rouge  era  and  the  reclama6on  of  a  broad  range  of  cultural  tradi6ons  that  had   been  brutally  suppressed  during  the  bloody  years  of  Khmer  Rouge  control.  
    • Mbangu  Mask  Central  Pende  Peoples   Transla6on  themes:  Democra6c  Republic  of  the    concept  <=>  visual  representa6on  Congo      ritual  object  =>  museum  object  circa  1930    tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Wood,  pigments,  vegetable  fiber,  raffia    Gin  of  Candis  and  Helmut  Stern,  2005/1.200   The  twisted  face  and  drama6c  opposi6on  of  black  and  white   iden6fy  this  mask  as  an  Mbangu  mask,  which  represents  infirmity   and  sickness—condi6ons  that  are  onen  a_ributed  to  witchcran.   According  to  a  common  Pende  explana6on,  Mbangu’s  half-­‐white,   half-­‐black  face  represents  the  scars  of  someone  who  fell  into  the   fire  due  to  sorcery,  while  the  asymmetry  of  the  face  and  the  marks   on  the  black  side  are  an  indica6on  of  various  other  medical   condi6ons.  When  the  mask  appears  in  performance,  the  dancer   limps  on  a  cane  to  convey  the  physical  weakness  of  Mbangu,  and  he   wears  a  humpback  pierced  with  an  arrow  in  reference  to  sorcerers   who  shoot  their  vic6ms  with  invisible  arrows.           Mbangu  masks  have  a  long  history  among  Central  Pende  peoples.   While  examples  from  the  first  decade  of  the  twen6eth  century  do   not  have  pierced  eyes  and  were  worn  on  the  forehead,  aner  that   the  Mbangu  genre  became  a  facemask,  with  pierced  eyes  and   distor6on  of  the  facial  features.  Throughout  the  twen6eth  century,   from  the  era  of  Belgian  colonial  rule  (1885–1960)  into  the  period   aner  independence,  Pende  performers  also  invented  new  forms  and   genres  of  masks,  whose  popularity  has  waxed  and  waned  over  6me.   Today,  the  importance  of  masquerade  remains  strong,  although  the   Pende  have  largely  removed  masquerading  from  its  original  ritual   context  and  instead  stress  the  power  of  masks  to  “beau6fy”  the   village  and  bring  happiness  to  its  inhabitants.  
    • Dan  Kvitka   United  States,  born  1958   Stones  from  the  River   2000   Afzelia  burl  from  Burma  and   Nigerian  black  ebony   Gin  of  Robert  M.  and  Lillian   Montalto  Bohlen,  2002/2.153A-­‐W   Transla6on  themes:            concept  <=>  representa6on            object  of  use  =>  art  (design)            medium  =>  medium      Dan  Kvitka  is  a  wood  ar6st  who  turns  hollowed  vessels  from  rare  exo6c  specimens.  Though  tradi6onally  vessels  are  func6onal,  here  they  become  sculpture—beau6ful,  polished,  shiny  smooth  “stones,”  the  surface  of  which  almost  denies  their  substance.  In  Stones  from  the  River,  a  collec6on  of  turned  wood  vessels  is  arranged  along  a  horizontal  support  in  a  sculptural  interpreta6on  of  the  Judaic  prac6ce  ofTashlich,  which  means  “cas6ng  away.”  The  word  is  derived  from  a  Biblical  verse,  “You  will  cast  all  their  sins  into  the  depths  of  the  sea,”  recited  on  the  anernoon  of  Rosh  Hashanah  (Jewish  New  Year).  The  custom  begins  with  a  prayer,  and  then  par6cipants  toss  crumbs  of  bread  or  stones  into  a  body  of,  preferably,  moving  water  as  a  symbol  of  ridding  themselves  of  the  previous  year’s  sins.  Dan  Kvitka  explains  that  “the  orange  ‘afzelia  burl’  are  the  stones  in  the  river…The  ‘black  ebony’  stones  are  the  Tashlich  stones,  the  stones  containing  both  dark  and  light;  they  are  us.”    
    • Hunping  funerary  jar    Proto-­‐Yue  ware,  Zhejiang  province   Transla6on  themes:  Six  Dynas6es,  Western  Jin  dynasty            concept  <=>  representa6on  (165-­‐316),  3rd  century            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Stoneware  with  celadon  glaze            object  of  use  =>  art  (design)  Museum  purchase  made  possible  by  a  gin  from  William  and  Martha  Steen            medium  =>  medium  2000/1.39     This  charming  pot,  with  its  engaging  depic6on  of  musicians  and   flocks  of  birds  gathered  by  a  many-­‐roofed  structure,  bears  silent   witness  to  a  tragic  period  in  Chinese  history.  In  the  early  fourth   century,  invasions  by  nomadic  raiders  from  the  steppes  to  the   west  forced  tens  of  thousands  of  Chinese  to  flee  southward.  Aside   from  the  terrible  toll  of  lives  lost,  the  surviving  exiles  could  not   provide  proper  tombs  for  deceased  family  members.  Instead,  they   sought  to  appease  the  souls  of  the  departed  by  providing  a  res6ng   place  in  ceramic  containers  such  as  this  one,  known  as  a  hunping,   or  “jar  for  the  soul.”       The  structure  on  the  lid  presents  a  square  building  within  a   circular  enclosure,  reminiscent  of  an  ancient  Chinese  formula   using  a  jade  bi  and  cong  to  symbolize  the  joining  of  heaven  and   earth,  is  thus  a  fiyng  home  for  wandering  souls.  It  is  also  possible   that  the  hunping  form  may  have  been  inspired  by  Buddhist   reliquaries  or  containers  for  the  ashes  of  the  deceased;  the  gate   (the  two  roofed  pillars  at  the  base  of  the  tower)  would  then   symbolize  the  boundary  to  Buddhist  paradise.  The  two   overlapping  meanings  were  common  during  this  period  in  Chinese   history.  The  jar  is  made  of  grey  stoneware  with  a  coat  of  green   glaze  typical  of  Yue  wares.  The  glaze  is  an  early  form  of  celadon   that  is  thin,  lustrous,  and  evenly  vitreous.  It  is  the  precursor  to  the   later  renowned  translucent  celadon  glazes  of  the  Song  dynasty   (960-­‐1279).    
    • Young-­‐Hae  Chang  Heavy  Industries     Special  Exhibi6on  at  the  UMMA   through  December  30,  2012   Transla6on  themes:            culture  <=>  culture  (hybridity)            medium  =>  medium            language  =>  language  This  exhibi6on  will  feature  an  original,  UMMA-­‐commissioned  work  by  the  Seoul-­‐based  duo  of  Young-­‐hae  Chang  and  Marc  Voge—YOUNG-­‐HAE  CHANG  HEAVY  INDUSTRIES  (YHCHI).  Blurring  the  boundaries  between  media,  technologies,  and  cultural  histories,  YHCHI  has  gained  interna6onal  acclaim  for  their  “net  art”  produc6ons—edgy  digital  poetry  presenta6ons  that  flash  to  the  beat  of  compelling  musical  scores.  Their  sophis6cated  and  seduc6ve  narra6ves  feature  a  plain  typeface  and  mesmerizing  pacing.  UMMA  has  commissioned  an  installa6on  work  drawing  on  UM’s  unique  intellectual  assets  and  mul6cultural  resources.  In  addi6on  to  the  gallery  presenta6on,  the  commission  will  be  added  to  their  website,  yhchang.com.  Crossing  borders  of  literature  and  visual  art,  popular  and  high  culture,  high  and  low  technology,  YHCHI’s  work  offers  an  exci6ng  opportunity  to  encourage  conversa6on  among  media-­‐savvy  college  students  and  humani6es  and  social  science  intellectuals  alike.  (The  piece  depicted  above  is  not  part  of  the  UMMA  commission.)  
    • Copper  plate  with  Hanuman       Transla6on  themes:  India,  Rajasthan            ritual  object  =>  museum  object  18th  –19th  century            medium  =>  medium  Copper            concept  <=>  representa6on  Gin  of  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Leo  S.  Figiel  and  Dr.  and  Mrs.    Steven  J.  Figiel  1978/2.89     This  copper  plate  presents  a  profile  portrait  of  the   monkey–general  Hanuman.  His  contours  have   been  etched  into  the  plate  and  filled  en6rely  with   ornamenta6on  in  the  form  of  Hindi  le_ers.  The   resul6ng  object  is  not  merely  an  image,  but  a   yantra—a  func6onal  tool  or  instrument  believed  to   have  talismanic  proper6es.  In  India,  these  mys6cal   diagrams  are  typically  composed  of  geometric  and   alphabe6cal  figures  etched  on  small  plates  of  gold,   silver,  or  copper.  These  devices  serve  a  twofold   func6on:  to  invoke  a  par6cular  god,  and  to  help   the  devotee  focus  spiritual  and  mental  energies   upon  that  deity.  They  are  frequently  devoted  to   the  achievement  of  health,  good  fortune,  or   childbearing,  and  are  some6mes  installed  near  or   under  the  deity  in  the  temple.    
    • Joseph  Wright  of  Derby   England,  1734–1797   The  Dead  Soldier   1789   Oil  on  canvas   Museum  purchase  made  possible  by  the  W.  Hawkins  Ferry   Fund  and  anonymous  individual  benefactors   2006/1.156   Transla6on  themes:            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce            concept  =>  representa6on            social  class  =>  social  class            social  class  =>  representa6on  Joseph  Wright  of  Derby,  a  member  of  the  industrial  and  crea6ve  avant  garde  in  the  north  of  England,  first  exhibited  this  pain6ng  at  London’s  Royal  Academy  in  1789  to  great  acclaim.  The  canvas  depicts  a  woman  cradling  her  child  with  a  drama6cally  foreshortened  cavalryman  crumpled  at  her  side.  Newly  widowed  and  des6tute,  the  mourning  woman  joins  the  hands  of  the  child  with  her  own  and  that  of  her  dead  husband,  linking  their  sad  fates  as  the  sun  sets  over  the  forest.  That  the  child  has  fallen  away  from  suckling  at  his  mother’s  breast  suggests  the  poverty  that  awaits  them  both  in  an  age  when  respectable  women  had  few  economic  opportuni6es.      What  was  most  radical  about  the  pain6ng  in  its  day  is  that  the  viewer  is  asked  to  empathize  deeply  with  an  anonymous  figure:  we  know  nothing  of  the  dead  soldier’s  iden6ty  other  than  what  his  uniform  tells  us  and  the  hint  from  the  date  that  he  may  have  fallen  in  the  American  Revolu6on.  It  is  the  infant  who  gives  us  entry  into  the  pain6ng,  looking  out  calmly,  even  sternly  to  meet  our  gaze.  The  emo6onal  intensity  of  the  pain6ng  together  with  Wright’s  astonishing  bravura  brushwork  place  this  long-­‐lost  masterpiece  at  a  cri6cal  moment  of  transi6on  in  the  birth  of  the  modern  age,  when  the  ra6onalism  of  the  Enlightenment  began  to  give  way  to  the  emo6on  of  the  Roman6c  movement.  
    • Joan  Mitchell  American,  1926–1992   Transla6on  themes:  White  Territory            experience  <=>  representa6on  1970–71  oil  on  canvas            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Purchase  assisted  by  The  Friends  of  the  Museum  and  a  grant  from  the  Na6onal  Endowment  for  the  Arts  1974/2.21   Mitchell  len  New  York  for  France  in  1955,  living  first  in   Paris  and  finally  se_ling  in  the  late  1960s  in  Vétheuil,  a   6ny  river  village  about  an  hour  northwest  of  Paris.  Like  the   winter  landscapes  Claude  Monet  (1840–1926)  painted  in   the  same  vicinity,  including  The  Breakup  of  the  Ice,  on   view  on  the  first  floor,  White  Territory  is  an  impression  of   a  landscape.  Mitchell  aimed  to  convey  the  landscape  as   affected  by  what  the  ar6st  called  “internal  weather,”   meaning  her  personal  associa6ons  and  poe6c  sensibility.   White  Territory  was  first  shown  in  an  upstate  New  York   exhibi6on  of  her  works  called  “My  Five  Years  in  the   Country,”  a  reference  to  her  self-­‐imposed  exile  in  this  6ny   French  village.         Joan  Mitchell  was  a  leading  ar6st  of  the  second-­‐ genera6on  New  York  School,  the  close-­‐knit  community  of   abstract  painters  who  were  profoundly  influenced  by   Abstract  Expressionism  and  followed  on  the  stylis6c  and   technical  innova6ons  of  this  first  genera6on,  especially   the  work  of  Willem  de  Kooning,  Arshile  Gorky,  and  Franz   Kline.  
    • Felix  Gonzalez-­‐Torres     Transla6on  themes:  United  States,  1957–1996            object  of  use  =>  art  UnJtled  (March  5th)  #2  1991                      (found  art,  assemblage)  40-­‐wa_  light  bulbs,  extension  cords,            venue  =>  venue  porcelain  light  sockets            concept  <=>  representa6on  Museum  Purchase  made  possible  by  the  W.  Hawkins  Ferry  Fund,  1999/2.17            experience  <=>  representa6on     When  people  ask  me,  "Who  is  your  public?"  I  say  honestly,   without  skipping  a  beat,  "Ross."  The  public  was  Ross.              Felix  Gonzalez-­‐Torres,  January  1995       Light  bulbs,  fixtures,  and  extension  cords  are  humble,  everyday   things,  but  in  the  art  of  Felix  Gonzalez-­‐Torres,  they  are  imbued   with  an  unexpected  emo6onal  charge.  The  date  March  5th,   referenced  in  the  6tle,  was  the  birthday  of  the  ar6st’s  lover,   Ross  Laycock,  who  died  of  AIDS  in  1994.  Created  shortly  aner   Ross’s  diagnosis,  this  is  among  the  first  in  a  series  of  pieces   Gonzalez-­‐Torres  made  during  that  period  using  strings  of  bare   light  bulbs.  Characteris6cally  for  the  ar6st,  the  work  is  open  to   a  range  of  interpreta6ons.  Hanging  against  the  wall,  the   installa6on  might  look  naked  and  vulnerable,  or  poignant  and   warm.  The  implicit  roman6cism  of  the  work’s  metaphor  of  two   luminous,  connected  bodies—evoking  those  of  Gonzalez-­‐Torres   and  Laycock—is  tempered  by  the  knowledge  that  at  any  second   one  of  the  bulbs  could  burn  out,  with  the  other  len  to  shine  on   alone.    
    • Ewer  with  Silver  FiRngs  Ming  dynasty,  Yongle  mark  and  period  (1403–25)   Transla6on  themes:  Porcelain  with  underglaze  cobalt            object  of  use  =>  art  (design)  decora6on,  silver  spout  and  lid    Gin  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  John  A.  Pope  for            culture  <=>  culture  (hybridity)  The  James  Marshall  Plumer  Memorial  Collec6on,  1968/1.50   Since  the  6me  of  Marco  Polo,  the  center  of  Chinese  porcelain   produc6on  has  been  Jingdezhen,  Jiangxi  province,  an  area   blessed  with  large  deposits  of  the  hard  kaolin  clay  that  is   essen6al  for  porcelain.  The  kilns  came  into  prominence  during   the  Yuan  period  (1279-­‐1368),  when  both  the  produc6on  of  pure   white  porcelain  and  porcelain  with  underglaze  cobalt  blue   decora6on  were  mastered.  The  succeeding  Ming  period   (1368-­‐1644)  con6nued  and  expanded  this  tradi6on,  as  seem  in   this  magnificent  ewer  that  once  belonged  in  the  collec6on  of  the   dis6nguished  ceramic  scholar,  John  A.  Pope,  who  catalogued  the   world-­‐famous  collec6on  of  Chinese  blue-­‐and-­‐white  porcelain  at   the  Ardebil  Shrine  in  Iran.         The  bright  blue  was  derived  from  cobalt  ore  imported  from   Persia  (Iran)  and  a  ewer  of  this  shape,  which  recalls  Sassanian   (Persian)  metalwork  prototypes,  would  have  been  made  for  an   Islamic  ruler  and  sent  abroad  with  Admiral  Zheng  He   (1371-­‐1433),  who  sailed  a  Chinese  fleet  to  the  Middle  East  from   1421  to  1423  on  behalf  of  the  Yongle  emperor  (r.1403-­‐1424).The   floral  scrolls  across  the  neck  and  body  of  the  vessel,  consis6ng  of   posies  of  different  blooms,  also  have  origins  in  ancient  West   Asian  art.  The  silver  spout  and  lid  are  later  European  repairs.    
    • Transla6on  themes:            material  =>  material            object  of  use  =>  art  (medium)    Donald  Sultan’s  Smoke  Rings  seem  to  float  in   defiance  of  the  heavy  materials  with  which   they  are  produced:  black  tar  and  spackle,  the   substance  used  for  patching  holes  in  plaster   and  drywall.  Sultan,  who  began  using  these   kinds  of  materials  when  he  was  a  construc6on   worker,  paints  in  the  tradi6on  of  s6ll  life,  but   rather  than  reproducing  what  the  eye  sees,  he   draws  a_en6on  to  what  it  onen  misses,   revealing  the  abstract  visual  quali6es  of   commonplace  things.  His  use  of  unorthodox   media  and  manipula6on  of  scale  provokes  a   sense  of  strangeness  that  slows  recogni6on  of   his  subjects,  allowing  for  minute  examina6on   of  their  aesthe6c  quali6es.  In  Smoke  Rings   Sultan  arrests  and  monumentalizes  a  Donald  Sultan   transitory  phenomenon:  languid,  spiraling  United  States,  born  1951   curls  of  smoke.  At  once  abstract  and  Smoke  Rings  June  14,  2001  2001   hyperreaslis6c,  the  pain6ngs  are  as  much  Spackle  and  tar  on  6le  over  Masonite   about  the  graphic  gesture  of  white  on  black  as  Museum  purchase  made  possible  by  the  W.  Hawkins  Ferry   they  are  about  the  beauty  to  be  found  in  the  Fund  and  the  Friends  of  the  Museum  of  Art,  2006/1.159a-­‐d   ordinary  world  that  surround  us.    
    • Power  Figure  (nkisi  kozo)   Vili  peoples   Republic  of  Congo  (Brazzaville),   Transla6on  themes:   Gabon            ritual  object  =>  museum  object   circa  1850   Wood,  mirrors,  resin,  kaolin,  tukula            venue  =>  venue   powder,  medicinal  substances                concept  =>  representa6on   2005/1.182     This  power  figure  probably  represents  a  dog.  In  Vili  and  other   communi6es  in  central  Africa,  dogs  live  in  villages  and  hunt  in   forests.    Thus,  they  were  thought  to  move  freely  between  the   worlds  of  the  living  and  the  dead,  their  keen  sense  of  smell  and   sight  gran6ng  them  vision  into  otherworldly  events.  Used  by   ritual  specialists  to  heal  or  to  detect  and  redress  misfortune,   the  mirror-­‐topped  medicine  pack  worked  like  a  window  into   the  ancestral  realm.  Spiritually  charged  materials  like  grave  Power  Figure  (nkisi  nduda)       dirt,  riverbed  clay,  shells,  and  herbs  emboldened  the  forces  Yombe  peoples   within  it.  The  coiled  tail,  curled  lower  lips  and  snout,  and  flexed  Democra6c  Republic  of  Congo   knees  give  this  6ny  figure  vitality.    Late  19th  century  Wood,  cloth,  fiber,  animal   -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐  hides,  feathers,  mirror,  glass,   Through  the  interven6on  of  a  ritual  expert  (nganga),  an  nkisi,  metal,  resin,  medicinal   or  power  figure,  becomes  imbued  with  the  capacity  to  heal,  substances,  pigment  Gin  of  Candis  and  Helmut   protect,  or,  conversely,  to  do  harm  to  one’s  enemies.  This  Stern,  2005/1.191   nkisi’s  stare  suggests  that  it  stands  guard,  and  the  mirror  on  its   torso  is  intended  to  deflect  subversive  forces.  Its  potency  is   increased  by  bundles  of  medicinal  herbs  contained  beneath   the  feathered  turban.  Strips  of  curling  hide  radiate  around  the   figure  and  extend  its  energy  into  the  surrounding  space.    Most  colonial  officials  and  missionaries  banned  power  figures   from  their  precincts.  The  large  number  found  in  art  collec6ons   throughout  the  world  speaks  to  the  undeniable  allure  and   charisma  of  these  objects,  as  well  as  to  the  vigor  with  which   they  were  removed  by  the  authori6es.    
    • Charles  Ferdinand  Wimar       United  States,  1828–1862     The  AYack  on  an  Emigrant  Train     1856       Oil  on  canvas       Bequest  of  Henry  C.  Lewis,  1895.80     Transla6on  themes:            event  =>  history  =>  myth            iden6ty  <=>  representa6on            concept  <=>  representa6on  In  this  pain6ng  a  wagon  train  of  American  pioneers  crossing  the  prairie  is  a_acked  by  a  group  of  Na6ve  Americans  armed  with  tomahawks  and  bows  and  arrows;  as  the  men  in  the  first  wagon  take  up  arms  to  defend  themselves,  their  comrades  rush  forward  to  join  the  fight.  The  A_ack  on  an  Emigrant  Train  was  painted  during  the  height  of  westward  expansion  in  the  United  States  (1840s–1860s)  and  is  very  much  a  product  of  its  6me.  Its  drama6c  staging  of  two  cultures  clashing  reinforced  the  doctrine  of  Manifest  Des6ny—the  belief  that  European  Americans  had  a  right  and  even  a  Chris6an  duty  to  expand  throughout  the  North  American  con6nent.  According  to  this  theory,  Indians  were  literally  an  obstruc6on  in  the  path  of  American  progress.  Here  they  are  portrayed  as  ferocious  aggressors  arres6ng  the  forward  movement  of  the  peaceful  immigrants.  The  white  man’s  steady  aim  of  his  gun—taken  up  to  protect  women  and  children  who  take  shelter  in  the  wagons—is  contrasted  with  the  chao6c  mass  of  half-­‐clothed  warriors  armed  with  simple  weapons.  Images  such  as  this  reinforced  the  prevailing  no6on  of  the  Na6ve  American  as  primi6ve,  even  savage,  and  perpetuated  the  idea  they  were  another  element  of  the  untamed  landscape  that  needed  to  be  subdued  and  civilized.  Wimar’s  pain6ng  became  enormously  influen6al,  inspiring  and  establishing  a  stereotype  of  a_acks  on  wagon  trains  that  persisted  well  into  the  20th  century.    
    • Mariano  Salvador  de  Maella  Spain,  1739–1819   Transla6on  themes:  The  AnnunciaJon            medium  =>  medium  About  1780  Oil  on  canvas            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Museum  purchase  (1967/1.37)   Contrasted  with  contemporary  scenes  of  everyday  life  from  northern   Europe,  Maella’s  pain6ng  speaks  to  the  con6nuing  impact  of  the   Catholic  Church  in  southern  Europe  during  the  6me  of  the   Enlightenment,  a  period  in  which  reason  ul6mately  came  to  hold   sway  over  religious  belief  in  much  of  Europe.       Maella  painted  this  scene  of  the  Annuncia6on  as  a  preparatory  study   either  for  an  altarpiece  or  a  much  larger  fresco  pain6ng  for  a  wall  or   ceiling  in  a  palace  or  church.  He  rendered  the  small-­‐scale  study  in   shades  of  gray,  a  technique  known  as  grisaille,  which  allowed  him  to   examine  the  overall  balance  of  light  and  shade  in  the  final  pain6ng   without  the  complica6ng  factor  of  color.  Maella  follows  established   conven6on  by  represen6ng  the  archangel  Gabriel  descending  on  a   cloud  toward  the  Virgin  Mary  to  proclaim  that  she  would  give  birth  to   Jesus,  while  the  dove  of  the  Holy  Spirit  flies  down  from  overhead  and   God  the  Father  looks  on.  Maella  uses  the  subtle  tonal  modula6ons  of   grisaille  to  explore  how  the  robust  forms  and  grounded  materiality  of   the  Virgin  and  the  surrounding  furniture  give  way  to  the  light-­‐filled   clouds  and  diffused  shapes  above;  through  experimen6ng  with  light,   Maella  seeks  to  bring  the  worldly  and  heavenly  realms  together  in   support  of  Catholic  devo6onal  prac6ce.  
    • AnnunciaJon  Antwerp,  Belgium,  circa  1520  Oil  on  panel  Gin  of  Professor  and  Mrs.  Charles  H.  Sawyer,  1992/1.135   Transla6on  themes:            medium  =>  medium            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce   Painters  and  sculptors  outnumbered  bakers  and   butchers  in  mid-­‐sixteenth-­‐century  Antwerp.  This   surprising  sta6s6c  reveals  the  importance  of   ar6s6c  produc6on  to  the  economy  of  a  city  that   emerged  as  a  mercan6le  capital  of  Europe  during   the  1500s.  Many  of  the  ar6sts  in  Antwerp  were   employed  in  workshops,  where  they  produced  the   vast  majority  of  works  for  export  and  some  for   local  consump6on.  This  panel  depic6ng  the   Annuncia6on  shares  many  stylis6c  features  with   pain6ngs  made  in  Antwerp  from  about  1520,   including  the  composi6on  of  the  scene  and  the   embellishment  of  the  architecture  with   fashionable  Italian  decora6ve  elements.  Although   the  ar6st  of  this  work  remains  uniden6fied,  some   of  the  most  famous  ar6sts  of  the  period  also   trained  or  worked  in  the  city:  Joos  van  Cleve,  for   instance,  whose  pain6ng  of  St.  John  on  Patmos   hangs  nearby,  was  one  of  Antwerp’s  established   masters.  
    • Juan  de  Valdés  Leal  (1622–1690)  The  AnnunciaJon  Seville,  Spain,  1661  Oil  on  canvas  Museum  Purchase,  1962/1.99   Transla6on  themes:            medium  =>  medium            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  With  an  explosively  brilliant  light  illumina6ng  a  darkened  room,  the  Baroque  master  Juan  de  Valdés  Leal  captures  the  drama  of  Jesus’s  concep6on.  On  the  len,  the  Archangel  Gabriel  swoops  down  from  heaven  to  announce  to  the  Virgin  Mary  that  she  will  give  birth  to  Jesus,  as  recounted  in  the  Gospel  of  Luke  (1:26–38).  Mary,  interrupted  at  her  reading,  looks  downward  with  humility  and  submission  as  the  white  dove  of  the  Holy  Spirit  descends  from  a  glory  of  light  toward  her  womb.  On  the  balustrade,  the  white  lilies  symbolize  her  purity,  and  the  vase,  which  transmits  light  with  no  effect  on  the  glass  itself,  is  a  metaphor  for  how  she  became  pregnant  but  remained  unblemished  by  sin.  God  the  Father,  almost  dissolved  in  his  own  radiance,  presides  over  the  scene  from  the  cloudburst  above.  Valdés  Leal  augments  the  animated  poses  and  the  vivid  color  with  energe6c  brushwork,  invigora6ng  the  scene  with  an  exuberant  theatricality.      
    • The  Han  imagina6on  was  simultaneously  down-­‐to-­‐ earth  and  preoccupied  with  immortality  and  other-­‐   worldly  spirits.  While  the  inexpensive  mortuary   po_ery  in  the  large  wall  case  opposite  tes6fies  to  Han   prac6cality,  this  carved  limestone  slab  illustrates  Han   flights  of  fancy.         This  magnificent  square-­‐shaped  frieze  was  originally   part  of  a  memorial  hall  or  tomb.  Its  seven  horizontal   registers  portray  the  ver6cal  ascent  of  the  soul  from   the  watery  netherworld  on  the  lowest  register  to  the   “Happy  Homeland”  or  heavenly  abode  of  the  Queen   Mother  of  the  West  at  the  top.  In  the  widest  register,   above  the  watery  netherworld  of  six  swimming  fish,  is   a  burial  procession  lead  by  an  ox  cart—an  accurate   depic6on  of  Han  dynasty  burial  prac6ce  for  the  elite.   The  central  three  registers  portray  groups  of   mourners,  performing  rituals  to  send  the  deceased   properly  into  the  anerlife.  The  Queen  Mother  herself,   shown  as  a  winged  creature  with  a  human  face,   dominates  the  top  register.  She  is  flanked  by  two   writhing  dragons  and  other  heavenly  immortals,   including  a  pair  of  rabbits  who  reside  on  the  moon   pounding  rice  cakes  of  immortality,  and  an  auspicious  Funerary  slab  with  the  Queen  Mother  of  the   nine-­‐tailed  fox,  associated  with  the  sun  and  magic.    West     Transla6on  themes:  Eastern  Han  dynasty  (25–220),  2nd  century            medium  =>  medium      Carved  limestone  slab   The  Queen  Mother  of  the  West  appears  in  Chinese            concept  <=>  representa6on  Museum  purchase  made  possible  by  the   texts  as  early  as  the  tenth  century  BCE  of  the  Zhou    Friends  of  the  Museum  of  Art  and  the   dynasty  (1027-­‐256  BCE),  but  her  cult  became  popular  Margaret  Watson  Parker  Fund,  in  honor  of   during  the  Eastern  Han  dynasty,  when  the  desire  for  Senior  Curator  Marshall  Wu  on  his   immortality  reached  a  feverish  pitch.  re6rement,  2000/2.1  
    • Jenny  Holzer     United  States,  born  1950     Transla6on  themes:   SelecJons  from  Truisms            medium  =>  medium   1983   Electronic  L.E.D.  with  red  diodes            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce   Museum  Purchase  made  possible  by  the  W.  Hawkins            venue  =>  venue   Ferry  Fund  and  anonymous  individual  benefactors,     2006/1.151  Jenny  Holzer  is  an  installa6on  and  conceptual  ar6st  whose  primary  medium  is  words.  She  onen  uses  language  to  draw  a_en6on  to  and  undermine  habits  of  thought  that  go  unno6ced.  Her  Truisms  are  a  constantly  evolving  collec6on  of  several  hundred  phrases,  ideas,  and  asides—made  up  or  appropriated  from  diverse  sources—that  includes  such  provoca6ve  one-­‐liners  as:  “A  li_le  knowledge  goes  a  long  way;”  “there  is  a  fine  line  between  informa6on  and  propaganda;”  “money  creates  taste;”  and,  “freedom  is  a  luxury  not  a  necessity.”        The  Truisms  have  appeared  in  many  forms.  Their  first  incarna6on  as  a  public  art  project  was  in  1977–79,  when  Holzer  anonymously  posted  inexpensive,  commercially  printed  broadsheets  on  buildings,  walls,  and  telephone  booths  in  and  around  Manha_an.  Her  pithy,  ironic  and  acerbic  aphorisms  were  meant  to  be  provoca6ve  and  elicit  public  debate.  In  subsequent  years  they  appeared  on  posters,  billboards,  and,  as  here,  LED  (light  emi6ng  diode)  displays  and  have  been  exhibited  in  prominent  public  places  like  Time  Square,  as  well  as  museums  and  galleries.  Just  as  the  content  of  the  Trusims  onen  mimics  adver6sing  slogans,  Holzer  has  borrowed  from  marke6ng  prac6ce  and  emblazoned  them  on  coffee  mugs,  t-­‐shirts,  pencils,  baseball  caps,  and  golf  balls.    
    • Display  figure  Ar6st  Osei  Bonsu  (1900–1977)   Transla6on  themes:  Akan  (Asante)  peoples            medium  =>  medium  Ghana  Wood            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce  Gin  of  Margart  H.  and  Albert  J.            ritual  object  =>  art  object  Coudron,  2001/2.33            venue  =>  venue    This  figure,  seated  on  a  royal  stool—considered  the   soul  of  the  Asante  people—with  an  egg  in  his  hand,   depicts  a  popular  proverb:  “To  be  a  ruler  is  like  holding   an  egg  in  the  hand;  if  it  is  pressed  too  hard  it  breaks,   but  if  not  held  6ghtly  enough  it  may  slip  and  smash  on   the  ground.”  This  mo6f  was  onen  used  to  decorate  the   tops  of  linguist  staffs  (emblems  of  authority  used  by   the  ruler’s  spokesmen  during  public  ceremonies),  but   this  figure  was  commissioned  from  Osei  Bonu—a   prominent  ar6st—by  a  local  Asante  or  expatriate  elite   to  display  in  a  home.  Osei  Bonu’s  naturalis6c  style  is   seen  in  the  egg-­‐shaped  head,  the  high,  sloping   forehead  rising  from  pronounced  eyebrows,  the  long   ringed  neck,  and  small,  delicate  hands  and  feet.  He  is   known  for  his  smooth,  carefully  finished  surfaces;   indeed  he  disdained  rough  finishes,  which  he   compared  to  “fufu  [pounded  yams,  a  staple  food]  that   has  fallen  into  the  gravel.”  
    • Mark  Tobey     United  States,  1890-­‐1976   Transla6on  themes:   Broadway  Melody            medium  =>  medium   1945   Tempera  on  board            experience  <=>  representa6on   Gin  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Roger  L.   Stevens,  1949/1.152  The  theme  of  the  city  played  a  key  role  in  the  development  of  Tobey’s  hallmark  “white  wri6ng”  style  aner  his  return  from  an  extended  trip  to  China  and  Japan  in  1934.  New  York,  in  par6cular,  came  to  represent  a  “universal  city”  for  the  ar6st,  although  he  chose  to  live  at  a  remove  from  the  vibrant  art  scene  that  was  developing  there  in  the  immediate  postwar  period.        Tobey  con6nually  revisited  the  subject  of  Broadway,  a  popular  emblem  of  the  spectacle  of  city  lights  and  city  life.  His  fascina6on  was  not,  however,  simply  a  ma_er  of  roman6c  glorifica6on.  Of  his  first  Broadway  pain6ng,  he  wrote  that  it  “astonished  me  as  much  as  anyone  else.  Such  a  feeling  of  Hell  under  a  lacy  design—delicate  in  spirit  but  madness.”  This  feeling  is  characteris6c  of  Broadway  Melody  as  well.  Its  successive  overlays  of  rapidly  constructed  images  and  wri6ng  (the  evoca6ve  word  “tomorrow”  is  clearly  legible  in  the  upper  len  corner  of  the  pain6ng)  both  build  up  the  pictured  scene  to  give  a  sense  of  depth,  and  overwhelm  the  figures  interspersed  throughout.  The  dense  repe66on  from  one  end  of  the  canvas  to  the  other  of  similar  elements  without  strong  varia6on  would  become  a  defining  feature  of  the  Abstract  Expressionist  style  of  pain6ng,  which  Tobey  pioneered  along  with  his  New  York  counterparts.  
    • Idangani  Mask     Transla6on  themes:   Sala  Mapsu  peoples            ritual  object  =>  museum  object   Democra6c  Republic  of  the  Congo   Early  20th  century            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce   Woven  fiber            concept  <=>  representa6on   Gin  of  Professor  and  Mrs.  Horace  M.            social  class  <=>  representa6on   Miner,  1983/2.184   These  formidable  masks  played  a  vital  role  in  the  Sala   Mpasu’s  warrior  society,  a  powerful  associa6on   through  which  men  increased  their  authority  by   securing  the  right  to  wear  par6cular  masks.  The  most   pres6gious  of  these  were  the  idangani  masks,  which   represented  a  married  couple  and  were  constructed   en6rely  from  fiber.  The  mask  on  view  here  is  female,   iden6fied  by  the  small  fiber  knobs  that  recall  a  popular   woman’s  hairstyle.  The  kasangu  mask  was  made  of   wood  and  represented  a  warrior.  Its  open,  rectangular   mouth  exposes  pointed  teeth—a  Sala  Mpasu  mark  of   beauty.         As  new  forms  of  authority  and  wealth  were  imposed  Kasangu  Mask  Sala  Mpasu  peoples   by  the  Belgian  colonial  state,  the  Sala  Mpasu  Democra6c  Republic  of  the   disbanded  their  warrior  society  and  destroyed  many  Congo  Early  20th  century   of  the  masks  associated  with  it.  However,  the  Wood,  kaolin,  fiber   resilience  of  Sala  Mpasu  ar6sts  remains  evident  in  the  Museum  purchase  assisted  by   new  forms  of  masks  they  con6nue  to  create  for  the  Friends  of  the  Museum  of  Art,  1971/2.44   entertainment,  boys’  ini6a6on  ceremonies,  and  the   external  art  market.    
    • Aner  the  Tokugawa  shogunate  established  peace   in  the  early  seventeenth  century,  no  major  ba_les   were  fought  on  Japanese  soil.  Yet  swords  and   mar6al  arts  remained  a  vital  part  of  the  samurai   life.  Ruling  samurai  were  required  to  wear   swords,  training  in  swordsmanship  was  highly   encouraged,  and  swords  became  important   markers  of  the  hierarchical  samurai  class  system.   During  the  Edo  period,  the  symbolic  importance   of  swords  was  underscored  through  the  use  of   elaborate  and  decorated  scabbards,  guards,   sheaths,  and  a_achments.  This  scabbard,  for   example,  is  adorned  with  mul6colored  lacquer,   which  would  be  quickly  damaged  in  actual   combat.      Sword,  ornament,  and  scabbard   The  warrior  depicted  here  is  Kojima  Takanori,  a  Japan,  Edo  period  (1615–1868)   devoted  supporter  of  the  Emperor  Godaigo  1858   (1288–1339),  who  led  a  rebellion  against  the  Forged  steel,  lacquer,  and  gold    Gin  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Frederic  R.  Smith,   powerful  Hôjô  clan.  When  the  Emperor’s  a_empt  1973/2.88   failed,  Takanori  sneaked  into  the  inn  where  the   ruler  was  in  cap6vity  and  wrote  a  poem  on  a   piece  of  cherry  tree  bark  predic6ng  that  the  Transla6on  themes:   Emperor  would  surely  be  liberated  by  his  ardent            object  of  use  =>  art  (design)   vassal.  This  was  provoca6ve  subject  ma_er  in            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce   1858,  a  6me  when  the  pro-­‐Emperor  forces  and            social  class  <=>  representa6on   the  supporters  of  the  shogunate  were  engaged  in     fierce  struggles  for  power.    
    • Giulio  Carpioni   Italy,  1613–1679   The  Death  of  Leander   About  1655   Oil  on  canvas   Museum  purchase  (1984/1.290)   Transla6on  themes:            medium  =>  medium  With  drama6c  contrasts  of  light  and  dark  and  swirling  brushwork,  Giulio  Caripioni  depicted  on  this  canvas  the  drowning  of  Leander,  a  young  man  who  was  the  lover  of  Hero,  a  priestess  of  Aphrodite.  Every  night  Leander  would  swim  across  the  Hellespont,  the  strait  connec6ng  the  Sea  of  Marmara  to  the  Aegean  Sea,  to  the  tower  where  Hero  lived.  During  one  of  his  nightly  crossings  Leander  was  caught  in  a  winter  storm,  evoked  in  the  pain6ng  by  the  turbulent  waters  and  malevolent  sky.  The  wind  ex6nguished  the  light  that  Hero  always  len  at  the  top  of  the  tower  to  guide  her  lover,  and  Leander  without  the  light  became  lost  and  drowned.  Four  sea  nymphs,  accompanied  by  a  merman  and  the  sea  god  Poseidon  in  his  chariot,  have  risen  from  the  dark  waves  to  mourn  over  Leander’s  body,  which  they  support  in  a  white  shroud.  Their  anguish  over  the  dead  lover  foreshadows  the  impending  sorrow  and  suicide  of  Hero,  who  waits  anxiously  on  her  tower  in  the  distance.    
    • Vishnu  as  Varaha    Central  India,  Madhya  Pradesh,  Chandella  workshop  c.  10th  century  Sandstone  Museum  purchase  made  possible  by  the  Margaret  Watson  Parker  Art  Collec6on  Fund,  2002/1.167   Transla6on  themes:            medium  =>  medium            tradi6on  =>  new  prac6ce            animal  form  <=>  human  form   The  body  of  Vishnu’s  boar-­‐headed  incarna6on,   Varaha,  forges  a  diagonal  bolt  through  this   sculpture.  His  right  foot  is  planted  decisively  at   the  corner  of  its  projec6ng  base;  his  len  is  flexed   for  leverage  on  a  lotus  pedestal.  Against  these   roo6ng  forces  his  body  surges  upward,   culmina6ng  in  an  acutely  raised  snout.  The   magnitude  of  Varaha’s  gesture  and  his  rela6ve   scale  suggest  a  superhuman  strength,  and  his  feet   are  splayed  apart  in  a  posi6on  that  defies  human   physiology.  In  Hindu  image  making,  the   remarkable  form  of  a  god’s  body  reveals  his  or   her  boundless  capaci6es.  In  this  case,  Varaha’s   dis6nct  posture  depicts  a  well-­‐known  Hindu   episode  in  which  Vishnu  took  the  form  of  a  great   boar  to  rescue  the  world  from  a  demon  who  had   imprisoned  the  earth  beneath  the  cosmic  ocean.  
    • A_ributed  to  Neri  di  Bicci  (1418–1492)  Cross  with  the  Dead  Christ  (Christus  paJens)  and  Living  Christ  (Christus  triumphans)  Italy,  circa  1470/71  Tempera  and  gold  on  wood  Gin  of  the  Baroness  Maud  Ledyard  von  Ke_eler,  1942.6   Transla6on  themes:            medium  =>  medium            riutal  object  =>  museum  object            venue  =>  venue   The  suffering  and  triumph  of  Christ  are   drama6cally  juxtaposed  on  this  rare  and  delicate   cross.  On  one  side  of  the  cross,  the  dead  Christ   slumps  forward,  flanked  by  the  mourning  Virgin   and  Saint  John  the  Evangelist  with  God  the  Father   looking  on  from  above  and  the  apostle  Philip   below.  On  the  other  side,  by  contrast,  Christ   stands  upright,  surrounded  by  the  four   Evangelists  who  witness  his  triumph  over  death   and  sin.  This  cross  was  carried  alon  on  a  staff  in   religious  processions,  and  the  depic6on  of  Christ   on  either  side  of  the  cross  would  ensure  that  an   image  addressed  spectators  no  ma_er  where   they  stood.  The  juxtaposi6on  of  the  living  and   dead  Christ  would  have  resonated  powerfully   with  many  of  the  church  rituals  for  which  the   cross  was  used,  notably  funeral  rites  and  the   Eucharist,  which  re-­‐enacted  Christ’s  sacrifice.  
    • James  McNeill  Whistler   United  States,  1834–1903   Sea  and  Rain:  VariaJons  in  Violet  and  Green   1865   Oil  on  canvas   Bequest  of  Margaret  Watson  Parker,   1955/1.89   Transla6on  themes:            experience  =>  representa6on  During  the  late  summer  and  early  fall  of  1865,  Whistler  traveled  to  the  Normandy  region  of  France  to  the  resort  town  of  Trouville  and  painted  there  with  fellow-­‐ar6st  Gustave  Courbet.  Although  Courbet  later  claimed  Whistler  as  a  student,  Whistler’s  pain6ng  style  had  already  begun  to  depart  from  Courbet’s  signature  thick  applica6on  of  paint.  Sea  and  Rain  is  characteris6c  of  Whistler’s  understated  pale_e  and  thin  veils  of  paint;  this  view  of  the  sea,  sky,  and  beach,  inhabited  by  a  solitary  figure,  provides  no  narra6ve  content  and  scant  specifics  about  the  site  or  weather.  Nevertheless,  Sea  and  Rain  is  a  highly  nuanced  pain6ng  that  accurately  evokes,  rather  than  describes,  the  cool,  damp,  early  autumn  day  at  the  beach.  The  melancholy  figure,  partly  obscured  by  the  diaphanous  blue  area  of  a  6dal  pool,  becomes  a  precisely  placed  accent  within  the  composi6on.  This  tonal  and  lyrical  composi6on  does  not  seem  startling  to  viewers  of  the  21st  century  accustomed  to  abstract  art,  but  such  understated  minimalism  in  Whistler’s  pain6ngs  stood  at  odds  with  the  highly  finished  Academic  pain6ng  of  the  period.  
    • Transla6on  themes:            medium  =>  medium            culture  <=>  culture  (hybridity)   In  the  fourth  century  BCE,  Alexander  the  Great   conquered  Gandhara,  the  area  from  which  this   sculpture  comes  now  part  of  Pakistan  and   Afghanistan.  Links  with  Greece  and  later  with  Rome   endured  for  centuries  as  Gandhara  lay  on  the  trade   routes,  known  as  the  Silk  Road,  that  connected  East   and  West.  This  con6nual  associa6on  with  the  West   greatly  affected  Gandharan  art  as  can  be  seen  in  the   facial  features,  wavy  hair,  and  draped  toga-­‐like   clothing  of  this  Buddha  and  the  one  to  the  right.   Both  these  sculptures  decorated  the  exteriors  of   religious  buildings  or  shrines  in  monas6c  complexes   and  were  painted  in  their  original  context.         Standing  beside  the  Buddha  is  a  figure  making  the   gesture  of  worship.  This  is  Indra,  king  of  the  Hindu   gods.  Brahma,  another  important  early  Hindu  deity,   is  likely  to  have  been  on  the  other  side  of  the   Buddha.  The  Buddha  flanked  by  these  Hindu  dei6es —a  typical  subject  in  Gandharan  art—was  intended  Buddha  Shakyamuni  a_ended  by  Indra  Pakistan,  ancient  region  of  Gandhara   to  communicate  the  superiority  of  the  Buddha  in  2nd–4th  century     rela6on  to  the  Hindu  gods  that  were  most  Stucco  relief  with  traces  of  polychromy   prominent  at  that  6me.  Indra’s  contropposto  (hip-­‐Museum  purchase  for  the  James  Marshall  Plumer  Memorial  Collec6on,  1961/2.83 shot)  stance  is  yet  another  visual  associa6on  with       Western  art.