Jonathan Hay - Ailsa Mellon Bruce Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
The Council is pleased to present the 58th Edward H. Hume Memorial Lecture.
The existence of a Chinese cultural tradition for a long time provided (still provides?) the raison d’être of Sinology. So foundational is the concept of tradition that it is rarely examined closely. Sinologists are so busy interpreting tradition that we forget to ask how it operates. Does it have its own diachronic logic? Is it just one thing, or several? Interculturally, does tradition keep the Other out, or has it developed by incorporating the Other? The Chinese painting tradition is as good a place as any to explore these questions.
Jonathan Hay is a historian of Chinese art who also writes on theoretical and methodological aspects of art history. He has published two books, the first on a major seventeenth-century artist, Shitao: Painting and Modernity in Early Qing China (2001) and the second on Chinese decorative arts from the sixteenth
to the nineteenth century, Sensuous Surfaces: The Decorative Object in Early Modern China (2010). Hay has taught at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, since 1990, where he is currently Ailsa Mellon Bruce Professor. His many historical and theoretical articles and essays, as well as the entirety of his first book, are available for download on Academia.edu.
This annual lecture in honor of Dr. Edward H. Hume is made possible by the generosity of his family and many friends. Dr. Hume devoted much of his long and vigorous life to working in China and elsewhere in the cause of health care and medical training. He graduated from Yale College in 1897, and received his medical degree four years later from Johns Hopkins University. He worked in India from 1903 to 1905 before going to China, where he founded the Hsiang-ya Medical School and Hospital under the auspices of Yale-in-China in Changsha.