University of Pittsburgh
January 13, 2003

Pitt, Andy Warhol Museum to Present Symposium on Chinese Ancestor Portraits Feb. 1

Contact:  412-624-4147

January 13, 2003

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center and the Andy Warhol Museum are presenting a symposium titled "Beyond Commemoration: Portraits in East Asia" from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 1 at the museum, 117 Sandusky St., on Pittsburgh's North Side.

The symposium is being held in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit "Worshipping the Ancestors: Chinese Commemorative Portraits," which will run at the Andy Warhol Museum from Feb. 2 through April 27.

The 38 portrait scrolls, on loan from the Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., represent five centuries of portraiture of imperial families (mainly Qing) and the military and civic elite who ruled China from 1644 until the revolution of 1911. The rare showing of these works provides an insight into the world of China's social and cultural history of the time and the codification of status symbols among the ruling class.

During the symposium, three experts in the field of Asian art will explore the connection that Asians have with their ancestors and the concepts of ritual and veneration as they pertain to the portraiture.

Panel participants are Jan Stuart, associate curator of Chinese Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute; Evelyn Rawski, University Professor of History at Pitt; and Karen Gerhart, associate professor of the History of Art and Architecture at Pitt. Their topics include "Chinese Ancestor Portraits in the American National Collections"; "Pursuing the Ancestors: Researching Chinese Ancestor Portraits"; and "A Look at Portraits for Rituals in Japan."

The symposium is free to Pitt students with an ID and to others with admission to the museum. The symposium is cosponsored by the Andy Warhol Museum and Pitt's Asian Studies Center. For more information, contact Michele F. Heyford at 412-648-7417 or