François Louis will speak in the Work in Progress series on Tuesday, October 27, 2015. His talk is entitled “Design by the Book: Illustrating the Ritual Classics.”

François Louis is Associate Professor at Bard Graduate Center. His talk is a presentation on the Fall-2017 Focus Gallery project. The focus of this exhibition is a long overlooked medieval Chinese book: the oldest extant illustrated study of classical Chinese artifacts. Completed in 961 by Nie Chongyi (fl. 948–964) and surviving in a printed edition from 1175, the book is entitled Newly Determined Illustrations to the Ritual Classics. It functioned much like a dictionary. Its 371 entries discuss objects mentioned in the Confucian Classics, from musical instruments, maps, archery equipment, and court insignia, to sacrificial jades, ceremonial dress, and all manner of mourning and funerary paraphernalia. The project plans to bring to light the significance and reception of this little understood book. Although increasingly contested, it served for centuries as a guide both to the material culture of the Classics and to the design of Confucian ritual paraphernalia in post-classical, imperial China.

Coffee and tea will be served; attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch.

RSVP is required.