The Clark Presents a Free Lecture on ‘Song Shaozu’s Sarcophagus: Coffin and Tomb Making in 5th–8th Century China’

For Immediate Release

August 06, 2012

[Digital images available upon request]

Williamstown, MA—On Sunday, August 19, at 3 pm, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents a lecture titled “Song Shaozu’s Sarcophagus: Coffin and Tomb Making in 5th–8th Century China” by Nancy Steinhardt, professor of East Asian art and curator of Chinese art at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.

In ancient China, a successful journey to the afterlife required anticipating the needs of the deceased and correctly preparing a tomb. In this free public lecture, Steinhardt will “unearth” the mysteries of Song Shaozu’s sarcophagus—the highlight of the summer exhibition Unearthed: Recent Archaeological Discoveries from Northern China.

The monumental fifth_century stone sarcophagus, in the form of a traditional Chinese house, measures 8 ft. x 12 ft., weighs nearly 10 tons, and consists of 101 individual pieces of stone. Its installation at the Clark marks the first time it has been fully assembled since it was excavated from the tomb of Song Shaozu (d. 477 CE) and his wife in Shanxi province, China, where it was unearthed in 2000.

Steinhardt earned a PhD in fine arts at Harvard, where she was a junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1978 to 1981; she received her A.B. summa cum laude from Washington University. While much of her research has focused on East Asian architecture and urban planning, her broader research interests include problems that result from the interaction between Chinese art and that of peoples at China’s borders. In addition to numerous scholarly articles and book reviews, Steinhardt is author of Chinese Traditional Architecture (1984), Chinese Imperial City Planning (1990), and Liao Architecture (1997); editor and adaptor of A History of Chinese Architecture (2002); and co-editor of Hawaii Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture (2005).

About The Clark

Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open daily in July and August (open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June), 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31; free November through May; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.

Calendar Listing

August 19, 3 pm: The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents a lecture titled “Song Shaozu’s Sarcophagus: Coffin and Tomb Making in 5th–8th Century China” by Nancy Steinhardt, professor of East Asian art and curator of Chinese art at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. In ancient China, a successful journey to the afterlife required anticipating the needs of the deceased and correctly preparing a tomb. Steinhardt will “unearth” the mysteries of Song Shaozu’s sarcophagus—the highlight of the summer exhibition Unearthed: Recent Archaeological Discoveries from Northern China. The Clark, 225 South Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 413 458 2303, clarkart.edu.

PRESS CONTACTS:
Sally Morse Majewski
The Clark
413 458 0588
smajewski@clarkart.edu

-30-

Return to the previous page