Gallery Associates Sunday Art Lecture Series 2023
As if Autumn Leaves: Age in Asian and Western Art. By Dr. Katherine Young (In-Person)
The 2023 Sunday Art Lecture Series features Dr. Katherine Young’s richly illustrated overview of youth and old age in South Asia, East Asia and the West. The series portrays age as perceived through different cultural values, symbols and archetypes.
Showcasing forms which are abstract and minimalist to those which are realistic, the lectures touch on the distinctive ways three cultures understand power, status, loss and suffering through visual images. They also examine religious, social, and political movements as well as technological advances that shape the various perceptions of age.
Numerous images illustrating the lectures are drawn from the AGGV’S extensive collection of Asian art. In Canada its collection ranks second only to that of the Royal Ontario Museum.
Please join us in the Gallery for this popular series presented by the Gallery Associates. Light refreshments will be served.
Only 75 seats available. Series subscribers will enjoy access to recordings of the lecture series for a limited time.
General $35 | Members and Students$30
Get the series of 3 lectures: $90 General Admission; $75 Gallery Members and Students (buy series tickets by Feb 26).
February 26, 2pm-4pm Exploration of Age in South Asian Art
Examining the paradox that the Buddha poignantly describes himself at 80 yet Buddhist art always images him as eternally young, this lecture explores how South Asian art features youth. In addition, Dr. Young addresses how new portraiture styles and photography reverse the erasure of old age in traditional visual arts.
March 5, 2-4pm Celebration of Elders in East Asian Art
This lecture explores ancestral portraits of family elders and statues of the old Confucius as the embodiment of educated wisdom at the heart of the government. Dr. Young also illustrates Daoism’s and Buddhism’s reverence for longevity and the elderly which is embodied in symbols of flora and fauna.
March 12, 2-4pm PDT Images of Age in Western Art
Beginning with Greco-Roman and Hellenistic images, followed by early Christian and pre-modern sculptures and portraits, Dr. Young illustrates the Western perception of Age. Included are contemporary political and pop culture images which underscore Canadian perspectives.
Images: (L-R): Ogata Kenzan “Autumn Ivy” Japan MET, Rembrandt’s “Mother as the Biblical Prophetess Hannah.” 1631: Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum; Headshot of Dr. Katherine Young.
Dr. Young, Professor Emeritus (McGill University), draws from her academic studies and a passion for art to deliver the three lectures. Her CV (a tome with the heft of a novella) outlines her broad background in the religions of Asia and comparative studies related to religion, gender and ethics. Somewhat surprising, her interest in artistic representation of age was sparked by a humanities research grant from the Canadian Institute for Health Research.
While examining the views of longevity, healthy old age, and religious values supporting health practices in South Asia and East Asia, she noted illustrations from the medical texts. That was a natural springboard into searching for and collecting art related to age during her extensive travels in India, China, Japan and the West over several decades. The questions and patterns which emerged from this research led to numerous publications, lectures given nationally and internationally, as well as a forthcoming book.