A conference to mark the opening of the Rubin Museum of Art exhibition Embodying the Holy: Icons in Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism. While the exhibition explores the iconographic, conceptual, and customary similarities between the sacral representations in Tibetan Buddhism and Orthodox Christian traditions, the two-day conference will range more widely in seeking to understand the universal power of religious symbolism.
Friday, October 8
7:00 p.m./Welcome by Martin Brauen, RMA Chief Curator, Rubin Museum of Art
7:15 p.m./Keynote discussion: Are Icons relevant today?*
With independent Russian journalist Maxim Trudolyubov
Moderated by Kent dur Russell, Curator, Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton MA
Saturday, October 9
9:30 a.m./Session I – Indo-Himalayan Iconography
With discussant Ramon Prats, Curator, Rubin Museum of Art
Divine Appearances, Images, and Ritual: Some Reflections from Chinese and Indian Texts
On the history of images in Asia – in what was essentially an aniconic religious culture.
With Phyllis Granoff, Lex Hixon Professor of World Religions at Yale University, and Koichi Shinohara, Senior Lecturer of Religious Studies, Yale University
The Buddha’s Stupa and Image: The Icons Embodying his Immanency and Transcendency
On the iconic and doctrinal permutations, and the actual relationship between the Buddha's stupa and image.
With Tadeusz Skorupski, Director, Centre of Buddhist Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Locating the Portrait in the Icon: A 13th Century Thangka from the Rubin Collection Reconsidered
On how iconographical features in paintings and sculpture may sometimes have had their origins in portraiture, in the effort to depict subjects "as they were."
With Matthew Kapstein, Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, The University of Chicago Divinity School
1:00 p.m./Session II – Orthodox Iconography
With discussant Kent dur Russell, Curator, Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton MA
Envisioning the Ruler in Medieval Rus: The Iconography of Intercession and Architecture
On the semiotic sign-based connections of iconography and architectural context, commenting on inherent hierarchies high/low, left/right, simultaneous/sequential, and specific Muscovite references.
With Michael S. Flier, Oleksandr Potebnja Professor of Ukrainian Philology at Harvard University
The Eleousa Kykkiotissa: A Byzantine Icon in Ottoman Cyprus
On how an icon endlessly renegotiated its constitution as a visual object over time.
With Annemarie Weyl Carr, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
Icons and the Brain: Neuroscience and the Icon Experience
On the innate understanding the iconographer had of human cognitive responses.
With Gary Vikan, Director, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore MD
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