Conferences and Symposia
Visual Arts & Empathy Think Tank
October 27 & 28, 2017
The first phase of the Center for Empathy and Visual Arts initiative kicked off in October, when Mia invited experts from fields as diverse as the social sciences, empathy research, virtual reality, and neuroscience fields, as well as museum curators and directors, artists, and educators, to discuss empathy and the art museum at the University of California, Berkeley—a partner in this research project. The ideas generated by the think tank will be developed and tested with the aim of fostering greater awareness and understanding, wonder, and/or global awareness among visitors.
Paul Gabriel, Educational Therapist; Elif M. Gokcigdem, Ph.D.,founder of Empathy-Building through Museums Initiative, a historian of Islamic art, a museums scholar, and the editor of Fostering Empathy through Museums; Marco Iacoboni, MD Ph. D, Lab Director and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Lab at the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, UCLA ; Dacher Keltner, Ph. D., Professor of Psychology at University of California, Berkeley; Sara Konrath, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Danielle Krettek, Principal and Founder of Google’s Empathy Lab; Sara Konrath, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Danielle Krettek, Principal and Founder of Google’s Empathy Lab; Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Ph.D., Lecturer on History and Literature, Public Policy, and Education, and Director of Culture Change & Social Justice Initiatives and the Emerging Human Rights Leaders Program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy; Dana Mekler, Global Manager for the Empathy Initiative at Ashoka; Elise Ogle, PH. D., Project manager, researcher, and 3D modeler in the Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) at Stanford University; Dario Robleto, American transdisciplinary artist, storyteller, and “citizen-scientist”; Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., Science director of the Greater Good Science Center, U.C Berkeley, co-instructor “Science of Happiness” online course, and runs Expanding Gratitude project; Natalie Wright,Charles Hummel Curatorial Fellow at the Chipstone Foundation; Kaywin Feldman, the Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Karleen Gardner, Director of Learning & Innovation at Mia, Alexander Bortolot, Content Strategist, Mia.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Chipstone Foundation
Buddha Round Table, Parts I and II
January 14, 2017 and February 4, 2017
The purpose of this round table was to support a planning grant for the development of “Buddha: The Splendor of Emptiness,” and an accompanying catalogue. The exhibition will feature approximately 100 art works from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, and Tibet, demonstrating the central role of art in Buddhist worship and rituals. Through the display and interpretation of works of art from cultures across Asia, the exhibition and programs will elucidate five Buddhist concepts that underlie many modern practices of mindfulness and compassion such as karma and samsara; prajna or transcendent wisdom; enlightenment and nirvana; the bodhisattva ideal and the Buddhist cosmos; and sunyata or emptiness.
Part I: Sherry Fowler, Roderick Whitfield, Anne Morse, Samuel Morse, Youngsook Pak
Part II: Karil Kucera, Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan, Janice Leoshko, Andy Rotman, Gen Sakamoto
National Endowment for the Arts and Ho Foundation
Native American Women’s Art Exhibition Think Tank
October 12 & 13, 2015
This think tank was a two-day discussion of exhibit themes and objects was transcribed, filmed and used to plan exhibition. It was not open to the public.
Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Teri Greeves, Christina Burke, with advisors Nora Noranjo Morse, DY Begay, Anita Fields, Lisa Telford, Katie Bunn-Marcuse, Wendy Red Star, Dyani White Hawk, Gracie Horne, Heid E. Erdrich, Cherish Parrish, Jolene Rickard, Carla Hemlock, America Meredith, Ruth Phillips, Janet Berlo, Susan Billy, Heather Ahtone, Adriana Greci Greene, Kelly Church Nadia Jackinsky joined on the second day by Exhibition Community Engagement Board April Smith, Brenda Child, Coral Moore, Doakota Hoska, Darlene St. Clair, Deanna Standing Cloud, Gwen Westerman, Jewell Aracon, Mona Smith, Patricia Welch, Ruth Voights and Mia Native Advisory Board members Everett Bad Wound, Jim Denomie, Joe Bendickson, Maryam Marne Zafar, Ronald Libertus, Roy Taylor and Travis Zimmerman.
This project has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence.
Mobility, Change & Exchange in African Art
November 9, 2013
This one-day symposium celebrated the opening of the re-installation of Mia’s African art galleries, a three-year project led by Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, head of the Arts of Africa and the Americas Department and curator of African Art. The newly designed galleries contribute to the appreciation and understanding of African art by highlighting the long and ongoing history of innovative artistic exchanges within the continent and among Africans and societies from other parts of the globe.
Paul Basu, MSc, PhD, Reader in Material Culture and Museum Studies at University College London’s Institute of Archaeology on “The ‘In-Betweenness’ of Things: Materializing Movement and Cultural Interaction in the Sierra Leonean Object Diaspora”; Cécile Fromont, PhD, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago on “The Art of Conversion in the Early Modern Kingdom of Kongo”; Donald J. Cosentino, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Culture and Performance at UCLA on “The Arts of Post-Millennial Haiti”; Chapurukha Kusimba, PhD, curator of African anthropology at the Field Museum and professor of anthropology at University of Illinois in Chicago on “Trade in African Antiquities: What Is Happening on the East African Scene These Days?”; Peter Mark, PhD, professor of African art history at Wesleyan University on “Intercontinental Trading Networks between Europe and West Africa (1500-1625)”; Isolde Brielmaier, PhD, chief curator of exhibitions at Savannah College of Art and Design on “The Dance of Art, The Art of Dance: Presentation, Engagement, Reception, and Contemporary Works by Kehinde Wiley, Wangechi Mutu, and Yinka Shonibare.”
Generous support for the reinstallation of the African galleries provided by: The Wallace Foundation Excellence Award, the W. Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation, Bob Ulrich and Diane Sillik, and Dr. Mary Ruth Weisel. National Endowment for the Humanities.
Beyond The First Emperor’s Mausoleum: New Perspectives on Qin Art
October 27 & 28, 2012
In this public symposium, twelve leading scholars of early Chinese art and culture from China, Europe, and the United States shared their perspectives on recent archaeological discoveries related to Qin dynasty culture and history. The symposium surveyed and explored emerging perspectives on Qin culture and history in light of recent archaeological discoveries. The First Emperor’s Terracotta Army is one of the most famous archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Topics considered include the sudden emergence of realism among the figures, and the contributions of Qin cultural creativity and political/social innovations to the history of China.
The agenda also included archaeological discoveries from present-day Gansu and Shaanxi provinces; recent excavations of bronze, gold, and jade objects that significantly enhance our knowledge of Qin contributions; insights into the early Qin law code and the nature of early Chinese legal thinking; and numerous discoveries associated with the First Emperor’s burial, which shed new light on our understanding of early China. Papers published in Beyond The First Emperor’s Mausoleum: New Perspectives on Qin Art (2012: Minneapolis Institute of Art).
Yang Lui, “Qin Bronze, Influence from the Central Plains and the South”; Anthony Barbieri-Low, “The Qin Biannian ji and the beginnings of historical writing in China”; Alain Thote, “Artistic naturalism and bureaucratic theory”; Jay Xu, Martin Powers, “Qin cosmography and the first cosmic capital Xianyang”; David Pankenier, “Afterlife entertainment? The cauldron and bare-torso figures at the First Emperor’s tomb”; Edward Shaughnessy, “Cinnabar and mercury industry of Qin and early China”; Jenny So, “Archaeological finds of the Majiayuan Cemetery and Qin’s interaction with Steppe cultures”’ Eugene Wang, “The Lone Bronze Tripod From the First Emperor’s Tomb: What was it doing there with bare-torso terracotta figures?”; Roderick Whitfield, Kuang-Yu Chen, “Cinnabar and Mercury Industry of Qin and Ealy China”; Wang Hui, “The Archaeological Discovery at Majiayuan and its Cultural Connections to Qin and the Northern Steppe”; Xiaolong Wu (translator)
Generous Support provided by Ruth & Bruce Dayton