ARTH 413
The Shosoin Imperial Treasury Spring 2025
Division I
Cross-listed ASIA 415

Class Details

Constructed in the eighth century to house artifacts associated with Emperor Shomu (reigned 724-749) and Empress Komyo (701-760), the Shosoin Imperial Treasury in Nara, Japan, preserves some of the finest examples of art objects produced across different cultural regions along the Silk Road, spanning Central Asia to Japan, from the sixth through the eighth century. Focusing on a selection of artworks, including painting, calligraphy, textiles, lacquerware, ceramics, glass, and metalwork, among others, this seminar examines issues of cross-cultural transmission of objects, artistic techniques, and cultural knowledge in the global medieval world, while also exploring the manners in which these artifacts visually and materially shaped kingship in eighth-century Japan and East Asia. Special attention is also paid to how recent relevant discoveries in archaeology and conservation science could contribute to art historical discourses.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 10
Class#: 3386
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Attendance and active participation in discussions (30%), two presentations on a topic of choice (20% total), final paper proposal with annotated bibliography (10%), and final research paper with presentation (40% total, 30% paper and 10% presentation).
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Art history majors are prioritized if the course over-enrolls.
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH 413 Division I ASIA 415 Division I
Attributes: ARTH pre-1800

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