Global Impact/ Asian Aesthetics/ American Art/ Material Culture

How do design ideas, patterns, and aesthetics travel across the globe, even when objects themselves do not?

Asian Aesthetics Poster
Click to enlarge poster

This project’s question grew out of a string of provocative inquiries that emerged following exhibitions and recent projects that our alumni and faculty members of the University of Delaware have worked on over the past 10 years (Collecting China [UD-Winterthur, DE], Asia in Amsterdam [PEM, MA], Made for the Americas [MFA Boston, MA], among others). While existing scholarship has recognized the global circulation of objects, artistic forms in the American field sometimes have less to do with the mobility of actual objects from Asia than with translations of Asian aesthetic influences that create new forms in new regions. This project therefore explores ideas about transcultural circulation beyond the concept of objects as commodities, by urging researchers to collaboratively study ideas and influences, across time and space, which have inspired, integrated, and re-generated new aesthetics in and beyond America.

“Asia” and “America” are taken in this project as pointers to encourage a mapping of global and multi-directional flow of aesthetics and aesthetic translation, not merely an exchange between Asia and North America. Our long-term goal is to generate a multi-level investigation that comprehensively encompasses Asia, Europe, the Americas and other related world regions into the study of American art and material culture.

For details about the symposium, graduate student workshop and presentation, and living repository site for research data, please read the announcement.

All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. Lodging is also available at a discounted price for registered participants.

We thank the following organizations for their support

The University of Delaware
The Terra Foundation for American Art
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
The Office of Graduate and Professional Education at the University of Delaware
The Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware
The Department of Art Conservation at the University of Delaware
The Islamic Studies Program at the University of Delaware
The Asian Studies Program at the University of Delaware
The Unidel Foundation Inc.
The National Endowment for the Humanities

We also thank the following museums and institutions for supporting their representatives and curators to participate in this project

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Barnard College, New York
Carleton University, Ottawa
The Freer|Sackler, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, Florence
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC
The Palace Museum, Beijing
The Peabody Essex Museum, Salem
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London
The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
The University of Warwick, Coventry
The Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo
Tsinghua University, Beijing
Yale University, New Haven



A living repository, open to both public and academic audiences.

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