Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Upcoming Event

Saturday University: Lost at Sea

Mar 12 2022

Seattle Asian Art Museum

Emma Baillargeon Stimson Auditorium

10 AM – 11:30 AM

Get Tickets

We plan on delivering Saturday University lectures in-person and online this winter! Come back to the auditorium at the Seattle Asian Art Museum or tune in from the comfort of your home via Zoom. There will be a nominal charge ($5) for both in-person and virtual tickets and ticket purchase is required for access to this lecture.

A fierce three-headed serpent and a mysterious female deity were among the nearly two dozen 12th-century stone reliefs from Central Vietnam that lay unseen at the bottom of the Arabian Sea for nearly 120 years. Almost 5,000 miles away in the South China Sea, blue-and-white ceramic bowls, plates, and jars rested in the hold of a sunken ship off the coast of Vietnam for more than five centuries. Preserved like time capsules under the sea, these shipwrecks contained artworks that were excavated in the 1990s by marine archaeologists, sold at auction, purchased by individual collectors, and then donated to the Asian Art Museum.

By tracing the pathways of these objects, from Vietnam to the ocean floor to San Francisco, Dr. Natasha Reichle, Associate Curator of Southeast Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, asks questions about how artworks enter museum collections. What does the provenance of an object reveal? What can art salvaged from the sea tell us about trade and the colonial enterprise? Who is entitled to centuries-old artworks recovered from shipwrecks? Should they even be excavated, or should vessels and their contents be left in situ for future generations?

Registration for this lecture is a two-step process. After you purchase a ticket, you will receive a confirmation email, which will include the Zoom registration link. Please click the link and fill out the Zoom registration form. Once you have completed this step, Zoom will send a link and a reminder to join the webinar. If you have any trouble with the registration process, please email us at In the event that we are unable to offer this program in person due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, we will transition to an online only format.



Saturday University: Building Global Markets For Asian Art


Saturday University: Connoisseurly Obsessions and Social Collecting

Saturday University lectures are organized by the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas in collaboration with the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.
Architectural element with three-headed mythical serpent, approx. 1150-1250, Vietnam; Binh Dinh province, former kingdoms of Champa Stone, Asian Art Museum, Gift of Richard Beleson in honor of Hanni Forester, 2012.103

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

Learn more about Equity at SAM