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Upcoming Event

Saturday University: Buddhist Burial Covers in Late Imperial China

Apr 13 2024

Seattle Asian Art Museum

Emma Baillargeon Stimson Auditorium

10 AM – 11:30 AM

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This talk will focus on the elaborate Buddhist burial shrouds excavated from the graves of high-ranking men and women from the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1911). The shrouds display complex imagery associated with Tibetan Buddhism, which rose to popularity after the Mongol-ruled Yuan dynasty (1279–1368). In addition to analyzing the magnificent burial shrouds as works of art in their own right, this talk will consider the function of these shrouds and what they reveal about conceptions of the afterlife in Late Imperial China.

Aurelia Campbell is an Associate Professor of Asian Art History at Boston College. Her first book, What the Emperor Built: Architecture and Empire in the Early Ming (University of Washington Press, 2020), examines the building projects of the famous Yongle emperor to consider how imperial ideology takes shape in built space. Her second book, In Death as in Life: A Material History of Ming Dynasty Tombs (in progress), investigates the tombs of the Ming dynasty elite from the perspectives of both architecture and material culture. She has engaged in several projects that help to advance the field of Chinese architectural history. This includes the compilation of three annotated “state of the field” bibliographies for Oxford Bibliographies and involvement in a longstanding international collaboration to create an English dictionary of traditional Chinese architectural terminology.

Admission to the galleries is provided with the purchase of a Saturday University ticket. General admission tickets are $15, $8 for members, and $10 for students with ID.

Image of shroud detail: Wang Shancai , ed. Zhang Mao fufu hezang mu (The tomb of Zhang Mao husband and wife). Beijing: Kexue chubanshe, 2007.


Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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