Past Events

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May 5, 2021
12:00pm to 1:00pm

David A. Scott
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
UCLA Department of Art History

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Chinese Art presents especially challenging problems in terms of authenticity of monuments, sites, and artefacts of all kinds. Professor Emeritus David A. Scott will examine the conceptual framework of authenticity, a metonymy, where the vagaries of the word can be replaced with intangible authenticity, material authenticity and historic authenticity. Authenticity can also be regarded as contested, debated and performative, particularly in terms of its social and political signification. At the same time, it is important to remember that authentication is a necessary attribute of material authenticity. Scott examines how different conceptions of authenticity can be applied to a discussion of hanging scrolls on paper and silk, bronze artefacts, and monuments and sites. The works of the most famous Chinese artist, copyist and forger, Zhang Daquian, will be briefly discussed. The nature and extent of copies in Chinese art and how they are perceived or valorized is an important issue and one of philosophical interest. Philosophical debates concerning how instances of copies are regarded, and how the intention of the original artist impinges on the reception and appreciation of copies will be discussed.

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Contact Michelle Jacobson
Email mjacobson@ioa.ucla.edu
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April 28, 2021
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Severin FowlesComanche Spoiler image
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the American Studies Department
Barnard College, Columbia University

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The European invasion of the Americas unleashed a period of heightened global exchange as technologies, religions, political structures, foodways, languages, diseases, mineral resources, labor and more began to circulate with unprecedented velocity and scale. For the colonized, many of these cultural movements happened forcibly, at the tip of a spear, but there were also moments of Indigenous appropriation and creative reinvention of European traditions. This was particularly true with respect to image production and modes of graphic representation, as Indigenous communities sought out new visual cultures to assist them in understanding and intervening in colonial worlds. In this presentation, I consider what might be called the mestizo aesthetics that arose within colonial New Mexico following the arrival of Spanish settlers in 1598. Theoretically, my focus is on the power of images as technologies of action and intercession, no less than of representation. Historically, I pay special attention to image production among the Indigenous communities referred to by the Spanish as “barbarians”groups like the Apache and Comanche who were themselves the fast-moving, intercultural choreographers of social life at the edge of empire.

Severin Fowles is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the American Studies Department at Barnard College, Columbia University. For the past 25 years he has directed excavations and surveys in northern New Mexico, examining the history of Archaic hunter-gatherers through to the hippies of the 1960s. He is the author ofAn Archaeology of Doings: Secularism and the Study of Pueblo Religion(SAR) and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Southwest Archaeology(Oxford University Press). His current research has been designed in collaboration with Picuris Pueblo and is focused on the tribe's ancestral landscapes and farming practices.

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Contact Michelle Jacobson
Email mjacobson@ioa.ucla.edu
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April 23, 2021
11:00am to 12:00pm

Glenn Wharton, Andrea Geyer
Friday April 23rd, 11:00am - 12:00pm (PT)

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UCLA/Getty Conservation Program Chair Glenn Wharton will interview artist Andrea Geyer about the conservation and display of 9 Scripts for a Nation at War, a work that was acquired by MoMA when Wharton served as the museum’s Media Conservator. Geyer is a German born multi-disciplinary artist who lives in New York City. Her work focuses on themes of gender, class, and national identity. 9 Scriptsis a ten-channel, co-authored video installation that includes interviews about the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and touches on themes of identity in times of conflict.

 

Andrea Geyer is a multi-disciplinary artist un-sensing the construction and politics of time. Her works use performance and video to activate the lingering potential of specific events, places, or biographies as lived in woman identified bodies. She materializes the entanglement of presence and absence of such bodies due to ideologically motivated omissions in archives and memories. Exhibitions include: Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York; IMMA in Dublin; TATE Modern in London; Generali Foundation, Secession in Vienna; Witte De White in Rotterdam; Sao Paulo Biennal and documenta12/ Kassel. She is represented by Hales Gallery in London/New York, Galerie Thomas Zander in Cologne. She lives and works in New York. www.andreageyer.info



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Contact Jennifer McGough
Email jenmcgough@g.ucla.edu
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April 21, 2021
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Ayesha Fuentes
Stride Lecturer in Arts Conservation
Northumbria University

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Ayesha Fuentes will discuss Tibetan and Himalayan religious use of ritual objects made with human skulls and femurs. Fuentes incorporates conservation methods, documentation, and interpretation of the material knowledge and techniques used to select, prepare, activate, maintain and exchange these objects. This project combines the technical examination of objects in museum collections with interviews and observations made across the Himalayan region and investigations of historical sources and cultural narratives. Her research highlights the longevity, function and value of these ritual instruments within diverse communities.

Ayesha FuentesAyesha Fuentes, Stride Lecturer in Arts Conservation at Northumbria University, is an objects conservator and technical art historian specializing in Asian material heritage. She is a graduate of the UCLA/Getty MA program in Conservation of Ethnographic Materials (2014) and a former employee at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. She recently submitted her doctoral dissertation on the use of human remains in Tibetan ritual objects at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where she was a Neil Kreitman and Overseas Research Scholar.

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Contact Michelle Jacobson
Email mjacobson@ioa.ucla.edu
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April 9, 2021
11:00am to 12:00pm

Jo Anne Van Tilburg
Director, Easter Island Statue Project
Rock Art Archive, UCLA Cotsen Institute

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An international, multidisciplinary team directed by Jo Anne Van Tilburg conducted a major archeological survey of monolithic sculpture on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Beginning in 2002, the team mapped the inner basin of Rano Raraku, the island's famed statue quarry. This was followed in 2010 by excavations of four statues in the inner basin. This presentation summarizes highlights of the excavations and their resulting insights into the past. It examines the role of sanctity as expressed in ritualized stone and describes the interactive forces key to the actualization of community expressed as megalithic public art.

Dr. Jo Anne Van Tilburg is an archaeologist and the Director of the Easter Island Statue Project, an archaeological inventory and database project that has produced a stylistic analysis of nearly 900 monolithic statues (moai).  Her research interest addresses the integration of symbolism and structure and the complex ways in which humans employ cultural resources, social practices, and ancient aesthetics to relate to and alter, shape, and impact the natural landscape. Social processes and the interactive roles of art, history, and ecology are explored in on-going field and museum studies.  Her most recent field project is the digital mapping of the interior of Rano Raraku Statue Quarry, Easter Island. Van Tilburg is an appointed member of the National Landmarks Committee, US National Park Service Advisory Board; a Research Associate of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, where she directs the UCLA Rock Art Archive; recipient of the 2001 California Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. 

 

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Email mjacobson@ioa.ucla.edu
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April 7, 2021
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Ashley Sharpe
Staff scientist and archaeologist
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama

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In recent years, multi-isotope analyses have become an increasingly popular method for examining the lives of past humans. Isotope studies can examine questions regarding the diets, health, and movements of people in the past. In combination with osteological, genetic, and archaeological data, we can begin to reconstruct the histories of both individuals and entire communities. This study presents results of an ongoing multi-isotope investigation of pre-Colombian humans in Panama, and compares these results with other isotope studies elsewhere in the Americas. The results illustrate the complex nature of human activities, and the value of incorporating multiple lines of social and ecological evidence to draw interpretations. New and developing methods in isotope research are also explored.

Panama isotopes

Ashley Sharpe is a staff scientist and archaeologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, where she has worked since 2017. Her research examines human and environmental (particularly animal) interactions in the past, including how humans adapted to different environments over time, and what effects they had on the landscape. She has worked as an archaeologist and faunal analyst on projects throughout Central America, including Ceibal, San Bartolo-Xultun, and Kaminaljuyu in Guatemala, Aguada Fénix in Mexico, Selin Farm in Honduras, and most recently projects in Panama. She obtained a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Florida in 2016.

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March 12, 2021
11:00am to 12:00pm

Stephen Koob
Chief Conservator Emeritus of The Corning Museum of Glass
Friday March 12th, 11:00am - 12:00pm (PT)

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Archaeological glass encompasses glass that has been buried, either in the ground or in fresh or salt water. In some cases glass was intentionally buried as grave gifts and can be found in archaeological cemeteries or tombs. Most glasses in museum and private collections do not have provenances and their place of manufacture or origin is unknown, or only known by comparison with actual excavated sources. Archaeological glasses can be preserved in many various states. In some cases the glass has not changed at all, or very little since manufacture, in other cases the glass may be heavily deteriorated and extremely fragile. Archaeologists, excavation personnel, volunteers and conservators who will be responsible for handling glass should be familiar with the proper procedures, materials and techniques that are used in the lifting, handling, packing, transportation and storage of glass vessels and fragments. Severely deteriorated or “weathered” layers on archaeological glasses are extremely sensitive to touch, and should be handled as little as possible.In general, excavated archaeological glasses should be kept dry if found dry; wet, if found wet (underwater retrieval); or damp, if found damp; until careful examination is possible and time is available for treatment.Safe retrieval is a priority.Treatment can involve simple cleaning, or not; consolidation of fragile or lifting surfaces, and possible reassembly using the adhesive Paraloid B-72. The eventual disposition of an object, or group of objects, should be considered before any intervention is carried outwhether the object is to be housed in storage, studied, published, or placed on display. Assembled objects also often require a significantly larger storage space (shelving or cabinets) than individual fragments, which can be bagged or placed in drawers. Restoration beyond this is rarely done in the field, but may be done in a museum.


Stephen Koob is Chief Conservator Emeritus of The Corning Museum of Glass, having recently retired from the Museum. 

Koob holds an MA in Classical Archaeology from Indiana University, and a B.Sc. in Archaeological Conservation and Materials Science from the Institute of Archaeology, University of London. Before joining the Corning Museum staff in 1998, Koob worked for 11 years as conservator, specializing in ceramics and glass, at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. 

A member of numerous professional organizations, including the Archaeological Institute of America, Koob is also a Fellow of the International Institute of Conservation and the American Institute for Conservation. He recently replaced Dr. Robert Brill as Chairman of Technical Committee 17, which studies the Archaeometry and Conservation of Glass, as part of the International Commission on Glass. He is the author of the book, Conservation and Care of Glass Objects (2006). He is an expert in dealing with “crizzling,” a condition that affects unstable glass. 

In 2014 Koob received the Sheldon and Caroline Keck Award from the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). The award is given to an individual who has “a sustained record of excellence in the education and training of conservation professionals.” For decades he has devoted time to training conservation interns at The Corning Museum of Glass, and he has taught conservation courses around the world. [https://blog.cmog.org/2014/07/30/conservator-stephen-koob-wins-award-for-dedication-to-training-and-mentoring/]. He has worked, taught and supervised on numerous archaeological sites, including the Agora in Athens, Gordion, Turkey, and Samothrace, Greece. 

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Contact Jennifer McGough
Email jenmcgough@g.ucla.edu
Phone
March 3, 2021
12:00pm

Dr. Alison Carter
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of
Oregon
Wednesday March 3rd, 12:00pm

The Angkor civilization was the major regional power in Southeast Asia from the 9-15th centuries CE. However, despite more than a century of archaeological research within Angkor’s capital, little is known about the lives of non-elites. This presentation discusses recent research on Angkor’s population at two scales. First, I present recent work by the Greater Angkor Project that has focused on understanding Angkor’s residential occupation through the investigation of habitation mounds within Angkor’s temple enclosures. Then, I present new collaborative research on the diachronic demographic growth of Greater Angkor, including updated population estimates, which highlight Angkor’s place as one of the world’s largest preindustrial settlements.

Register for this Cotsen Virtual Pizza Talk here! You will receive instructions on viewing the talk after registering. 

Location Online
Contact Sumiji Takahashi
Email sutakahashi@ioa.ucla.edu
Phone
February 26, 2021
11:00am to 12:30pm

Katherine Ridgway, Dr. Dell Upton, Burt Pinnock
Friday February 26th, 11:00am - 12:30pm (PT)

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Conservation and Confederate Monuments preserve and protect what and how

The question of how Americans should address public monuments to the Confederacy, problematic symbols of white supremacy, received significant re-examination in the summer of 2020, sparking fresh discourse on how these monuments contribute to our understanding of history, cultural values, and identity and what actions can and should be taken in response.

This panel will explore how professionals in the fields of architecture, conservation, and history are currently addressing these topics and their visions for the fate of these works.

Katherine Ridgway 

Katherine Ridgway has been the State Archaeological Conservator for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) for eight years. In this position, she has recently provided advice on the conservation and preservation considerations involved when communities and agencies in the Commonwealth are working with Confederate and other contested monuments. She helped to write the DHR Guidance Regarding Confederate Monuments document and participated in the AIC Contested Monument Working Group.

Katherine is a William and Mary graduate and received her Master’s degree from Durham University in Northern England in the Conservation of Historic Objects. She has over 20 years of conservation experience, including working as an Assistant Conservator at the Field Museum in Chicago and as the Fine and Decorative Arts Conservator for George Washington’s Mount Vernon. She is also a Fellow in the AIC and the President of the Virginia Conservation Association.



Dr. Dell Upton

Architectural historian Dell Upton is Distinguished Research Professor in the Art History Department at UCLA where he taught for twelve years before retiring in 2020. He previously taught at Berkeley and the University of Virginia. Upton is the author of What Can and Can’t Be Said: Race, Uplift and Monument Building in the Contemporary South (Yale, 2015), as well as numerous articles about contemporary monument debates in the United States and Italy. Among his other books are American Architecture: A Thematic History (Oxford, 2019) and Another City: Urban Life and Urban Spaces in the New American Republic (Yale, 2008). During the current academic year, he is serving as Kress-Beinecke Professor at the Center for Advanced Studying the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Burt Pinnock, FAIA is a principal and chairman of the board at Baskervill, a 123-year-old design firm. For Burt, architecture and design isn’t a job; it’s his personal contribution to the wellbeing and vitality of our communities. Over his 30-year career Burt’s commitment and passion has created impactful work for neighborhoods, cultural institutions and forward-thinking companies, including the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, Civil Rights Memorial Plaza at the Virginia Capitol, Colbrook Affordable Housing masterplan and more. A founder and board member of the nonprofit Storefront for Community Design, Burt currently serves as Chairman of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Art and Architectural Review Board and is a board member of the Legal Aid Justice Center, amongst numerous other board and committee engagements. Burt is a graduate of Virginia Tech and calls Richmond, Virginia home.

Location Online
Contact Jennifer McGough
Email jenmcgough@g.ucla.edu
Phone
February 24, 2021
12:00pm

Dr. Giorgio Buccellati, Research Professor and Director, Mesopotamian Lab, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA
Dr. Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati, Visiting Professor, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA
Wednesday February 24th, 12:00pm (PT)

Urkesh was one of the first cities in history, dating back to the fourth millennium. It is, today, a large cultural hill, known as Tell Mozan, in northeastern Syria, an area ravaged by war.

The Mesopotamians  were already aware  of the history hidden in the tells which, even then, dotted the countryside. Here is a Sumerian text:

Where is Gilgameš, who, like (his ancestor) Ziusudra, sought  (eternal) life? Where are those great kings who came long before our own days? Above there are the houses where they dwelt, but it is below that there are the houses that last forever.

And here is a Babylonian text:

Go up any of the ancient tells and walk about see the skulls of people from ages past and from yesteryear: can you tell the difference?

Even the word for "tell" is still the same today as it was then. We may see here, four millennia ago, the beginning of community archaeology. It is the awareness of a life hidden in the ground where our roots sink deeply.

This will be both a personal tale and one about theory. Personal, because we want to share how we have  come gradually  to feel more and more the impact of what the question mark in the title of our talk implies. And yet theoretical, because we have always questioned this growing awareness of ours for conservation and heritage, trying to see why community archaeology  is in fact, as it must be, simply and purely "better" archaeology.

Register for this Cotsen Virtual Pizza Talk here! You will receive instructions on viewing the talk after registering. 

Location Online
Contact Sumiji Takahashi
Email sutakahashi@ioa.ucla.edu
Phone