Wesleyan to present ‘Understanding Buddhism through the Arts’

The Middletown Press, Oct 1, 2009

MIDDLETOWN, CT (USA) -- Wesleyan University’s Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies will present a lecture entitled, “Understanding Buddhism through the Arts” with professor Ann Norton.

The lecture will take place at the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Seminar Room, 343 Washington Terrace in Middletown, on Thursday, Oct. 8, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

This illustrated presentation will trace the development of Buddhist philosophy from its Indian origins to the present day. While the basic teachings of Buddhism appear to become more complex over time, careful observation of the art can bring a clearer understanding of the continuing concepts and message. Artworks that span nearly two thousand years have been selected as a bridge to the current Mansfield Freeman Center exhibition, “Enlightening Images: Buddhist Art Work.”

Professor Norton received her Ph.D. from New York University, Institute of Fine Arts in South Asian Art with her dissertation entitled, The Jaina Samavasarana. As Professor of Humanities in art history she has been at Providence College since 1989. She has served as Chair of the Art History Department and is currently Director of the Asian Studies Department.

Norton is the author of: “Afghanistan Revisited;” “Mystical Arts of Tibet,” an exhibition brochure for the William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, in 2002 as well as, “Women, Art, and the Buddhist Spirit,” in Women’s Buddhism, Buddhism’s Women, edited by E. Findly for Wisdom Publications in 2000.

Norton has curated the following exhibitions at Providence College in the Reilly Gallery: “Honoring the Native American: Portraits by Jack Wolfe;” “Tibet: The Sand Mandala and Related Arts in the Fall of 2008;” and the current exhibition on “Afghanistan: Tradition and Renewal.”

This event is free and open to the public.