Spectrum of Speakers: Conversations around Color Across Asia

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Join us for a series of thematic talks — one for each featured color in the exhibition Color Across Asia — by guest experts including historians, art dealers, collectors, and curators.

LOCATION: Ackland Art Museum. Space is extremely limited and tickets are required.

“Spectrum of Speakers” tickets may be purchased in person at the Ackland Museum Store, now within the Museum, or by phone at 919.962.0216.

Individual Tickets:
UNC One Card Holders: FREE
General Public: $20
Ackland Members: $18

Sunday, 21 January 2018, 3:30 PM
Jacqueline M. Atkins (Author and Asian Art Collector) on the color BEIGE
“Kimono, Quilts, and the Color of Tea”

Many of the traditional Japanese palettes of brilliant color such as blue, red, and purple have been greatly admired in the West, but taupe—a different but no less traditional palette that draws from the many shades of browns, grays, and greens that represent the colors of tea—has long been quietly appreciated in Japan. Although many non-Japanese have criticized taupe as monochromatic, this subtle and seemingly unpretentious palette, influenced by both sumptuary laws and the culture of tea over the centuries, has played an important aesthetic role, not least in its impact on the traditional textiles of Japan—such as kimono—as well as on newcomers (quilts) from the West, which quickly found an exciting home in the Japanese taupe palette.

Dr. Jacqueline M. Atkins, a textile historian and curator, has written and lectured extensively on Japanese early modern textiles and kimono, Japonisme, American and Japanese quilt history, and American folk art. Her publications include As We Are Now, So Shall You One Day Be: Skeleton Motifs in Japanese Kimono; a chapter in The Brittle Decade: Visualizing Japan in the 1930s, and Wearing Propaganda: Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain, and the United States, 1931–1945. She has curated collections of wartime and other kimono for several international collectors and is presently working on a book on early modern Japanese novelty textiles. She is also guest curator for Kimono! The Silken Artistry of Itchiku Kubota, an exhibition that opens in February at the Textile Museum of Toronto and in June at the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute in Utica, NY. Dr. Atkins was Chief Curator for the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania until she retired in 2011. She holds a Ph.D. from the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, and MA and BS degrees from Columbia University. She was also a recipient of a Fulbright Research Award to Japan, which led to her interest in Japan’s early modern and wartime textiles.

Sunday, 29 April 2018, 3:30 PM
Alan Kennedy (Owner, Alan Kennedy Asian Art) on the color PURPLE
“Purple in Textiles: Animal, Vegetable and Mineral”

The “Spectrum of Speakers” is made possible by the Carolina Asia Center and the Henry Luce Foundation. 


Color Across Asia is part of a groundbreaking re-installation of the Ackland Art Museum’s Asian galleries, presenting the Museum’s acclaimed collection of art from across the continent. Press Release

All images are details of objects from the collection of the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
Hill Jar, Chinese, n.d.; glazed earthenware with molded decoration. Ackland Fund, 88.28ab.
Pitcher with Handle, Persian, possibly Nishapur, 12th century or earlier; earthenware with turquoise glaze. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter P. Williams, 60.29.16.
Fujikasa Satoko, Japanese, born 1980: Flow, 2013; white slip with sand glazing. Promised Gift of Carol & Jeffrey Horvitz, L2014.1.2.
‘Yingqing’ Stem Cup and Cup Stand, Chinese, Southern Song Dynasty, A.D. 1127-1279; glazed porcelain. Gift of Smith Freeman, 2009.26.2.
Saucer Dish with Lotus Pattern in Rose, Chinese, c. 1760; porcelain. Gift of Richard D. Pardue, 2014.39.8.
Tankard, Chinese, Kangxi reign, c. 1720; porcelain, iron red (rouge-de-fer) and gold decoration. Gift of Richard D. Pardue in honor of Amanda M. Hughes, 2014.39.3.
Tea Bowl with Tortoiseshell Glaze, Chinese, 12th or 13th century; glazed stoneware, Jizhou ware. Gift of F. Eunice and Herbert F. Shatzman, 2003.28.27.
Myochin Munefusa, Japanese, 18th century: Mask (E-mi somen); russet iron with traces of black lacquer. Gift of the Tyche Foundation, 2010.25.