Siamese/Thai illuminated manuscripts are some of the most beautiful and complex examples of Southeast Asian Art and Monastic Art more broadly. Largely composed on mulberry paper, these manuscripts cover a vast range of artistic and literary styles and, perhaps surprising considering they were sacred texts composed at monasteries, they can be quite secular, ornamental, and even bawdy. This talk will provide a general introduction to the Thai illuminated manuscript tradition.
Free, no booking required.
Prof. Justin McDaniel, Department of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Bio: Prof. McDaniel’s research foci include Lao, Thai, Pali and Sanskrit literature, art and architecture, and manuscript studies. His first book, Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words, won the Harry Benda Prize. His second book, The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magic Monk, won the Kahin Prize. He has received grants from the NEH, Mellon, Rockefeller, Fulbright, PACRIM, Luce, the SSRC, among others. He is the co-editor of the journals: Buddhism Compass, Journal of Lao Studies, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies. He has won teaching and advising awards at Harvard U, Ohio U, the University of California, and the Ludwig Prize for Teaching at Penn. In 2012 he was named a Guggenheim Fellow and in 2014 a fellow of Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies. His forthcoming work includes edited books on Thai Manuscripts, Buddhist Biographies, and Buddhist ritual. He also has a new book on modern Buddhist architecture.
The exhibition is supported by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation