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DateLecture
24 October 2018Gold in Japanese Art: Sacred & Profane
28 November 2018Santa Claus – the art that turns him from St Nicholas into Father Christmas
23 January 2019Drawn from Life: The extraordinary art and life of Augustus John
27 February 2019Mind the Gap: Graphic and Poster Design on the London Underground
27 March 2019Art in Garden Design: The influence of the Arts on the Making of Gardens
24 April 2019The Art of Heraldry and the City Guilds
22 May 2019Robert Dudley: The Patronage and Collection of Elizabeth I’s Favourite
26 June 2019Inspired by Stonehenge
24 July 2019Nomadic Textiles of Central Asia
25 September 2019Salvador Dali: 20th Century Renaissance Artist
23 October 2019The English Landscape Tradition from Thomas Gainsborough to Richard Long
27 November 2019The Brilliance of Bauhaus

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Gold in Japanese Art: Sacred & Profane Dr Meri Arichi Wednesday 24 October 2018

Gold was used generously to adorn Buddhist icons in Japan from the 6th century when Buddhism was introduced from China via Korea, and for centuries was considered the most appropriate precious material for decorating Buddhist halls and statues. The perception of gold as a sacred material underwent a radical change in the 16th century when newly powerful warrior rulers began decorating their castles with magnificent screens and wall paintings with gold-leaf.  This lecture examines the significance of gold in Japanese Art as the symbol both of the sacred and of wealth and power. 

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Dr. Meri Arichi studied Art History in London and Florence, and worked at Christie’s in Kings Street, London from 1989 to 1993. She returned to university to study Asian Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 1993, and completed a post-graduate diploma in Asian Art (1994), MA  in History of East Asian Art,(1996) and PhD (2003) for her thesis on Shinto-Buddhist syncretic Art. She has been teaching History of Japanese Art in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS as a Teaching Fellow since 2007. She has also run courses at Birkbeck College, the V&A, British Museum, and the Courtauld Institute of Art Summer School. She has led tours to Japan and lectured on cruises.