Asian art scholar presents free lecture Thursday on Beijing’s Lama Temple

Asian art scholar Kevin Greenwood will present a free, illustrated lecture, “Politics, Religion and Imperial Self-conception at Beijing’s Lama Temple,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art’s Roger Hull Lecture Hall.

In his lecture, Greenwood will introduce audiences to the complex and multilayered interplay of art, religion and politics at Yonghegong Monastery, the largest Buddhist temple in Beijing.

Popularly known to foreign visitors as the “Lama Temple,” and featured on Beijing itineraries for tourists or Buddhist pilgrims, Yonghegong is famous for its spectacular ceremony, architecture and art, including a 60-foot high sandalwood sculpture of the Buddha of the Future.

Although considered primarily a Buddhist temple and monastic college, Greenwood will demonstrate that the monastery has been equally important for its rich political significance, from an imperial prince’s residence to a symbol of multicultural harmony in contemporary China.

Greenwood teaches Asian art history at Willamette University and is a doctoral student in Chinese art history at the University of Kansas. He will soon complete his dissertation on the Yonghegong Monastery complex.

Greenwood’s talk is sponsored by the Center for Asian Studies, the Center for Religion, Law, and Democracy, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and the Hogue-Sponenburgh Lecture Fund of the Department of Art History at Willamette University.

The museum is located at 700 State St. in downtown Salem near the Willamette University campus. It's open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Monday, and admission is free on Tuesday.

For more information, please call (503) 370-6855.