CreditsHAA Professor: Dr. Michelle McCoy
HAA Graduate Fellow and Curatorial Mentor: Ellen Larson
Undergraduate Researchers: Annie Abernathy, Delia Franklin, Claudia Haines,
Morgan Powell, Courtney Springer
Drawn from the University Art Gallery’s (UAG) collection, works in this exhibition catalyze distinct but interconnected stories of mobility and exchange, and represent the ongoing research of students in Professor Michelle McCoy’s History of Art and Architecture (HAA) writing seminar. Eclectic in medium and historical context, these works chart multilayered processes of movement, transporting us between imagined antiquity and the lived present, through lyrical and sacred topographies, or into the transnational exchange of ideas, technologies, and goods.
Ink landscapes juxtapose classical values with the far-flung migrations of their attributed maker, forming a modern image of the global Chinese literatus. The sensuous pleasures of snuff bottles hold the intensive human labor by which global art collecting was enabled. Stele rubbings memorialize religious pilgrimage, mapping movement through sacred landscapes. Commemoration through the written Chinese word propels the exchange of objects as gifts in various forms.
The maps throughout the gallery detail multifaceted modes of mobility, highlighting networks that overlap, intersect, and parallel one another. These connections embody the agency of exchange, both concealing and revealing new relations that traverse and transition from Pittsburgh to China and beyond.