Aug. 21-Dec. 8, 2012

Programs and Events

Tuesday, November 13, 6:30 p.m.

Horizons of Oral Tradition in Inner Asia: 

Analyzing History, Myth, and Folklore

Dr. Daniel Prior, Assistant Professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, Miami University

Nomadic herders of the Eurasian steppes used oral traditions together with material arts to convey their unique cultural heritage and values.  Dr. Prior will use examples from the Eurasian steppes and beyond to draw cross-cultural connections between narratives and images over vast stretches of time and space.  He will highlight the persistent challenges and mysteries in the search for common borders between history, folklore and mythology.

Wednesday, November 28, 6 p.m.

Iron Age Textiles of Ancient Siberia

Lois Hale, Hale! ART, Portland, Oregon

Lois Hale will discuss her recreations of ancient textiles used by Iron Age peoples who inhabited the Altai Mountain region in Siberia (6th-3rd centuries BCE). To maintain the historical integrity of the material culture, Hale researches existing objects in museum collections and strives to use materials authentic to the region in which the original artifacts were produced.

November 30-December 1

The Steppes: Crucible of Asia

Symposium organized by Dr. Daniel Prior, Assistant Professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, Miami University

Complete symposium schedule here

Past events

Monday, August 20

VIP Exhibition Preview

Invitation only event for Miami University Art Museum Members, Press, and other VIPs

Friday, August 24, 3:30-7:30 p.m.

Lawn Party

A Free Fun event on the Lawn celebrating back to school, welcoming back students, and celebrating the opening of the Grass Routes exhibition.

Free, Food, Fun, Music, Lawn Games, Henna Tattoos, Contests, and Giveaways.

Free t-shirts to the first 50 students.

Tuesday, August 21, 6 p.m.

Ancient Bronzes of the Eurasian Grasslands

Dr. Trudy Kawami, Director of Research for the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation

Curator Trudy Kawami will present an illustrated lecture on ancient Eurasian bronzes on display in the current exhibition on loan from the Sackler Foundation.  She will examine how the animal world became a source of symbols to indicate tribe, social rank and connection to the spirit world among the equestrian cultures of the Asian grasslands of Mongolia and Central Asia.

Tuesday, September 11, 6 p.m.

The Ecology of the Eurasian Grasslands: 

A Case Study of the Mongolian Steppes 

Dr. Richard Munson, Lecturer in Botany and Manager of The Conservatory, Miami University Hamilton

During a visit to the Central Steppes and the Gobi Desert in 2007, Dr. Richard Munson was struck by the stark beauty of the landscape. The Mongolian Steppes were degraded significantly during the Soviet era by forced collectivization, but efforts are now underway to restore the Steppes to support the nomadic lifestyle of sheep, goat, yak and camel herders.

Tuesday, September 18, 6 p.m.

Contemporary Geography of the Eurasian Grasslands 

Dr. Stanley W. Toops, Associate Professor of Geography, Miami University

The recent co-author of the book, The Routledge Atlas of Central Eurasian Affairs, Dr. Toops will discuss the geography of the Eurasian grasslands during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Tuesday, September 25, 6:30 p.m.

Riding Through a Kirghiz Epic Poem

Dr. Daniel Prior, Assistant Professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, Miami University

In 1994, Dr. Daniel Prior and a Kirghiz assistant traveled 1,100 kilometers on horseback to trace the itinerary of the hero of an epic poem, Bok Murun.  The six-week expedition, which passed through the Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan and the steppes of southern Kazakhstan, revealed that the oral epic contained a wealth of precise information about the geography and practicalities of the Kirghiz herders’ migrations.  In his slide presentation Dr. Prior will talk about the traditions and adaptations of the herders he met and about his personal journey of becoming a scholar of Inner Asian oral traditions.

Tuesday, October 9,6 p.m.

Victor and Vanquished: 

Animal Encounters in Ancient Eurasian Art

Dr. Robert Wicks, Director, Miami University Art Museum

This illustrated lecture explores the widespread theme of animal combat in personal adornment and small-scale portable sculpture.  Chiefly in the form of bronze or gold belt ornaments, this art tradition often features tigers, bears, wolves and raptors engaged in battling other animals and humans.  The geographical distribution of this tradition will be examined, with an emphasis on archaeological discoveries from the nomadic world of the Eurasian steppes, migration-period Europe and the frontiers of early dynastic China.

Tuesday, October 23, 6 p.m.

A Demonstration of Bronze-casting Methods

Rod Northcutt, Assistant Professor, Department of Art, School of the Creative Arts, Miami University