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Colby-Sawyer College Hosts Art Historian and LACMA Chief Curator Robert T. Singer in Lecture on Animals and Nature in Japanese Art

NEW LONDON, N.H., Sept. 17, 2010 – Colby-Sawyer College will host renowned art historian Robert T. Singer, chief curator of the Japanese Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), for a discussion of Animals and Nature in Japanese art.

As part of the college's 2010-2011 Artist and Scholar Lecture Series, Singer will explore depictions of animals, birds, fish and bugs in 2,000 years of Japanese painting, sculpture, ceramics and lacquer, which he describes as “among the very finest — the most alive and often humorous — of any culture in world history.” Singer leads LACMA's Department of Japanese Art and oversees 12 rotating exhibitions in the pavilion each year in the painting, woodblock print and netsuke galleries.

The lecture and slide show will take place on Friday Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. in Sawyer Fine Arts Center's Gordon Hall. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Since joining LACMA in 1988, Singer has been instrumental in acquiring significant works of Japanese art for the museum, including a large Haniwa Horse, a 6th-century A.D. terra cotta sculpture of a kind that adorned the tombs of the wealthy and powerful in 4th through 7th century Japan. The sculpture, unveiled last June, is expected to become a signature piece of the museum's Japanese collection.

Singer lectures extensively in both Japanese and English and has published numerous articles and co-authored books in both languages. He has written on such subjects as Japanese painting, calligraphy, textiles, ceramics, gardens, cloisonné, architecture, tea ceremony objects, netsuke and photography. Prior to joining the museum in 1988, he spent 14 years in Japan as a research fellow at Kyoto University.

His current exhibition at LACMA features the Max Palevsky Collection of Japanese Woodblock Prints. In 1998, Singer organized and curated the exhibition at National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., titled “Edo: Art in Japan 1615-1868,” the first comprehensive collection of art from the Edo period to be exhibited in the United States. The show featured nearly 300 works of art, 47 of which were official National Treasures of Japan. Singer previously curated the exhibitions “Hirado Porcelain of Japan from the Kurtzman Collection” and “Van Gogh and the Japanese Print,” which featured 25 Japanese woodblock prints that belonged to Van Gogh and influenced his painting.

The next event in Colby-Sawyer's Artist and Scholar Lecture Series is a gallery talk by Assistant Professor of the History of Art and Architecture Brian Clancy, who will present “You Found What in the Basement? Rediscovering Colby-Sawyer's Print Collection” on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m. and again on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at noon. Both sessions will be held in the Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery and are free and open to the public.

College and area community members are invited to attend this series of lectures by artists and scholars, which is intended to inspire people and raise awareness of the arts at Colby-Sawyer and the college's proposed new fine and performing arts center.

Colby-Sawyer College hosts a wide variety of educational and cultural events that are open to the public. For more information about the Artist and Scholar Series and other upcoming events, please visit

-Kimberly Swick Slover

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000