USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Pasadena, California 91101
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USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Wooden Wonders:
Tibetan Furniture in
Secular and Religious Life

November 13, 2004

Because of the strong interest in the topic, the museum is partnering with Occidental College to present a day-long symposium at Pasadena Conference Center on November 13, 2004. The symposium will be an interdisciplinary exploration of Tibetan furniture as a new subject for art history, religious studies, anthropology, Tibetan studies, and related fields.

The nine speakers and four discussants represent a variety of backgrounds and institutions, and include scholars from area universities, practitioners, and collectors, along with Pacific Asia Museum staff. Admission is free to museum members. There is a fee of $10 to non-members of the museum.

As a follow-up to the symposium, an on-line version will be posted to the museum’s website. This virtual seminar will feature selected symposium papers, links to Asian studies and related websites, a virtual tour of the exhibition, and an on-line discussion area through which students and others can ask questions and make comments about the exhibition and symposium. Their home colleges and universities are encouraged to hold their own on-line events, from which summaries of the discussions are forwarded by faculty to the museum for comments.

The agenda for the November 13 symposium is as follows:

Morning Session

8:159:00, Coffee and Check In

Introduction and Welcome Remarks
David Kamansky, Senior Curator and Director Emeritus, Pacific Asia Museum

Moderator - David Kamansky, Senior Curator and Director Emeritus, Pacific Asia Museum


  1. Luca Corona, Independent Scholar, Kathmandu and Milan, Discerning Fakes from Authentic Tibetan Furniture
  2. Dale Gluckman, Curator of Costume and Textile, LACMA. Some Comments on the Use of Textile Designs in Decorations on Tibetan Furniture
  3. Dr. Robert Brown, Professor of Art History, UCLA and Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, LACMA, Some Observations on Connection between Early Buddhism Art in India and Later Designs on Tibetan Furniture
  4. Dr. Rob Linrothe, Associate Curator of Himalayan Art, Rubin Museum of Art, and Associate Professor, Skidmore College, Depictions of Furniture in Som Tibetan Arhat Paintings
  5. Geshe Lobzang Tsetan, Monk from Ladakh, Part-time Lecturer at Smith College, Use of Tibetan Furniture in Some Buddhist Rituals


  1. Dr. Louise Yuhas, Professor and Chair, Department of Art History and Visual Arts,Occidental College
  2. Dr. Robert Brown, Professor, Department of Art History, University of California at Los Angeles and Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, LACMA

Lunch Break


Afternoon Session


Moderator – Dr. Stephen Markel, Curator and Department Head of South and Southeast Asian Art, LACMA


  1. Tony Anninos, Independent Scholar, The Table as an Important Object in Tibetan Furniture Tradition
  2. Dr. Ruth Hayward, Independent Scholar, A Collector’s Experience
  3. Dr. Pam Logan, President of Kham Aid and Independent Scholar, Furniture in Modern Tibetan Homes: Kham Examples
  4. Dr. David Germano, Associate Professor, University of Virginia, The THDL Project and Tibetan Furniture Making Since 1959
  5. FeiFei Li, Independent Scholar, Furniture in Modern Tibetan Homes: Semi-Nomadic Examples


  1. Dr. John Listopad, The Patrick J. Maveety Curator of Asian Art, The Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford University, where he is Lecturer in Himalayan Arts
  2. Dr. Sonja Quintanilla, Curator of Asian Art, San Diego Museum of Art

Closing Remarks

5:30–6:00 David Kamansky

Click here for exhibit information.