Sightings Articles

James Tissot | Prodigal Son | meritocracy | Bible | Smart Museum

The Pitfalls of Meritocracy: James J. Tissot's "Prodigal Son" Etchings at the Smart Museum

James J. Tissot (1836-1902), a French artist best known for his paintings of society and fashion, produced a series of images restaging the parable of the Prodigal Son in 1880s England.  I used his cycle of five etchings as part of a class I taugh...

May 28, 2015

Jie Shi | Smart Museum | Arhat | Rakan | Theravada Buddhism | Dharma | Southern Song dynasty | Kamakura period | Japan | China

Musing on the Dharma through a Flower: A Medieval Japanese Arhat from the Smart Museum

In a hanging scroll newly acquired by the University of Chicago's Smart Museum, a bald Arhat sits in the foreground under a tree, with a young monk and a little lay-girl at his right side. Behind them, a tree with stout trunks, sprawling leafs, and r...

March 26, 2015

Claire Jenson | Cluny Monastery | French Revolution | Smart Museum | Medieval Christianity | Benedictine Catholicism

Fragments of the Past: Imagining Medieval Cluny at the Smart Museum -- Claire Jenson

Three medieval architectural fragments in the permanent collection of the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art were once part of the massive twelfth-century monastery church of Cluny in Burgundy, France. After the building was destroyed dur...

February 26, 2015