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Sunday, April 23, 2017

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Symposium, exhibition honor Wen Fong, April 1-2

"Bridges to Heaven," an international symposium on East Asian art in honor of Professor Wen Fong's 45 years of teaching at Princeton, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2, in McCosh 50.

The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day and will feature 15 paper presentations by several of Fong's students and colleagues. A related festschrift including 40 papers will be published following the event.

A scholar of Chinese art history, Fong was born in Shanghai and received a classical Chinese education, including training as a painter and calligrapher. In 1948 he came to Princeton, where he earned his A.B. in 1951, joined the faculty as instructor after receiving his M.F.A. in 1954 and earned his Ph.D. in 1958. The conference takes its name from his landmark dissertation and the resultant publication "The Lohans and a Bridge to Heaven."

Fong also served as faculty curator of Asian art at the University Art Museum and as special consultant for Asian affairs and head of the Asian art department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He was named the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Art History in 1971 and transferred to emeritus status in 1999.

A related exhibition at the University Art Museum, "Worldly Guardians of the Buddhist Law," features a Chinese handscroll painting acquired in honor of Fong. The scroll, "Baimiao Lohans," was painted by Ming-dynasty artist Ding Yunpeng in 1580 and is on view at the museum through July 9. A lohan is an enlightened being entrusted by Buddha to guard the law.

The symposium is sponsored by the Tang Center for East Asian Art, the University Art Museum and the Department of Art and Archaeology. More information is available online.

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