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Exhibition and Conference to Honor Esteemed Teacher, Scholar, and Collector (March 2, 2007)
Honoring a Tradition, Honoring a Teacher: A Tribute to James Cahill on view in the galleries through May 27, 2007
Returning to the Shore: A Scholarly Symposium in Honor of James Cahill's 81st Year, April 27 – 28, 2007
Berkeley, CA, March 2, 2007 — The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) will honor Professor Emeritus James Cahill, one of the twentieth century's most knowledgeable connoisseurs of Chinese painting, with an exhibition and two-day symposium focusing on his lasting contribution to the study of Asian art. The exhibition Honoring a Tradition, Honoring a Teacher: A Tribute to James Cahill, on view through May 27, 2007, features a selection of work from BAM/PFA's collection of Chinese painting, widely regarded as one of the finest in the U.S. The symposium Returning to the Shore: A Scholarly Symposium in Honor of James Cahill's 81st Year will take place at the museum on Friday, April 27 and continue at Wheeler Hall, 315 Maude Fife Room, on Saturday, April 28, 2007.
James Cahill is Professor Emeritus in the History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught from 1965 until his retirement in 1995. He began collecting Chinese paintings in the 1950s, while completing his dissertation on painting of the Yuan Dynasty (1260 – 1368). During this time Cahill also earned the studio name Ching Yuan Chai — roughly translated as "Studio of One Who is Looking Intently at the Yuan Dynasty." For more than four decades Cahill's writings and work, including seminal exhibitions he organized for BAM/PFA, have attracted the attention of a wide range of Asian art enthusiasts, from Western scholars to dedicated collectors around the world.
While at UC Berkeley, Cahill encouraged BAM/PFA and its supporters to acquire works for the museum that he felt would add significant depth to its collection of Chinese paintings. In 2000, BAM/PFA received a major grant from an anonymous Bay Area foundation for the acquisition of fifty paintings from the Ching Yuan Chai Collection that were considered especially important for research, teaching, and exhibition. The acquisition of these paintings helped position BAM/PFA as a definitive resource for historical Chinese painting on the West Coast. In 2002, many of these works were featured in the special exhibition Masterworks of Chinese Painting: In Pursuit of Mists and Clouds, which was presented at BAM/PFA before touring nationally.
Honoring a Tradition, Honoring a Teacher: A Tribute to James Cahill features many of the paintings Professor Cahill identified as important additions to the BAM/PFA collection. An example is the large hanging scroll Scholar Instructing Girl Pupils in the Arts by Chen Hongshou (1598 – 1652), privately purchased for the museum from an important collection of paintings sold by the Asian Art Museum Foundation in the 1960s. Other works by the same artist hang nearby in the exhibition, demonstrating the collection's excellent examples from this late Ming painter's repertoire.
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Returning to the Shore: A Scholarly Symposium in Honor of James Cahill's 81st Year will feature papers presented by fourteen scholars from as far afield as Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia, all of whom studied under Professor Cahill. The symposium will begin in the Museum Theater at 5:30 p.m. on Friday night with a keynote presentation by Cahill, who will also provide closing remarks at the end of the second day's presentations on campus in Wheeler Hall. The conference is open to the public, with the cost of museum admission. For more information about the symposium, please visit the museum website at bampfa.berkeley.edu.
The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) aims to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through contemporary and historical art and film, engaging audiences from the campus, Bay Area community, and beyond. BAM/PFA is one of the largest university art museums in the United States in both size and attendance, presenting fifteen art exhibitions and five hundred film programs each year. The museum's collection of more than 15,000 works includes exceptional examples of mid-twentieth-century painting, including important works by Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollock, Eva Hesse, and Mark Rothko, as well as historical and contemporary Asian art, early American painting, Conceptual and contemporary international art, and California and Bay Area art. The PFA film and video collection now includes the largest group of Japanese films outside of Japan, as well as impressive holdings of Soviet silents, West Coast avant-garde cinema, seminal video art, rare animation, Central Asian productions, Eastern European cinema, and international classics.
Returning to the Shore: A Scholarly Symposium in Honor of James Cahill's 81st Year is sponsored by BAM/PFA, the Center for Chinese Studies, the Institute for East Asian Studies, and the Department of History of Art at UC Berkeley, with additional support from the Williams College East Asian Studies Program and the Ohio State University Institute for Chinese Studies and East Asian Studies Center.
The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Additional support is provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the Bernard Osher Foundation, Packard Humanities Institute, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Columbia Foundation, the Christensen Fund, the William H. Donner Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Gap Inc., other private foundations and corporations, and our individual donors and members. Major endowment support has been provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and by George Gund III.
Gap Inc. is proud to support First Impressions: Free First Thursdays at BAM/PFA. For more information about Free First Thursday gallery tours and screenings visit our website at bampfa.berkeley.edu.
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Located at 2626 Bancroft Way, just below College Avenue near the UC Berkeley campus.
Gallery and Museum Store Hours:
Wednesday and Friday to Sunday, 11 to 5; Thursday 11 to 7. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
General admission is $8; admission for seniors, disabled persons, non-UC Berkeley students, and young adults (13 – 17) is $5; admission for BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty, and children under 12 is free; admission for group tours is $3 per person (to arrange a group tour, call  642-5188). Admission is free on the first Thursday of each month.
24-hour recorded message (510) 642-0808; FAX (510) 642-4889;
PFA recorded message (510) 642-1124; TDD: (510) 642-8734