Opium pipe, China, Qing dynasty to Republican period, inscribed with cyclical date corresponding to 1868 or 1928. Water buffalo horn, metal, and ceramic. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, 1943.55.6. Photo: © President and Fellows of Harvard College; Courtesy of the Harvard Art Museums
Unintended Consequences: An overview of Objects of Addiction: Opium, Empire and the Chinese Art Trade at the Harvard Art Museums
Wednesday, December 13 at 5pm EST
In collaboration with the Harvard Art Museums, join us next Wednesday afternoon for a captivating talk with guest speaker Dr. Sarah Laursen as she delves into her exhibition, Objects of Addiction: Opium, Empire and the Chinese Art Trade, on view there from September 15, 2023 to January 14, 2024.
This intriguing exhibition explores the entwined histories of the opium trade and the Chinese art market between the late 18th and early 20th centuries. Dr. Laursen will provide a historical context to the complex opium and Chinese art trades, presenting a comprehensive timeline of events in China, Europe, and the United States. Opium and Chinese art, acquired through both legal and illicit means, had profound effects on the global economy, cultural landscape, and education—and in the case of opium, on public health and immigration—that still reverberate today.
Dr. Sarah Laursen, the Alan J. Dworsky Curator of Chinese Art at the Harvard Art Museums and oversees the Chinese art collection as well as parts of the Korean and Central, South, and Southeast Asian collections
Lark Mason, Jr., founder of iGavel Auctions, Emeritus President of the Appraisers Association of America and former Chairman, Asia Week New York
To join us for this free event, sign up here.
Dr. Sarah Laursen serves as the Alan J. Dworsky Curator of Chinese Art at the Harvard Art Museums, overseeing the Chinese art collection and portions of the Korean and Central, South, and Southeast Asian collections. Specializing in early medieval China, her research interests include Chinese archaeology, digital humanities, technical art history, collecting history, and contemporary Asian and Asian American art. Dr. Laursen co-curated “Earthly Delights: 6,000 Years of Asian Ceramics” (summer 2022), curated “Objects of Addiction: Opium, Empire, and the Chinese Art Trade” (fall 2023), and collaborated with students to develop the virtual exhibition “Reframing Tianlongshan.”
Lark Mason, Jr. the owner, and CEO of iGavelAuctions, served as a General Appraiser from 1979 until 1985, and as a Senior Vice President and specialist in Chinese art with Sotheby’s Chinese Works of Art Department from 1985-2003. From 2000-2003 he concurrently was a Director of Online Auctions for Sothebys.com. He also served as a consulting curator at the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas from 2003-2009. A generalist in American and European works of art and paintings, as well as an expert in the field of Chinese art, Mason has valued and advised many private collectors and institutions.
Lark Mason Associates has a history of record sales of Chinese and other works of art and holds the record for the highest price achieved for any work of art in an online sale–a Chinese handscroll–that realized close to $4.2m. He is noted for his regular appearances on “The Antiques Road Show.”