Annual Ford Lecture: The Poem Pottery of Ōtagaki Rengetsu (1791-1875)

April 21, 2024, 2–3:30 p.m.
Teapot for Steeped Tea, mid 19th century. Acquired by William T. Walters, 1878, acc. no. 49.891

Location: Walters Graham Auditorium
Registration is required.

Audiences are invited to listen to a lecture by scholar Melissa McCormick that examines the waka poetry inscribed on the handmade ceramics of the Japanese Buddhist nun-artist Ōtagaki Rengetsu. McCormick will explore the relationship between the material ground of a poem and its meter and meaning while considering the cadences of kinetic reading, of turning a poem in the hand. McCormick will also situate Rengetsu’s vessels, often made for use in tea gatherings, in their own time and place and against the backdrop of the politically volatile 19th century. Following the presentation, please join us for a Q&A and reception in our Museum Cafe.

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ASL interpretation will be provided at this program.

This lecture is generously sponsored by John and Berthe Ford.


About the Guest Speaker:

Melissa McCormick is a leading expert of East Asian art and literature and the author of Tosa Mitsunobu and the Small Scroll in Medieval Japan (2009), The Tale of Genji: A Visual Companion (2018), and numerous articles in both English and Japanese that expand the scope and methods of examining and interpreting literary artifacts. She has lectured around the world, including guest professorships at universities in Brazil, Japan, and Switzerland. In 2019 she co-curated the international loan exhibition The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


April 21, 2024


2–3:30 p.m.




Talks & Lectures

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