Lu Ling-en, Nov.8

Friday, November 8, 4-6 pm, CWAC 156
This workshop will pre-circulate papers. Please Download here

Female Deities in Later Imperial and Modern China:
with Marici as an example

Lu Ling-en
Associate Curator, Chinese Art
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

This paper explores female deities and of women’s roles in the visual culture of later imperial and modern China. It reviews for the first time the later Chinese paintings, prints, drawings and decorative arts in the museum’s collection related to female deities and women. Many of these collections are rare in Western museum collections and therefore they are less studied. Research on female deities is especially important in the understanding of popular culture and religions, as the worship of them often involved both genders throughout a wide range of society. For example, Marici, an esoteric deity who is derived from pre-Buddhist religions and Buddhism, is also worshipped by the devotees of Daoism and of popular religion. Images of the deity not only provide remarkable insight into the female deities, but also echo the development of romanticizing women in art, opera and fiction. The goals of this paper are to provide my original research on these topics and generate new interest in studying such works held in museum collections.


Marici compressed


Friday, November 8, 4-6 p.m.  CWAC 156
Persons with disability who may need assistance, please contact



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