The Spring 2013 MFAH Writers Workshops, led by celebrated author and poet Van G. Garrett and an MFAH Educator, take a cross-cultural and cross-temporal look at works in the museum's galleries of Asian, African,and indigenous American Art. Special emphasis will be given to The Glassell Collections of African, Indonesian & Pre-Columbian Gold.
March 23 Speak to Me: The World of Spirits
Whether in creation myths or contemporary worship, life or after-life, spirits are said to act for and against human interests. Looking at objects that embody spirits, and works of art which serve both ceremonial and decorative purposes, what stories might they tell?
April 20 - Larger than Life: Royal Legends
Most human civilizations have — or have had — royalty and aristocracy. While crowns and gold aplenty are familiar symbols, a wide range of other signifiers also convey status. Like the Holy Grail, what legends might grow up around these signifiers?
May 18 - From Past to Present: The Party-Line of Knowledge
The earliest writing systems were developed during the late 4th millennium BC. Since then, writing has supplanting the oral tradition in many cultures. This workshop will examine the famed 6th century BC Babylonian Cyrus Cylinder (on loan to the MFAH from the British Museum), Maya inscriptions and other works in the museum’s collection that incorporate writing. What do they tell us about the past? What messages do they convey to us in the 21st century and to the future?