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Art Talk Live: Race and Gender in Heaven and Hell

A court with wardens torturing sinners presided over by a king at a desk.
One of the Ten Kings of Hell, China, Ming dynasty, 15th–16th century. Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Claudia Brown and Emily Rabiner in memory of Donald N. Rabiner and in honor of Robert D. Mowry, 2002.57.

Gallery Talk


This talk centers on One of the Ten Kings of Hell, a hanging scroll from Ming dynasty China (1368–1644) that will be on view in July. The discussion considers the unique vision of the afterlife presented in East Asian Buddhist art and sheds light on how gender and otherness have shaped these images of hell.

Led by:
Seung Hee Oh, graduate student intern, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art

This talk is part of a series inspired by ReFrame, a museum-wide initiative to reimagine the function, role, and future of the university art museum. These talks examine difficult histories, foreground untold stories, and experiment with new approaches to the collections of the Harvard Art Museums, reflecting the concerns of our world today.

This talk will take place online via Zoom. The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form.

Please read these instructions on how to join a meeting on Zoom. For general questions about Art Talks, email

Art Talks Live are presented via Zoom every other Tuesday at 12:30pm (ET) and offer an up-close look at works from our collections with our team of curators, conservators, fellows, and graduate students.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48 hours in advance.

The Harvard Art Museums are open to the public. Reservations are available but not required and can be made up to three weeks in advance. Please see the museum visit page for more information.