Lecture: The Art of the Heart Sutra

Eyal Aviv, assistant professor, GW Department of Religion

Made in Japan in the early twentieth century, the Buddhist pilgrim’s jacket on view in the museum’s lower-level galleries reinforces the physical and spiritual evolution on a pilgrim’s journey. Made of undyed hemp—a material associated with purity and asceticism in Japan—this jacket features the text of the Heart Sutra written in Chinese characters on the lower back. One of the best known and most popular Buddhist scriptures, the Heart Sutra summarizes many of the Buddha’s main teachings.

Join GW Assistant Professor Eyal Aviv for a talk on the importance of the Heart Sutra to Buddhists across East Asia and the Perfection of Wisdom genre to which it belongs. This context will help illuminate the artistic expressions of the sutra and the significance of wearing and writing sutras in Buddhism.

This program is part of the museum's weekly Textiles at Twelve series, which explores textile arts and global cultures through films, lectures, gallery talks, and more. Free, no reservations required.