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Capturing Architecture: Drawings and Replicas in Tibet and China

Diana Lange + Bianca Bosker

Friday, December 2, 2016
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

Two distinct voices. Two exciting journeys. Join us for an evening of iconic sites and visual landscapes in conjunction with the exhibition Monumental Lhasa.

Diana Lange on the Wise Collection

In 1857 a Tibetan monk traveled from Lhasa to the Western Himalayas, where he was engaged by a British official to produce a set of drawings featuring architecture, rituals, travel routes, and people. Known as the British Library’s Wise Collection, these images represent the most comprehensive set of visual depictions of mid-nineteenth-century Tibet and the Western Himalayan kingdoms ever. The collection reveals the hidden exploration of Tibet during a period when it was inaccessible to Western visitors. Diana Lange will discuss this collection of picture maps and its fascinating history.


Courtesy of Bianca Bosker
Courtesy of Bianca Bosker

Original Copies

An Eiffel Tower rises in Hangzhou. A Chengdu development for 200,000 people recreates Dorchester, England. Gleaming replicas of the White House dot Chinese cities from Fuyang to Shenzhen. Bianca Bosker’s book Original Copies presents the first definitive chronicle of a phenomenon she coined as “duplitecture:” the construction in China of monumental themed communities that replicate iconic buildings—and even entire towns—from Europe and the Americas. These architectural copies are not just theme parks, but thriving, inhabited communities. Bosker explores themes of authenticity, the intriguing origins of this copy culture, and questions what makes an icon an icon.

A signing of Original Copies and Orientations magazine will take place after the lecture. Copies are available for purchase in the Museum shop.

About the Speakers

Diana Lange holds a PhD in Central Asian studies. She is a research associate at Humboldt University in Berlin. Her research is focused on Tibet and its neighboring regions with a specialization in material and visual culture as well as cultural interactions.

Bianca Boskeris an award-winning journalist who has written about food, wine, architecture, and technology for The New Yorker online, The Atlantic, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Food & Wine, and The New Republic. She is the author of Original Copies, the first definitive account of China’s “duplitecture” movement and a critically acclaimed exploration of China’s copy culture that was praised as “fascinating” by the New York Review of Books. She is most recently the author of Cork Dork, a book about wine, obsession, and the science of taste forthcoming from Penguin Books in 2017.

Image Credits

© The British Library Board, Add. Or. 3017, Folio 4 (detail)

​Tickets: $18.00

Member Tickets: $16.20

Student Tickets: $10.00

For select programs the Museum offers $10 student-rate tickets. These tickets are available in advance of the event and can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the front desk. Tickets must be redeemed in person with the presentation of a student ID. Limited to one ticket per student ID.