The Pre/Early Modern Forum: Julie Bellemare, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Friday, April 8, 2022 - 4:00pm

The Pre/Early Modern Forum is delighted to announce the upcoming talk by Dr. Julie Bellemare from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The event will take place on Zoom ( on Friday April 8, 4pm EST.

Dr. Bellemare’s talk is titled Making The Sogdians: Process, Product, and the Exploration of Cultural Heritage through the Digital Medium,” an abstract of which is included below: 

Julie Bellemare will discuss the process of developing a digital exhibition on the Sogdians for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Asian Art (formerly Freer|Sackler). The Sogdians were a people that developed a flowering civilization at the heart of Central Asia between the 3rd and 8th centuries CE. Inherently mobile and flexible, the Sogdians helped establish the trade routes that would come to be known as the Silk Roads, in the process influencing culture and trade from as far west as Nancy in France to as far east as Nara in Japan. Integrating a range of maps, high-quality imagery, 3D visualizations, drone footage, video interviews with leading scholars, and in-depth essays, the exhibition aims to provide an engaging first encounter for those who are not familiar with the Sogdians, as well as a more expansive resource for scholars. The speaker will provide an inside look at how and why different curatorial and design choices were made to best suit telling the Sogdian story. Starting with the early stages of the project, she will discuss intellectual choices, prototyping for the digital design, and the project workflow. The presentation will finish with a tour of the final online exhibition.

Julie Bellemare is the Jane and Morgan Whitney postdoctoral fellow in Asian art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a recipient of the Luce/ACLS Early Career Fellowship in China Studies. She completed her doctoral degree at Bard Graduate Center in New York in 2021, with a dissertation examining the drive toward polychromy in early eighteenth-century Qing material culture. From 2017 to 2019, she collaborated on The Sogdians: Influencers on the Silk Roads, a digital exhibition hosted by the National Museum of Asian Art (