February 24, 2014
The loss of one guru creates a vacuum that will need to be filled or that loss creates a black hole. The importance of such guru’s is their distinct contribution to a sustainable discourse effecting behaviors, systems and innovations. Inside the nexuses or an vibrant ecosystem lies art buttressing the infrastructure with voice, creativity and solutions on issues of ole’ with new perspective. The loss of the guru “James Cahill, Influential Authority on Chinese Art, Dies at 87” in important to acknowledge.
It news worthy to enjoin in the remembrance of James Cahill, one of the “foremost authorities on Chinese art, whose interpretations of Chinese painting for the West influenced generations of scholars, died on Friday at his home in Berkeley, California of prostate cancer said Sarah Cahill. He was 87. Professor Cahill, who taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965 until his retirement in 1994, was among a group of eminent art historians who, from the late 1950s to the 1970s, researched and cataloged Chinese painting. At the time, Western interest in Chinese art was far less than it is today, said Patricia Berger, professor of Chinese art at Berkeley and one of his former students,” reported the New York Times.
“Professor Cahill set off an explosive debate about authenticity in 1999 when he said a painting that had become an important part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Chinese collection was a fake. The work, a scroll titled “Riverbank,” was said to be by Dong Yuan, a 10th-century painter. Professor Cahill said it was probably the work of Zhang Daqian, a 20th-century Chinese artist, collector and master forger whose own work sells for millions of dollars.”
In many cases guru’s have mentee, apprentice or protege. Despite this brain trust that a guru creates there is a loss of wisdom and knowledge in death that succession planning even within intelligence is required. The loss of one guru creates a gap for challenge, loss and opportunity as well. The work of Cahill will live on in his writings and contributions.