Adult Programs

Explore the Forbidden City: Nature All Around Us

Explore The Forbidden City Lecture Series

Nature All Around Us: How was nature present or represented in the Forbidden City? What is the symbolic meaning of plants and animals found in the architecture, on objects, and on clothing? Join a team of experts, from a Biologist to an expert in ancient Chinese paintings, as we piece together the historical flora and fauna of dynastic China. Experts include Senior ROM Curator Bob Murphy and the Louise Hawley Stone Chair for East Asian Art, Dr Wen-chien Cheng.


Dr. Bob Murphy is Senior Curator of Herpetology in the Department of Natural History at the ROM, Professor of Zoology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto, and Senior Visiting Professor, Laboratory of Molecular Evolution & Genome Diversity, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research interests and publications extend far beyond herpetology and enter into the development of molecular technologies for documenting genetic diversity, to conservation genetics, evolutionary relationships, genomics, DNA barcoding, and behavioral genetics.

Dr. Wen-chien Cheng joined the ROM in October 2011, as the Louise Hawley Stone Chair of East Asian Art. She is cross-appointed with the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Toronto.​​ Her Ph.D. is in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, where her specialty was Chinese painting. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at the J. Paul Getty Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. Curatorial work, research, and teaching have been the three major parts of her academic training and experience. She is interested in a variety of research topics and issues, including the relationship between images and words, the artistic making of social identities, the impact of “spectatorship” or “viewership” in shaping the interpretive process of an artwork, artistic negotiations of traditions and inventions, and collecting Chinese art in the early twentieth century. 

Dave Ireland is Managing Director, ROM Biodiversity. He is responsible for developing programs, projects and partnerships that help people understand and conserve biodiversity.

More lectures on The Forbidden City



  • Tuesday, June 17, 2014
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Royal Ontario Museum
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre
Level 1B


President's Choice School Entrance ►

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