Cartography and East-West Cultural Exchange

During the 2016 spring semester, the Ricci Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences will present a series of programs on East-West cultural exchange through cartography. These programs provide our students with unique opportunities to learn about historical cross-cultural interactions in history that continue to affect us today. All activities and events are free for USF faculty, students, and staff members.

China at the Center: Rare Ricci and Verbiest World Maps

Ricci and Verbiest World MapsPresented by the Asian Art Museum in partnership with the University of San Francisco

March 4 – May 8, 2016

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

A major exhibition showcasing two rare and famous world maps produced in the 17th century China by Jesuit missionaries. The first is Matteo Ricci’s 1602 Kunyu wanguo quantu (“Map of the Myriad Countries” or “Mappamondo”), a map so rare that it is called “The Impossible Black Tulip” (on loan from the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota). The second is the Kunyu quantu (“The Complete Map of the World”), Ferdinand Verbiest’s world map of 1674 (on loan from the Library of Congress). These are the first Chinese maps to show the Americas, the polar regions, and the western shores of Europe and Africa, and include explanations of natural and astronomical phenomena. This is the first time that both of these seminal maps have been displayed together. Also on display are rare books and atlases associated with these maps and the 16th–18th century Jesuit mission to China.

Co-curators: Rev. M. Antoni J. Ucerler, S.J., Director of the USF Ricci Institute and Natasha Reichle, Associate Curator of Southeast Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum

Free Admission for USF students, faculty, and staff with USF ID. Special membership rate also available during the exhibit for USF students, faculty, and staff.

Mapping “The East”: Envisioning Asia in the Age of Exploration

 John SpeedPresented by the USF Ricci Institute, the Art History/Arts Administration Program, and Manresa Gallery

March 30 – May 22, 2016
Tues – Fri & Sun, 1:00 – 5:00PM

Manresa Gallery in St. Ignatius Church, USF Main campus

Exhibition opening & lecture
March 30, 5:00 – 7:00 PM

An introductory lecture by Prof. Laura Hostetler, Eds-Stewart endowed Chair (Ricci Institute), in Xavier Auditorium, Fromm Hall at USF, with opening reception to follow in Manresa Hallery

An exhibition of more than 20 early maps and books of Asia produced by European cartographers during the 16th-18th centuries. Drawn from the collections of Sophia University, Tokyo, and the USF Ricci Institute, these works reflect expanding knowledge of East Asia during the Age of Exploration, and their makers’ European religious and philosophical perspectives.

Curators: Prof. Catherine Lusheck (Art History/Arts Administration Program, USF) and Madeline E. Warner ('15)

Free and open to the public. Special tours can be arranged through Manresa Gallery.

Adjacent Shores: Hughen/Starkweather

Adjacent ShoresPresented by Thacher Gallery in collaboration with the Ricci Institute

March 7 – April 24
12:00 – 6:00 P.M., DAILY


MARCH 10, 2-3:30 P.M.


Artist team Amanda Hughen and Jennifer Starkweather present new mixed media works that map the Pacific Ocean and its shores. Included is the artists’ response to an 18th century Japanese interpretation of Matteo Ricci’s 1602 world map, as well as a new body of work based on interviews with members of the USF community.

Curator: Nell Herbert (USF MA in Museum Studies, '16)

Free and open to the public.

International Symposium 

Reimagining the Globe and Cultural Exchange:
From the World Maps of Ricci and Verbiest to Google Earth

Reimagining the Globe and Cultural ExchangePresented by the USF Ricci Institute

April 22 – 24, 2016

McLaren conference Center, University of San Francisco

An international symposium on the history of East-West scientific exchange through the medium of cartography beginning with ancient maps and continuing to the present with the latest technological innovations. Internationally known specialists in cartography and East-West cultural exchange will be invited to share their research, while experts from Google and NASA will discuss the latest technological developments in enriching our knowledge of the world and the cosmos.

Co-chairs: Prof. Laura Hostetler, EDS-Stewart Endowed Chair at USF Ricci Institute, and Rev. M. Antoni J. Ucerler, S.J., Director of the USF Ricci Institute

Free to students from any university with ID, and USF faculty and staff.

Download the symposium program [updated on April 6, 2016] 

Matteo Ricci: His Map and Music

Sacabuche EnsemblePresented by ¡Sacabuche! Ensemble and the USF Ricci Institute

April 22, 7:15 PM
Pre-concert lecture

by Dr. Linda Pearse, Artistic Director, ¡Sacabuche! Ensemble

April 22, 7:30 PM: Concert I

St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco

April 25, 7:00 PM: Concert II

Santa Clara Mission Church, Santa Clara

This special music performance is inspired by Matteo Ricci’s 1602 world map and will be performed by ¡Sacabuche!, an ensemble directed by Dr. Linda Pearse at Mount Allison University in Canada. The program combines Italian music of Ricci's time with Chinese folk music, forming a multi-layered dialogue between the Italian Renaissance and Ming Dynasty China through the media of music, text, and images.

Free admission.