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Material Stories: Tobacco


Out of an abundance of caution and in support of evolving public health measures related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Smart Museum of Art has temporarily closed and all on site public programs have been suspended until further notice. Read our latest update »

Through deep engagement with the material qualities of tobacco, acclaimed Chinese artist Xu Bing's Tobacco Project offers a conceptual investigation of tobacco’s social meanings, economic history, and status as a catalyst of exchange between China and the United States.

Join Dr. Peter Benson, Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis and author of Tobacco Capitalism: Growers, Migrant Workers, and the Changing Face of a Global Industry, and Dr. Stanley Abe, Associate Professor of Chinese Art History at Duke University and author of Tobacco Art: Xu Bing’s Tobacco Project, for a cross-disciplinary discussion of tobacco’s intertwined social, economic, and material histories.  

Light refreshments will be served following the program. 

FREE, open to all. 

Image: Xu Bing, 1st Class (detail), 2011, 500,000 “1st Class” brand cigarettes, adhesive, and carpet. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.