Volume 44 – Number 1
An Issue Celebrating the 70th Birthday of Jessica Rawson
Cover: Jessica Rawson with the Cull
family’s gift of the bronze hu vessels
to the British Museum, 1972
(© Guardian News & Media Ltd 1972)
Professor Dame Jessica Rawson’s accomplishments at the British Museum (1976-94) are renowned, as is her pioneering research. Readers will recall her many essays in Orientations, but perhaps less familiar to you are her achievements as the first woman Warden of Merton College, Oxford University (1994-2010). Professor Richard McCabe talks of Professor Rawson’s ‘enduring mark on the fabric of the College and its environs’, culminating with the opening of the T. S. Elliot Theatre, and how this transformation led to unprecedented academic success.
In this issue, we honour Professor Rawson’s career and celebrate her 70th birthday. Robert Harrist’s preface is followed by my interview with Professor Rawson, and Lothar von Falkenhausen’s article on his most recent findings. Lothar Ledderose and Maggie Bickford, both of whom also recently turned 70, likewise continue to pursue worthwhile research, as evident from their essays here. This issue would not be complete without Thomas Lawton, who has been an integral part of our history and who agreed to share an aspect of his current area of interest.
The participation of such eminent scholars has helped Orientations achieve the goals set 43 years ago. Orientations has grown and evolved into a journal that offers lively, yet reflective content that appeals to a broad audience. This issue is of great personal significance, as it marks the culmination of a career of some four decades. I am indebted to everyone who has contributed to our success.