Symposium: Collectors, Collections and Collecting the Art of Ancient China

From H-Museum:

Harn Eminent Scholar Symposium
University of Florida
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
February 20-22, 2009

Collectors, Collections and Collecting the Art of Ancient China: Histories and Challenges

This symposium will bring together for the first time at the University of Florida a distinguished group of eminent scholars and curators from Asian art museums and universities in North America and United Kingdom to discuss the topics of collectors, collections and collecting of Chinese art in the West. Western collecting of Chinese art gained momentum in the nineteenth
century and has been changing with the growth and the decline of colonialism in Asia and the wax and wane of the international relationship between China and the West. In recent years, with the economic development, auction houses and private collecting flourished in China. The Chinese government at the same time increased their effort to safeguard its cultural heritage. For example, the People’s Republic of China formally requested the United States State Department’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee to place an embargo on all exported archaeological and cultural heritage properties. These new developments along with the changes in the academic and museum professional world challenge in many respects the western modes of collecting and exhibiting Chinese art.

February 20, 2009

6:00-8:00 pm Keynote Address
CARP-on: Further Thoughts on Chinese Art Provenance Research
Nick Pearce (Professor of Chinese Art History, Director, Institute for Art
History, Glasgow University)

February 21, 2009

9:00-11:30am Panel I: Early Collections
Chair and Discussant:  Guolong Lai

On the conception of "art" and "archaeology" in the formation of the Museum
of Far Eastern Antiquities, and beyond
Magnus Fiskesjö (Former Director of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities,
Stockholm; Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Cornell

Chicago and China: Cross-Cultural Awareness, Academic Exchange, 1900-1950
Elinor Pearlstein (Associate Curator of Chinese Art, The Art Institute of

From Mementos to Masterpieces: The Chinese Collections of the Harvard Art
Robert D. Mowry (Alan J. Dworsky Curator of Chinese Art at Harvard
University's Arthur M. Sacker Museum)

The Early Formation of the Chinese Collection at the RISD Museum of Art
Deborah Del Gais (Curator of Asian Art, the RISD Museum, Rhode Island School
of Design)

Lunch Break (11:30am-12:30pm)

12:30-3:00pm Panel II: Collectors and Connoisseurs
Chair and Discussant: Glenn G. Willumson (Associate Professor of Art
History, Director of Museum Studies Program, School of Art and Art History,

A Unique Pair: The Bronze Rhinoceros and Its Collector, Avery Brundage
Jay Xu (Director, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco)

Stewart Culin (1858-1929): At the Forefront of Chinese Vernacular Culture in
Amy G. Poster (Curator Emerita of Asian Art, Brooklyn Museum)

Luo Zhenyu's Collection in Asia and the West
Nixi Cura (Course Director, Arts of China, Christie's Education, London)

Florence Ayscough (1878-1942): A Pioneer of Promoting Modern Chinese
Painting in America
Zaixin Hong (Associate Professor of Art History, The University of Puget

3:10-5:00pm Panel III: Challenges in Collecting Chinese Art
Chair and Discussant: Nick Pearce

Collecting Chinese Ceramics in the 21st Century: A Historical Perspective
Stacey Pierson (Lecturer in Chinese Ceramics, Department SOAS, University of

Collecting Ancient Chinese Artworks at the Royal Ontario Museum: Past,
Present, and Future
Chen Shen (Senior Curator, Ancient Chinese Archaeology, Royal Ontario
Museum, Canada)

Collecting and Provenance: Chinese Art at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
Jason Steuber (Cofrin Curator of Asian Art, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art,


February 20-21, 2009
The Auditorium of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art The University of
Florida, Gainesville, Florida

The Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History Program of the School of Art
and Art History The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

Guolong Lai (Assistant Professor, School of Art and Art History, UF)
Jason Steuber (Cofrin Curator of Asian Art, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art,


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