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Harvard Art Museums | Untold Stories: Women and the Asian Art Trade

September 30, 2021 @ 7:30 am - 11:00 am

The histories of collecting and the art market are essential to advancing provenance research. Provenance research attempts to uncover the actors and mechanisms behind translocations, to understand the transformation of material culture, and to explore the production of knowledge within different worlds and systems of meaning.
“Untold Stories: Women and the Asian Art Trade” highlights the often overlooked—but nevertheless profound—influence of women on the circulation of Asian art objects. The historical analysis of the market has long focused on contributions of male dealers and collectors, as cultural norms provided them more access to formal education, financial resources, and exclusive social circles. While women were part of these networks, their participation and contributions were often less documented and have sustained little scholarly focus. This webinar attempts to recover the histories of these women and place them within the history of Western consumption of Asian art.
Focusing on historical figures, this webinar reveals how women shaped private and public collections, thereby influencing the field of Asian art history. Bringing together historians, museum curators, archivists, and provenance specialists, “Untold Stories: Women and the Asian Art Trade” features new research that illuminates the diversity within the interconnected networks that moved Asian art around the globe in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
This program is the third installment in the series “Hidden Networks: Trade in Asian Art,” co-organized by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art; Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; and the Harvard Art Museums.
Organized by: Joanna Gohmann, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC
Christine Howald, Zentralarchiv/Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Sarah Laursen, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
*PLEASE NOTE: All of our public programs are always free of charge. Links to access live events on Zoom are unique to you and are only available after you have registered and received a confirmation email. Links posted elsewhere do not guarantee entry and are not official museum communications.
Image: Alma Karlin (1889–1950) inspecting a vase, 1920s


September 30, 2021
7:30 am - 11:00 am
Event Category:


Harvard Art Museums
1 (617) 495-9400
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