The Center for the Art of East Asia in the Department of Art History was established in 2003 with support from the Division of the Humanities to facilitate and support teaching and research in the rapidly growing field of East Asian art at the University of Chicago.

The Center draws inspiration from trends in both traditional history and contemporary culture. East Asian art traditions have emerged and been redefined throughout history by cultural interactions. New archeological finds provide evidence of this cross-fertilization over several millennia that is reshaping the field. In the contemporary world, East Asian societies of Korea, Japan, and China are interacting to an ever-greater extent with other nations and are playing larger roles in contemporary culture and international affairs. Scholars and artists from these areas have a growing impact in the areas of art, culture and international studies. This concentration of interest in Asian art and visual culture is redefining the parameters of East Asian art history. In response to these developments, we have adopted a global outlook and encourage new perspectives including organizing international collaborative research projects with universities, museums, and experts around the world.


The Center seeks to:

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  • Develop research programs that span disciplinary, geographical, and institutional boundaries.
  • Encourage new approaches and open pathways in under explored areas of study through sharing information, research materials, and methodologies.
  • Initiate projects in collaboration with other universities, research centers, and individual scholars, providing arenas for scholarly interaction.
  • Develop new visual technologies for teaching and researching East Asian art and visual culture through establishing digital databases of both ancient and contemporary images.

The center develops and coordinates programs in East Asian art and visual culture supporting individual scholarship, compiling data for teaching and research, and creating opportunities for scholarly and student exchange. An annual symposium brings scholars from various disciplines, regional areas of research, institutions, and countries together at the University of Chicago. In these ways the Center provides an institutional basis to improve educational programs and encourage further international and interdisciplinary collaborative work inside and outside the University. Working inside of the Art History Department the center supplements course work by providing opportunities for interaction with visiting scholars, faculty and students in our symposia and other informal meetings. It supports travel to museums and conferences for graduate students and encourages them to pursue their research in new areas and with innovative methodologies.

The center invites visiting scholars to conduct research at the University of Chicago to make use of the excellent facilities and to share ideas and information with our broader academic community. The Center offers a postdoctoral fellowship for scholars in the early stages of their professional careers to conduct research and in some cases to teach.