What’s happening in Asian art

“Untold Stories: Women and the Asian Art Trade” Webinar, September 30, 8:30am-12pm EST

September 28, 2021

Alma Karlin (1889–1950) inspecting a vase, 1920s

Please join us on Sept. 30th, 8:30 am–12:00 pm EST for “Untold Stories: Women and the Asian Art Trade.” 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. You can find the complete program here, and registration link here.

This program 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.

Co-organized by:
Joanna M. 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