• Arata Shimao (Spring 2018)

    Arata Shimao is Japan’s leading scholar in the field of medieval (Muromachi period, 14th–16th c.) painting in monochrome ink. He has been a professor for the history of Japanese Art at Gakushūin University, Tokyo, since 2012. Upon receiving his M.A. from Tokyo University, he became a researcher at the Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties in 1984, then was a professor at Tama Art University from 2002 to 2012. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Nezu Art Museum and is on the council for the National Agency for Cultural Affairs.

    His research interests focus primarily on premodern Japanese painting with a special emphasis on Sino-Japanese painting and Karamono (imported Chinese painting, calligraphy and decorative arts), of the Muromachi period. In, Hyōnen-zu: Iconology of Catfish and Gourd (1995), he examined the meaning of a “new mode” written in the iconographical structure of Sino-Japanese painting of this age. From Nōami to the Kano School (1994) and Wa Kan no Sakai wo Magirakasu: the Idea of Chanoyu and Japanese Culture (2013), analyze the social function of Karamono and the cultural structure of Wa (Japanese) and Kan (Chinese). His research on the Zen monk painter Sesshū examined the legend of this painter and presented new interpretations of his life and masterpieces in, Sansuichōkan (Long Landscape Scroll) by Sesshū (2001) and For a Deep Understanding of Sesshū (2012). He co-curated a special exhibition on Sesshū for the Tokyo and Kyoto National Museum in 2002 and Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum in 2006. He has a wide interest in ink painting, including contemporary painters and materials such as, sumi, fude and paper, and his forthcoming book Ink Painting will be a survey ofink (shuimu or suiboku) culture in East Asia.

  • Melanie Trede (Spring 2018)

    Melanie Trede is professor for the histories of Japanese art at Heidelberg University since 2004. Among her research and publishing interests are Japanese narrative paintings, gender issues and political iconographies, art terminologies and the concept of the frame in transcultural engagements as well as digital art history.

    She is the author of Image, Text and Audience: The Taishokan Narrative in Visual Representations of the Early Modern Period in Japan (2003), Hiroshige. One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (2007/re-published 2010 and 2015), “Terminology and Ideology: Coming to Terms with “Classicism” in Japanese Art Historical Writing”, 2003, “Banknote Design as a Battlefield of Gender Politics and National Representation in Meiji Japan,” 2008, “The Chinese render everything simple”: East Asian and European Negotiations on Perspective” (2015), and most recently “The Hat Maker: A newly discovered handscroll in the Berlin Asian Art Museum” (2017). She was also the leader and editor of the digital project "The Hachiman Digital Handscrolls", launched in 2015.

    Trained at Berlin Free University, Heidelberg, Waseda and Gakushūin Universities, she was an assistant professor at Heidelberg, Columbia and New York Universities. She was a research fellow at Gakushuin University, a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, and at the Marsilius Kolleg at Heidelberg University. She served also as the Toyota Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and in 2012 Trede was appointed both, a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and of the Academia Europaea.

  • Akira Takagishi (Spring 2017)

    Akira Takagishi is a specialist in Japanese art history, especially on hanging scrolls and handscrolls from the Medieval period. Upon receiving his doctorate from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, he was a Research Fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and then a curator at The Museum Yamato Bunkakan. He was also Associate Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and is currently Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology at the University of Tokyo. In addition, in 2011 he was the Ishibashi Foundation Guest Professor at the University of Heidelberg, Germany

    His research focuses on Yamato-e paintings of the Medieval period in Japan. His publication, “A Study of the Ten Realms of Existence Screens in the Taimadera Okunoin Temple Collection,” received the prestigious Kokka Prize in 1998. In 2011 his article, “A Study of the Execution and Appreciation of Picture Handscrolls in the Muromachi Period,” was awarded the JSPS Prize. He is also interested in topics such as the political context of painting production amidst power struggles in Medieval Japan, and in the establishment of the institutional structures of the Tosa School. He will be the chief editor of the forthcoming volume, Art History of the Imperial Court 『天皇の美術史』(Tokyo, Yoshikawa Kobunkan).

  • Arnold Chang (Fall 2016)

    Arnold Chang (Zhang Hong) was born in 1954 in New York City. He studied art history with Professor James Cahill and holds a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado. Chang studied painting and connoisseurship with C.C. Wang for twenty-five years, and also studied painting with Kuo Yen-ch’iao in Taipei and calligraphy with Wang Chiyuan in New York. His landscape paintings have been exhibited internationally and are in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, British Museum, Asian Art Museum, LACMA, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum. Chang has organized several exhibitions, and is the author of a book and numerous exhibition catalogues and articles on Chinese painting. Chang served for many years as Vice President and Director of Chinese Paintings at Sotheby’s, where he is presently a consultant, and was formerly a painting specialist at Kaikodo gallery in New York.

  • Soyoung Lee (Fall 2016)


    Soyoung Lee is Curator of Korean Art in the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As the museum’s first curator for the Korean collection, she has organized numerous exhibitions including, “The Art of the Korean Renaissance (1400–1600),” and “Silla Korea’s Golden Kingdom.” Lee received her degrees from Columbia University and is currently a visiting professor teaching on the ceramic arts of Korea and Japan.

  • Michio Yonekura (Fall 2016)

    Distinguished Atsumi Visiting Professor

    Michio Yonekura is an art historian specializing in Japanese painting. After he received his MA at the Tokyo National Institute of Fine Arts and Music, he joined the Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, where he engaged in research and study of Japanese art for twenty-five years, serving as Director of the Department of Archives from 1998 to 2001. He then became professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Sophia (Jōchi) University in Tokyo, and taught Japanese art history there until 2011. He has been a visiting professor and given lectures on medieval Japanese portraiture and narrative painting at Heidelberg University, Waseda University, and Harvard University.

    Professor Yonekura's primary field of research is medieval Japanese painting. By focusing on the visual representation of the subjects in portraiture, landscape, and narrative paintings of the 13th and 14th century (Kamakura-Nanbokuchō periods), he has sought to re-examine traditional master narratives of Japanese art history. His research has been published in books and articles on the iconic Jingoji portraits and illustrated biographies of renowned Buddhist monks. His main current research topic is the late 13th century Illustrated Biography of Ippen.

  • Furuta Ryō (Spring 2016)

    Furuta Ryō is a scholar of modern Japanese art who has curated many exhibitions and has published extensively on painting in Japan in the late-19th and early 20th century. He received the Suntory Prize for his book, Tawaraya Sōtatsu (Heibonsha, 2010), and has also published books about the painters Takahashi Yuichi and Kano Hōgai. Most recently he has co-curated the exhibition, “Sōtatsu: Making Waves” at the Freer Museum / Sackler Gallery.

  • Shimizu Shigeatsu (Winter 2015-2016)

    Shigeatsu Shimizu is an associate professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology. He specializes in the theory of architectural restoration in Japan. His book Kenchiku hozon gainen no seisei shi (The Rise of Architectural Preservation in Japan, Chuo Koron Bijutsu Shuppan, 2013) received the Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan in 2015. He formerly worked as a researcher at the National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, Nara, where he engaged in the research and design work for the reconstruction of the Daigokuden Hall of the Nara Palace Site. Recently he is expanding his interests to a comparative study of ancient architecture and the preservation of urban cultural landscapes in East Asia.